Kabul – Midnight Rocket Attack

The target was US Embassy “Blaaaaarrrrrrr!!!” I heard a blast, quite shocking, when chatting with a friend. This friend is an Afghan journalist based in Wazir Akbar Khan area, about 2 km from my place, and heard the same strange sound. “Did you hear the sound? What is that?” he messaged me on my chat messenger. “Maybe it is a rocket,” he answered his own question, and disappeared immediately. It was 11.00 p.m. I was thinking it was a bomb blast, but who will blast a bomb at the middle of the night, and if it was indeed a bomb why it could be heard so loud both from Wazir Akbar Khan and from my place, which are separated by 2 km of distance. My friend was probably right: it was a rocket. I talked with a Pakistani colleague, Mr. Mudasser, about the sound. He didn’t hear anything. But when I said it might be a rocket, he just showed a very normal expression, “Well, in this kind of country, this is not something extraordinary. People are get used.” The second day (today) I just get it confirmed. Yes, it was a rocket attack in the vicinity of the US [...]

August 25, 2007 // 0 Comments

Kabul – School Inauguration

The President himself innaugurates the school A school inauguration in Kabul is attended by the President Hamid Karzai. In the situation when suicide bombing is rampant in the capital, violent attacks are getting common on Kabul streets, and foreigners are kidnapped, there should be something special that the Afghan President decide to inaugurate construction of a high school building. The Ghazi High School was among the oldest, famous, and historical schools in Kabul in its time. The school was originally built in 1923, just 4 years after the independence of Afghanistan from the British control. The civil wars in Afghanistan destroyed the school. In 1994 the school turned to be ruins with empty hollows and walls scattered by bullet holes. The school, the alma mater of current Minister of Higher Education Dr. Dadfar, hibernated. Today, American strip and stars flies proudly next to Afghan flag over a tablet written: “Ghazi High School – The foundation stone of Ghazi High School was laid by H.E. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 21st August 2007. The school was constructed through the financial assistance of USAID.” The costs of the reconstruction of the Ghazi School is millions of dollars [...]

August 21, 2007 // 0 Comments

Kabul – Nine Afghan Prisoners from Bagram

Prisoners released from Bagram Nine Afghan prisoners, from various the provinces of Khost, Ghazni, Paktia, Balkh, and Farah, were released from the US military main airbase at Bagram today. They were in detention for various periods, from 8 months to two years, on the charge of having links to Taliban resurgent. I went there with a reporter to attend the ‘ceremony of freedom.’ I was expecting to see cruel faces of Taliban supporters, but what I saw was some thin old men with white beards, some younger bearded ones, all in Afghan dresses with Chinese luggage bags. Everybody was numbered from 1 to 9. Haji Inayatullah, the eldest among the nine, a 76 year old man with white and red beard, was telling his unjustified detention in Bagram. The former Mujahidin commander loyal to Sibghatullah Mujaddidi was arrested and served one year in the American main airbase. Ironically, he was served the painful days in the detention center when he, following the government’s disarmament projects, was handling over 145 fire weapons and vehicles. His detention, he claimed, was unjust. He blamed the pro-Communist from Soviet era which now held high positions in his district, arranged everything as revenge to him [...]

July 11, 2007 // 0 Comments

Kabul – The Americans and the Indonesians

Crushed Kalashnikov The US embassy has a very special program today, to celebrate the destructions of more than one million small arms or light weapons worldwide. That is to show to a bunch of Afghan journalists from selected media of how an AK-47 arm is being destroyed by their Ambassador. So important that the program is, a limited number of the selected media have to come an hour earlier and being scrutinized thoroughly before being able to cover the speech of the Ambassador (which last only for 6 minutes, compact and short, no Q&A session that a female reporter complained the program to be very bland), people from disarmament organization, followed by a demonstration of the Ambassador destroying a Kalashnikov being turned to pieces by an unforgiving drill machine box. Kalashnikov, the Russian branded automatic rifles, had been invented more than sixty years ago (1943), and the AK-47 has the reputation as one of the most reliable rifles. There were already 100 million of Kalashnikov weapons produced worldwide, said the ambassador. The crushing of an AK-47 by his highness American ambassador was in fact a symbolic ceremonial of U.S. government commitment to destroy excess small arms worldwide. From the press [...]

July 9, 2007 // 0 Comments

Kabul – Understanding Islam from the Eyes of a Pashtun

With enveloping burqa, a woman sees the world through the little holes in front of her eyes “In Islam there is a circle. And we cannot get out the circle” — Amin It was not easy to meet and interview people who praised a lot the Taliban regime in recent day Kabul, at least in my one month here, it was the first time I got the chance. The discussion was not political, instead it was more cultural and religious. Amin, a man of 33 years old from Pashtun ethnic, had spent his 29 years of life in Pakistan. He was a refugee. He speaks very good English, and he expressed his idea very well in the language. He used to live in a tribal area in the NWFP (North West Frontier Province) of Pakistan, the area that the Afghans preferred to refer as Pashtunistan. The tribal areas are the areas of the Pashtuns which are not under the Pakistani law. The tribal area where he lived was Mohmand Agency. His ancestors came from a village called Kandari, both existed in Pakistan and Afghanistan side. In fact he holds two passports: Pakistan and Afghanistan. He agreed to shelter me in [...]

July 18, 2006 // 2 Comments