Dec 30, 2007

Mullah Omar Warns: Harsh winter is waiting for foreign forces

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Mullah Mohammad Omar, the leader of Taliban in a message to International forces in Afghanistan has warned that they should expect more attack by Taliban because the Taliban will continue their attacks in the winter.

He has said this message on the days of Eid al-Adha and added that the Taliban fighters are still in outskirts of Musa Qala city, they might come back very soon. The district of Musa Qala was already controlled by Taliban and had turned to a city of terror. In 10th of December, Afghanistan National Army with the supports of US troops and British troops entered to the central of Musa Qala just after heavy combats with Taliban.

The Taliban leader has been also asking from Islamic countries to help for withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
For the lasts years, the Taliban was the only group in which has taken the responsibilities of the most suicide attacks and civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

On the other hand, President Hamid Karzai in his return back to Afghanistan last month stated that he is ready to negotiate with Mullah Mohammad Omar the Taliban leader and Gubuddin Hekmatyar the leader of Islamic party. He eagerly said, if he had the address for them, he would definitely personally will send people for negotiation with them.

Dec 24, 2007

Christmas day in Afghanistan

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Christmas Eve in the Afghan capital. Kabul’s famous flower street market does roaring trade in Christmas trees.
I wish you all a great Christmas. Let 2008 be the year of peace and security. The year 2007 was bloody year for Afghan people, suicide attacks and several explosions in central of the cities. Lots of people died. Don't forget Afghanistan, don't forget its children, women and homeless people.
By the way don't forget me as well. I need your help but can't write here unfortunately.

Love and peace

Dec 13, 2007

Shots In the Arm Spread HIV in Afghanistan

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Note that this article was first published in the Pajamasmedia (direct link of this articale)and if you reproduce this article you must retain this notice
In 2005 the UN warned of the risk of AIDS to Afghanistan. There is great concern over the virus being spread by growing numbers of drug users injecting and sharing needles.
At the time there were no reliable figures on the incidence of AIDS in that country. The figures available at the time suggested the problem was not great.
The only definite figures available on HIV/AIDS in Afghanistan would suggest that there is not too much to worry about. There are just 35 HIV-positive cases identified by Kabul’s blood bank.
More definite figures are now available. Abdul Sami Wahib, the director for the AIDS program in the Afghan Ministry of Health, says the research shows that over 3% of drug-addicts who use injections are infected, and that if nothing happens to prevent drug addiction in the country within the next four years as many as 4% of the population will be infected by HIV/AIDS.
The authority in the Ministry of Health said that currently more than 250 cases have been registered. But this number counts only the victims in the major cities; there’s no accurate information available about how many others are affected by AIDS elsewhere.
Faizullah Kakar, Afghanistan’s Deputy Minister of Public Health, has said in interviews that the numbers of HIV-infected persons is higher than the numbers given. Kakar says that seven people have currently been reported as having died from AIDS.
The World Bank has approved $89.6 million to help improve the Afghan public health system, and Afghan authorities say there have been many international promises of assistance. Free checkups have been offered, and six centers for advising were opened in order to prevent further infections. The authorities say in addition to these efforts a guide about how to avoid HIV will be taught in the schools.
According to Gulalai Safi, a member of the Health Commission in parliament, while millions of dollars have been spent through the Global Fund, IRC, Action AID and several other humanitarian organizations, there’s no sign of improvement in preventing HIV in the country. She added that the struggle by the Afghanistan government and the international community have been far below expectations.
There were constant complaints in centers for HIV treatment about the lack of medicine for patients. Most of the patients were left without medications because they are unable to buy the drugs by themselves. The World Health Organization has promised to donate drugs for Afghan treatment centers to promote the patients’ resistance against HIV disease.
This year Afghanistan saw HIV/AIDS cases increase threefold from last year. HIV/AIDS registration began after September 11. Concerns about increasing HIV/AIDS rates among Afghans have become a serious public issue. Currently, many clergymen try to warn people of its dangers in speeches at mosques, explaining that AIDS comes from illegal sexual intercourse, but they have yet to realize there are more ways of transferring the virus.
That education is still wanting. In recent years little has been done by the Ministry of Health or other organizations to increase the awareness that AIDS can be spread through needles. There is no public awareness campaign or free information available to help people to avoid getting infected. The Ministry of Health has only hung a few placards on the roadside. It will not be enough.

Dec 6, 2007

Small Breadwinner

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Today hundreds of these children are in the streets to work and earn money to feed herself and her family. Lots of these children are coming from poor family who lost their parents in the time of war and today they have to afford harsh works to survive. This child is one of them who supports his family by polishing the boots on the streets. She is at the age of 9 who deprived from going to school. As she looks to horizon, we can imagine, she looks her next day which comes the same as yesterday, she is dreaming the horizon of her future live. But her world doesn’t' exceed further than herself and the place surrounded her; the slipper she holds and the tools for polishing she is carrying.

Nov 12, 2007

The Problem of Musa Qala: Afghanistan's Terror University Town

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Note that this article was first published in the Pajamasmedia (direct link of this articale)and if you reproduce this article you must retain this notice.

The spokesman for the Afghan ministry of defense, Zahir Azimi, recently said that Musa Qala, located in the Helmand district is a center for foreign terrorists who receive training and instructions for attacks against international forces. In his speech, Azimi said the terrorists, mostly Al Qaeda members who cross the Afghan-Pakistan border come from a variety of countries and regions.

The open and porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is one of the most important reasons Helmand became a center for terrorism was the, according to a report by Abdulwahid Karezwal, member of the Afghan senate representing the Helmand region.
He also charged that local authorities and influential figures actively helped permit terrorists start their activities. The Karzai government has, with the help of British troops, only five kilometers under its control among the thirteen districts of the Helmand province.
Negotiations between British troops and local figures raised hopes the problem would be solved, but the drawn-out negotiations have also given the Taliban time and opportunity to reinforce and increase their forces on various fronts. The Times Online reported on the agreement in October, 2006.

Over the past two months British soldiers have come under sustained attack defending a remote mud-walled government outpost in the town of Musa Qala in southern Afghanistan. Eight have been killed there. It has now been agreed the troops will quietly pull out of Musa Qala in return for the Taliban doing the same. …
Although soldiers on the ground may welcome the agreement, it is likely to raise new questions about troop deployment. Last month Sir Richard Dannatt, the new head of the British Army, warned that soldiers in Afghanistan were fighting at the limit of their capacity and could only “just” cope with the demands.

Brigadier Ed Butler, the commander of the British taskforce, flew into Musa Qala 18 days ago, guarded only by his military police close-protection team, to attend a shura, or council of town elders, to negotiate a withdrawal. Butler was taken in a convoy to the shura in the desert southeast of Musa Qala where the carefully formulated proposals were made. The British commander said that he was prepared to back a “cessation of fighting” if they could guarantee that the Taliban would also leave. … there are concerns that the Taliban could simply use the “cessation of fighting” to regroup and attack again next year.



By October 30, 2007 it was clear the “cessation of fighting” had not taken place. Fighting broke out anew as the Taliban returned to Musa Qala. Afgha.com reported:
The Musa Qala dilemma has been ongoing since this time last year, after the British and Danish contingent stationed in the district center handed security over to local tribal elders in exchange for a ceasefire with local Taliban units. By early 2007, the Coalition hammered the Taliban leadership in northern Helmand, killing four regional commanders within as many weeks.
The Taliban responded by seizing the district headquarters, Musa Qala City, and laid down the law with an iron fist. Spies were ‘tried’ by a Taliban court and found guilty of providing intelligence to the western forces operating in the region. At least 3 such ‘spies’ were summarily executed in April. Heavy taxes and ardent rules were imposed on the locals. Taliban sympathizers welcomed the reinstalled Taliban government while others remained adamantly against it.

Nine months after the Taliban took the district, Coalition forces are moving deeper into the district … five major engagements have occurred in the district since September, leaving an estimated 250 militants killed. Most of the recent fighting has been several kilometers south of the city in a rugged valley known as the Musa Qala Wadi.
The latest attack, however, occurred on the outskirts of the Musa Qala city itself. Coalition and Afghan forces have encircled the city leaving the densely populated town fearful of an imminent assault by US, British and Afghan forces.

The city center is still thought to be heavily booby-trapped, something the Taliban rigged up after storming the city back in February. Afghan army officials are in contact with local elders trying to persuade them to have the Taliban surrender or flee. Local officials also indicate foreign fighters are operating suicide bomb training camps in and around Musa Qala; and that Pakistani, Arab, Chechen and Central Asian fighters are thought to make up this core of mercenaries.
Although developments in Helmand were criticized at the time of the British-negotiated “cessation of fighting” nobody expected the area to become a central training ground for terrorists.

Nine months after the agreement between British troops and Taliban, the spokesman for the Afghan ministry of defense raised the question of who was to blame for the situation of the Helmand province that turned it into a foreign terrorist’s center. At the center of the debate is the policy toward the Taliban, questions which intensified when the British defense minister backed comprehensive negotiations with the Taliban. The Guardian reported on Oct 15, 2007:
British officials have concluded that the Taliban is too deep-rooted to be eradicated by military means. Following a wide-ranging policy review accompanying Gordon Brown’s arrival in Downing Street, a decision was taken to put a much greater focus on courting “moderate” Taliban leaders as well as “tier two” footsoldiers, who fight more for money and out of a sense of tribal obligation than for the Taliban’s ideology. Such a shift has put Britain and the Karzai government at odds with hawks in Washington, who are wary of Whitehall’s enthusiasm for talks with what they see as a monolithic terrorist group. But a British official said: “Some Americans are coming around to our way of seeing this.”
Despite the setbacks the advocates of negotiated settlement have not give up hope. The Daily Telegraph reported:

Diplomats confirmed yesterday that Mullah Salaam was expected to change sides within days. He is a former Taliban corps commander and governor of Herat province under the government that fell in 2001. Military sources said British forces in the province are “observing with interest” the potential deal in north Helmand, which echoes the efforts of US commanders in Iraq’s western province to split Sunni tribal leaders from their al-Qaeda allies.
The Afghan deal would see members of the Alizai tribe around the Taliban-held town of Musa Qala quit the insurgency and pledge support to the Afghan government. It would be the first time that the Kabul government and its Western allies have been able exploit tribal divisions that exist within the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
Whether that approach works any better than the earlier “cessation of fighting” remains to be seen.

Nov 5, 2007

Hazara Old Man (central of Afghanistan)

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Oct 9, 2007

Karzai Ready to talk with Mullah Omar and Hekmatiar

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President Hamed Karzai announced on his return from the US back to Kabul that he is ready to talk with Mullah Omr, Taliban leader, and Gulbudin Hekmatia the leader of Hezb Islami. Karzai addressed in a press conference that his government started talks with the Taliban; this is welcomed by United States and United Nation.

Over the last months this is the third time that Karzai is talking about his government being in discussion with opposition insurgents, especially Taliban, but this is the first time Karzai utterly frank invited Mullah Omar and Hekmatiar for discussion.

In his first conference after returning from the US Hamed Karzai told the media that if he had the address of these two opposition leaders, he personally will send people to talk with them.
"If a group of Taliban or a number of Taliban comes to me and asks, "President, we want a department in this or that ministry or we want a position as deputy minister... and we don't want to fight anymore," ... If there is a demand or request like that to me, I will accept it because I want to end the conflicts and fighting in Afghanistan," Karzai said.
"I wish there would be a demand as easy as this. I wished that they would want a position in the government. I will give them a position," he said.

Because of the sensitivity of talks with Taliban in society and government he suddenly expressed the affirmation of his government, like with Mullah Omar and Hekmatia he will talk about specific circumstances to respect the constitution and the six years of his government results. He pointed out that he had started consultancy with his cabinet and leaders of parties.

He also pointed out that during his last visit to New York he has talked about this issue with Bush and some other world leaders.

Three weeks ago the Taliban announced they're ready to talk with the Afghan government, without any specific circumstances. On one hand, this was a very hasty reaction from rebels who had always wanted the international forces to withdraw from Afghanistan, but that this comes so simple also embarrassed the international community. On the other hand, Afghan government was not sure if the ones they were talking to represent the Taliban, or just a small group.

Every time when there were talks of negotiation with Taliban the Afghan government was challenged. For example, 'talks with Taliban' means talks with the leader of Taliban Mullah Omar? If so, it is also a fact that Mullah Omar is known as a terrorist key figure on the list of the United States of America. So, what will happen with him?

This always has been a serious question for the government, but the Afghan authorities always gave vague answers to media. They only say again and again: with anyone who believes in the Afghan constitutional law, the government would have no problem.

Oct 2, 2007

Afghan Woman Selling Bread to Feed her Children

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Women in Afghanistan face daily discrimination and violence.
Afghan women suffer from daily violence. Apart from houseworks she has to feed her children and often the whole family.
Afghan men often see their wifes like slaves and their absolute property.

Today there are many widows begging in the streets. There are only a few who are selling bread and cigarettes, to buy food for their children.

Sep 22, 2007

September 11 and Democracy in Afghanistan

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September11 is an important event in the world especially for Afghanistan. If September 11 wouldn’t happened today Afghanistan was in control of wildest and brutal regime of Taliban. Almost 90% percent of the country was under their control. Today many Afghan says God bless Osama Bin Landin who attacked the twin tower and drove the world to look at our country which was in burning and also they say God bless America that saved our live and brought democracy, freedom and security. I am not talking about how the NATO troops and international forces fulfilled their tasks and how much they are successful. I am talking about the importance of September 11 for Afghanistan and its people. Many Afghans says it is not important for us how many people have been killed in September 11 in twin tower in New York and Pentagon outside Washington but it is important that US saved our live and released our country.

I met Bashardoost a member of Afghanistan parliament in his office in the camp in front of the Parliament building. Earlier he had his camp at the Shahr-e Naw park. Since 2003, Bashardoost is a critical figure, he talks loudly about corruption, and human right abuses.

Bashardoost believes that while the Mujahiden was in power, they committed much crime. In that time the USA and international community had forgotten Afghanistan. There were no human rights, nor women rights, nor freedom of speech. When the Taliban captured almost 90% of the country and Afghanistan became a home for terrorists still no one was caring about this country, until Al Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers. This was an alarm for the international community.

Afghanistan welcomed the US and international forces in order to build a free and prosperous society, but unfortunately after six years we do not have the results that we hoped for.

Right now the Taliban insurgents are controlling the districts of Helmand and Kandahar provinces. Bashardoost believes that this is a failure for the international community, and especially for the US and its strategy in Afghanistan. “September 11 is still and important date for Afghanis”, he says, “September 11 was a success for Afghanistan but US and the international community failed in their goals.”

Bashardoost believes that Human rights were abused by the warlords who came in power, just as the ministers and high ranking authorities now. I asked him about the process of democracy and human rights in Afghanistan. After September 11 Afghan was promised human rights, freedom and democracy. If so, how is the condition right now?

I asked Bashardoost what he thinks about Conspiracy theories over what happened on 9/11. He says, “I am not specialist but I know that these were the hands of terrorists, and not the CIA.”

Bashadoost says that September 11 was an important event in his live. It was then when he became popular and elected as legislator.

The current situation is not comparable with the last four years. Especially since the Mujahiden were empowered and entered to government. He believes it was a catastrophe when Mujahiden warlords, previous communist criminals and Taliban leader entered the government.

For the people the Karzai government has lost its honor and future promises. Bashadoost says that today many warlords are running private jails. Some times these warlords kidnap women and girls.

And why the Mujahiden who destroyed the country and committed lots of crimes are back into power now? Who supports and supported them, and why are they still powerful? Bashardoost blames the United States of America that the US doesn’t want Afghanistan to become peaceful.

Sep 11, 2007

September 11...

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I am doing podcast to bring some analytic views of Afghan researchers and writers about September 11 and its importance for them and their society.

For the first parts of my Podcast I brought in Jeffery Stern, an American freelance journalist who came recently in Afghanistan. He lived in the USA when September 11 happened. I asked him about his immediate reaction to September 11, the day of the attacks.

The next question I asked him was about the September 11 impact on American cultures. For example how media, movies and TV programs have been affected? Do people in the USofA think movies and TV programs should maybe emphasize more patriotic themes?

Conspiracy theories about what happened on 9/11 began to circulate just days after the attacks, but in the last six years, they've become a phenomenon with up to 75 percent of Americans believing their government hasn't told them the whole truth about that tragic day.
I also asked him about conspiracy theories of some American professors that have been pointed out last year at the fifth anniversary of September 11, that 9/11 was a USofA government conspiracy.
What do American people think about these theories and what are his personal thoughts on the matter?

I asked Jeffery about four crashed planes and none of the passenger lists containing any Arabic name?

I asked him about the US troops fighting in Afghanistan against Al Qaeda and Taliban. Are they in power or are NATO troops weak?
Day by day the Taliban become more powerful. They even have access to major cities like Ghazni that recently dealt with the South-Korean government over receiving 20million dollars.

The next Podcast is with an Afghan MP

Aug 18, 2007

Korean Hostages Raped by Taliban

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According to local news resources reported that Merajuddin Pathan, governor of Ghazni province has expressed that a group of Taliban who are holding Korean hostages in Ghazni assaulted four hostages’ women, which created a battle between two groups inside of the Taliban.

The local and international news agencies did not reveal the news for some reason But only one local media revealed the news in Kabul. The report witnessed by Mr. Pathan the governor and he added that Pakistani Taliban did the assault.

Taliban militants on a road in the central Ghazni province kidnapped the 23 South Koreans weeks ago. Afghan and the U.S led coalition forces have cordoned off a suspected Taliban hideout in Qarabagh district of Ghazni to secure the release of the hostages. The Taliban also demanded the withdrawal of 200 South Korean troops from this country. The South Korean government said the soldiers would be pulled out at the end of 2007 as scheduled. Taliban militants have carried out kidnappings time and time again over for the past two years. After killing two Koreans they released the two women out of 21 other hostages.

Meanwhile, Taliban strongly rejected allegations regarding sexual assault on four female Korean captives. Militant spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi told to media they were waging jihad against obscenity, immorality and un-Islamic acts in Afghanistan.

Aug 12, 2007

Evening Prayers

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Aug 2, 2007

Afghans are not allowed to serve alcoholic drinks

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A few days ago I was invited by a friend of mine to have dinner together in one of the foreign Restaurants in Kabul. He met a German and an Afghan-German friend there. We installed ourselves at the table. After a while, my friend ordered two beers but unexpectedly a muscle-man appeared in front of us in a harsh tone and asked me for my passport. I told him that I am Afghan, precisely the land he is now in. He started talking strictly to me: You are not allowed to drink alcohol in this restaurant!

Why? I asked him
Because we are not allowed to serve you alcoholic drinks.
On my left hand, the Afghan-German, a doctor, had also been asked for his passport. He was angry about it. For a few seconds he quarreled with his German counterpart. As I understood it he was telling him: 'this is my land, this is my land, no one has the right to ask me as an Afghan how I should behave about this.' They finished quarreling, but I got tense. How is it possible that in your own country you don't have your freedom. Not only for me but for all other Afghans, I thought.

Foreigners here have a lot of luxury facilities and expensive cars while outside of these restaurants hundreds of human beings are suffering on the streets, begging, asking for food. Some time foreigners are accompanied by a number of security guards, blocking the roads and driving over 100 miles/hour. Some, in very fashioned restaurants drink Champagne, smoking marijuana and narcotics. They are allowed to do so, but the Afghans are not allowed to enter, to drink, to spend time there. I am seeing that some of the foreigners only work for themselves, they brought facilities in here for themselves; not to help Afghans. They take the money they make back out of Afghanistan..

I feel frustrated when facing with such a phenomenon. No one seems to trust us. A considerable number of aid workers come to our land, but they can't understand our feelings. It was so frustrating while the muscle-man rudely told me I am not allowed to drink. The way it happened also is a thing you would not do in our culture, even if we have different codes, which in need can be flexible also. These day there are dozens of foreign restaurants, hotels, discos and prostitution houses in Kabul, for the foreigners, who call themselves 'ex pats' (for ex-patriots).

Jul 17, 2007

Picnicking Out of Kabul

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Last Friday we went out of Kabul for a picnic. I was invited by my German friend Martin Garner.
In the early morning I went to Park-e- Share-e-Naw to watch partridge fighting in order to complete my articles about animal fighting in Afghanistan. After some murmurings the competition started. I witnessed two matches and interviewed the winners.

Later I called Martin and joined him after an hour that I passed in the heavy traffic. It was not only me who Martin and his friend were waiting for but another Kandahari guy coming from far away was expected too. We came out of the car and walked along side the area when I saw a motorcyclist stopping nearby and looking as seriously. Soon, he pulled out his cell-phone and started calling and looking. I was about to be afraid and noticed Martin and his Afghan friend who were talking in French. When he heard what I saw he was afraid more than me and started calling to his friends who had left us in the street.

After a while his friend came and we continued our journey to Wardak. We had multi problems, not only security, and this deteriorated over the last few days. The driver was careless and nearly crashed two to three times. After we insisted much, he started to drive a bit more slowly but still there was fear. We reached Maidan Wardak, where a tanker was set on fire just a few days before. I asked Martin to change his seat and sit in the back to avoid more attention. On the way we saw a school that was fired at and a road was ruined by a roadside bomb.
“This village is full of Taliban and I have no doubt that many bombs are planted at the road side”, the driver whispered slowly to his friend.

We reached and entered his village in Sayed Abad and after turning we stopped in front of a house where we were invited by Nawid Sahil. We drove to a garden where many elderly villagers were already drinking and chatting. We sat on a carpet and leaned on pillows. For the whole way I had felt increasingly tension but I was comfortable at last. I told Martin that these villagers have the power and control, and we’re safe. The villagers were talking about political issues and it seemed they were not very satisfied with the Karzai government.
The glassman who seemed to be a family member of our host was asking us from time to time how we felt, “do we feel comfortable?” I assured him that we were fine and comfortable.

We started to eat lunch very late; if it would have taken any longer we were close to start eating the leaves.
The meals were delicious, the bread was local and tasty, and especially the yoghurt’s water was so yummy. The guys were telling us about the local beer. It was a bit strange that a few people drank beer while the elder villagers were there. I thought maybe they might not understand if it was bear rather than Pepsy or any other soft drink.

The lunch was too much and we only ate a bit of it. This is a part of Afghan traditions; they always cook more than there are expected guests. They presume other coming un-expected guests or sometimes are afraid of having a lesser meal. It is a bad reputation for the hosts if meals don’t satisfy the guests. Therefore they cook for 50 people when there are only 20 invited.

I was a bit uncomfortable because of the security measures and the tight space where to walk around. You had to be careful when walking in garden, and there shouldn’t be women in sight otherwise you’ll be shot by the men. This is what they call honor and pride; this is a very sensitive part of the traditions, mostly among Pashton but among other ethnicities differences are there. For example the Hazara woman works with her man side by side and appears with him together in public, same for Tajiks.

On our way returning to Kabul, we changed the car, now obviously with a good driver who was careful of himself. The same fear I had felt in the morning I felt again in the afternoon. We again put Martin among us to hide him out of sight to not attract curiosity. When we crossed the Maidan Shar hill I was a bit relieved and thought that at least we were not in danger anymore.
The Taliban's influence on the people is growing. Their access to the villagers too.

A few weeks ago, Taliban entered into the Wardak district “Sayeed Abad” and asked the local governor to leave his job and support the Taliban. Local elders and the governor discussed, and after two weeks they told and promised the Taliban that if they conquer Ghazni province they will join and support them.

Taliban are entering villages and distribute their messages through Mullah’s and students studying in religious schools. They promise to support the villagers and to bring peace instead of horrors and fears. In their message they call the people to stand up against the US and its allies, they call for the people to stand up against the US forces who killed the civilians in southern provinces. Recently a video of beheading people who supported the US and the Karzai government was released by the Taliban. In the video some of the people were beheaded from their back neck while others kept their feet tight. One of the pictures shows Mullah Dadullah, the infamous and brutal Taliban leader who was killed a few months ago in the Uruzgan province by the international forces.

Jul 12, 2007

Family Supporter

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Every day her mother makes her some Bolani (Afghan fast food) and sells each one for 5 afg, almost ten cents.
She is 9 years old and wishes to go to school one day. She wishes that one day they’ll have food at home and a schoolbag for her brother. She wishes for the day when he will have shoes on his feet. She is tired.

I asked her if she likes to go to school.
“If I go to school who is going to take care of my little brother and sister? Who is going to feed my mother? We don’t have a home, we don’t have food, and we don’t have money. That is why I am coming to the street to sell Bolani and earn a little money, to buy food for my family”, she answered.

I looked down at her feet in the old torn shoes. Her toes came out and were terribly harmed. She suffers from her long walks to reach this place to sell her bread.
“Look I have no shoes to go to school; I walk 30 minutes to get here. And here I am not comfortable also, because the traffic comes towards me, forcing me to leave this place. At night when I go back home I am tired and I can’t play. So I go to sleep and early in the morning I wake up again and take me and my breads back to this place”, she said.

Jul 3, 2007

Taliban Radio station back On air

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Radio Voice of Shariat has been launched again by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. Locals and authorities have accepted that they started broadcasting in the southern provinces. Radio Voice of Shariat has been heard in the provinces of Paktia, Paktika and Khost.

In June 1996, when the Taliban captured the capital of Kabul, they controlled the Radio and TV. They cancelled what they considered ‘female stuff’, and turned off the TV, after which broadcasting through Radio in MW and FM was started. Playing music and broadcasting female sounds was stopped; meanwhile they changed Radio Afghanistan to Radio Voice of Shariat.
Following September 11 and after opposition forces entered Kabul with the help of the US, Radio Voice of Shariat was stopped. And Radio Afghanistan started its broadcasting.

According to locals, the programs were already heard during the last few years. According to locals Radio Shariat broadcasts every night from an unknown place on FM band, which can be heard for over a week. Most of their programs are propaganda against the Karzai government and international forces based in Afghanistan.
Their propaganda calls the country occupied and they encourage the people to fight against the government and international forces. Parts of the program are messages of Mullah Mohammad Omer, the Taliban leader that provokes people for Jihad.

They do broadcast songs, but without music, the same music was heard during the times when Afghanistan was under their control. The songs do have music; are more provocative and remind the history of Taliban as a good period of their rule.
In the songs the Taliban played during their time of rule, the Northern Alliance was described as un-Islamic, and fighting them was called the holy war.

The Taliban used to distribute letters throughout the night, dropping them in the front of house doors, throwing them inside shops, hanging them on walls and especially in mosques.
As long as Radio Shariat broadcasts, they are able to have easily access to people, and this will make it easier too for them to reach people and harass them.

Without doubt they’re getting more powerful day by day, but this is just one of the signs, now that they launched a mobile FM radio that makes it difficult to trace the place from where they are broadcasting.

Jun 29, 2007

Afghan

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Jun 11, 2007

Two women journalist killed

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It has happened again, now it’s the second time that two women journalists Shikeba Sanga Amaj and Zakia Zaki were assassinated, within a week. Shikeba was shot anonymously on may 31th in her home. She was the correspondent of Shamshad Private TV. According to her family Shikeba shouted for her mother simultaneously when the gun fired and while her parents were running to her room. They were only in time to be witnesses over the bloody dead body of Shikeba. She was 22 and worked since a year with Shashad private TV channel. She is the second woman journalist killed within two years.

Just five days later another journalist, Zakia Zaki, a very effective reporter and journalist trainer in private Radio Solh (Peace Radio) channel based in Parwan province was killed in her bed. She had started with her work eight years ago in a region which was out of the Taliban control. She was a very active women journalist, known in the country and she had her critics always against injustice, criminals and Mujahideen.
Just four days later after Shikba’s death, six men who committed the assassination were arrested. The police security chief pointed out that these six men are involved in Hezbe Islami Hekmatiar party.

The reason why the two women journalists were killed still remain unknown. It is almost two years agoo, since Shaima Rezaie, another female private Tolo TV channel reporter had been killed in her home anonymously, in May 2005. And it is still unknown why she was killed. It always happens that people do not agree that women work in society. Afghanistan is very complicated and very traditional.

Women have a very limited space for development and for working side by side with men. Afghan men always believe women should stay at home; the men feed them and let them go out. Many others believe that the current situation is too traditional and not ready for women to work in media. Many Afghan men believe their traditions don’t allow them to let their women work outside; they honor to have them at home, rather than have them being active in the Afghan society.

Jun 1, 2007

Six Million Children at Risk

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Recently I heard shocking news from Noor Mohammad Wasil, the deputy minister of social work. Lately he visited an orphanage in Mazar-e-Sharif, northern Afghanistan. According to Noor Mohammad, 6 million children are at risk of sexual abuse, violence and harsh child labor. According to the deputy of minister of social work, 50% of these children are under 19. Since 6 million out of 12 million got the opportunity to go to school, the rest of the children are under exposure of different threats and abuse.
According to his estimation, children are exposed to addiction of narcotics, child abuse, marriage under the legal age and smuggling.
The government and international community must pay attention, since these are serious threats for the future of the children.

If you walk the streets of Kabul, hundreds of them are begging. They are homeless or they their parents during the eternal war. Today lots of international NGOs are involved in different projects to rebuild Afghanistan (in reality they aren’t rebuilding) but they don’t care how the residents are.

P.S: I want to ask you if you are able to help Afghan children. Please collect and send me clothing, notebooks, pens and money.
We are going to launch a few projects in different districts to help the children to at least keep them war in the next winter.
Already many people from Italy, The Netherlands and the US asked to send me some clothes and shoes for Afghan children, but unfortunately it wasn’t easy for me to find the right people in the area where they live.

If it doesn’t cost you much please send your gifts to Afghan poor children individually or if you know each other in your city please act as a group and send me your gifts. I promise to transfer your gifts to Afghan children.
I will document and take pictures to send to back to you.

May 24, 2007

Afghan Warlord Should be Punished

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I wrote in my Farsi blog that Saddam Husain's execution is an alert to all war criminals in Afghanistan; some weeks later HRW announced that the warlords’ crimes in Afghanistan should be punished. It has driven many to conduct debates and force the Karzai government to deny parliament and house of the nations where all war committed crimes were committed by their local forces.

A sensitive issue in the country over the last three years; almost every one believed they overwhelm to media and international but it seems they are the most powerful. Powerful because they came to power again, supported the drug dealers and were honored by the international community. More than 80,000 civilians died in Kabul alone. Large numbers of others were kidnapped, mutilated or raped and hundreds of thousands became homeless and left the country.
Just after September 11, the Bonn agreement fulfilled warlords’ wishes.

“No problem, we have succeeded” was heard by many warlords.

When Saddam was executed the Afghan warlords shivered. Afghan warlords committed crimes tens times more brutal than Saddam. Saddam was sent to hell and Afghan warlords are in power again. They control the system and control over their tribes, Karzai has no power but within the alliance and now they are forcing Karzai to approve the amnesty bill that grants them with immunity and a peaceful life.
There were many who were chanting against US: “Down with America and its alliance” was heard from fans of Ahmad Shah Massoud, one of the dead warlords.

“We support the national amnesty agreement for Mujahideen in order to bring peace in our country” I heard Abdul Rabb al-Rasul Sayyaf saying, he’s one of the most who committed the crimes in early 1990s.
Afshar is a place where the Hazara people lived. The area was completely demolished by Shura-e Nazar (the Jamiat forces under Ahmad Shah Massoud the dead leader of Tajik ethnicity) and Itihad forces (under Abdul Rabb al-Rasul Sayyaf, Sunni-Pashtun Ittihad leader).
More than 1,200 people were buried in mass grave and many others burned to death, according to a documentary film recorded just 24 hours after the human tragedy. Many Hazaras women were found with slashed breasts, children found killed by bayonets, many of them beheaded. Hazara young girls were taken to military bases and frontlines by Shura-e Nazar and Itihad forces. Afshar was a strategic place, especially its mountain, for the Hazara Wahdat forces under Abdul Ali Mazari (Wahdat Leader who was assassinated by Taliban in 1995). Not only in Afshar, but also in another Hazara area Taimani killed almost 60% of its inhabitants. One of the criminal Rahim “Kung Fu” commanders of Shura-e Nazar has said to Human Rights Watch:

He said he pochaghed Hazara [slaughtered, or cut their throats]. “We killed 300, 350 people,” he said. “I went to a house. I saw an infant. I put the bayonet in its mouth. It sucked on it like a tit, and then I pushed it through.” This happened in Taimani, the northern part of Kabul.
And according to The Guardian, November 16, 2001:
On February 11, 1993, Ahmad Shah Massoud and Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf's forces entered the Hazara suburb of Afshar, killing - by local accounts - "up to 1,000 civilians", beheading old men, women, children and even their dogs, stuffing their bodies down the wells.

Ahmad Shah Massoud and Sayyaf groups raped many women before they killed them.
And now what is going on…? The parliament granted immunity to these warlords and war criminals. It is going to be worse, when the upper house of Parliaments wants to cover fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar and former prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The bill grants immunity to all those who committed war crimes even during the Soviet occupation from 1979 to 1989; the civil war that followed until 1996 and during Taliban.

The proposal is waiting to be approved by President Hamed Karzai. Apparently Karzai will opposed to approve this as heard lastly from his spokesman Karim Rahimi that said; the war criminals could forgive by only families of the victims deserve the right to give amnesty to those involved in war crimes, this is also heard by Head of the UN mission in Afghanistan Tom Koenigs.
On Friday February 23, the warlords brought their supporters to an amnesty rally in the Kabul Stadium for the proposed war crimes amnesty. If Karzai approves the amnesty bill to give warlords immunity, the country would be more insecure, and it would ensure the criminals enough safety to continue their crimes and drug trafficking.

If the US and International community want to bring peace and prosperity in Afghanistan they should implement a cleared strategy against gangs of warlords and drug traffickers. The warlords should be taken to the war criminal court in The Hague and punished.
In order to bring peace and normality to Afghanistan, the criminals should be sent to court.
If the US and its alliance want to have support, they should sympathize with Afghanistan’s victims of war. If the Mujahideen (holy warriors) will not be punished, this country won’t gain peace and prosperity.

In HRW: The Battle for Kabul: April 1992 - March 1993
Read Afghan amnesty covers Omar, Hekmatyar here….
Read War crimes immunity bill passes second hurdle here…
Read Afghan warlords in amnesty rally here…
Read war criminals win amnesty vote here…
Read Thousands rally in support of Mujahideen leaders here….
Warrior and peace, is Ahmad Shah Masood a legitimate candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize? here…
Read story from Kazakh an old Soviet Union officer who joined in holy invasion in Afghanistan here…
Read also in Russian language here…
Neweurasia’s Vitaly Mantrov interviewed (RUS) the veteran of the war in Afghanistan here…
Just after September 11 “The Afghan Trap” read here…

May 8, 2007

About Me

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I decided to write something about myself. I want you know me well, especially now that i am writing under my real name. I want to come out of anonymity and be known to my readers. I like to keep my contacts with all firmly, and I like to know what others think about me, my culture, and my society. I want to open a window from my country to the world.

Let me not talk about my miserable living in the past. I am a son of harshness and this made me have quite some life experiments. I am very energetic and happy, happy because I always make very comic chats with people, and make them laugh.

Earlier in my adolescent period I red a book about different behaviors and tempers, but it wasn’t sufficient. I learned to become close with some people at a first glance because I made them laugh and happy. This was owed from a psychological book when for the first time I found an aged book almost omitted parts of it. That was the first time I found an aged book, but it was incomplete. I learned about people’s looks, their face, eyes, teeth, hair, shoulder, neck, chest, butts, legs, ankle, and their ways of walking and talking, it was all there, described in detail.

For example, a person who holds his neck squeezed between his shoulders always behaves like a stubborn guy and some times can be deadly angry. When I was reading the chapters, I was going to find the man in the same status detailed in the book. I found people who have stiff hair or bristled, with strong memory but weak in analyzing. When my research and imaginations I got from the book were becoming true, for a whole week I was frantic with joy. I never forget those people I then saw, their face and smile still flush in me.

Unfortunately I lost the book, when I came back from the northern part of Pakistan, from Peshawar to Kabul, on the way people pressingly advised me to throw it away because the roads were controlled by Taliban insurgents. My co travelers were worried and wanted to avoid everything that could cause any mishap or lead to danger. I didn’t throw my treasure away but kept it hidden, beneath the seat in the van. When I reached Kabul, I checked under the seat, but was disappeared. I assumed one my travelers had thrown it away.
I was very sad for the first days, but then thought that if I have my knowledge from the book, losing it doesn’t mean I that lose that treasure from my mind as well? I convinced myself that I learned enough. I forgot the book and never sobbed or sighed about it again!

I was seriously discovering how people are different and wondering how I could meet good and talented people. Do understand me well, I was trying to find spectacular people for friendship. At this interlude age was not of matter; I found an old man in a refugee camp in northern Pakistan and never left him for a period. He was an unusual and very special person. I felt impressed by him. He influenced me. His face was flushed with pleasure, love and peace. He was my real treasure. He talked from a different world, from mysticism world.

My world is a time drop to melancholia. When I hear a piece of music, I can’t sit, nor keep quiet. Sometimes it emotions me to tears and sometimes when I become overjoyed, I scream, sing and dance. When I for the first time heard ‘Swan Lake’ of Tchaikovsky I didn’t ever forget it anymore. Later I heard ‘Für Elise’ and ‘Symphony nr. 9’ and found a keyboard to play the melodies.

Later, when I shifted to solitude I decided to do some changes. At this stage, I was trying to refresh my relationship, my links with old friends and looking for new ones. It happened many times, that I paid for good friends in my life. I hugged and trusted them.
On the other hand, some of them I always tried to forget, because I didn’t understand for what reason I had contact with them, or with their worlds. I found it useless to talk and spend time with them. Finally I persuaded them to only wave. At the beginning of this year 2007 I decided to be straightforward, clear and serious with myself and the people around me. I excused with many for not contacting them anymore.

I really like to tell stories for children. My favorite story listeners are children. I love them and can follow my past in their eyes, actions, laughter, angers, being so childish without fear and so very keen to learn.

This is some brief information about me. If you have any question to ask me let me know. I’d like that.

I have online interview here:
1) Interview with Globale Voice Online here
2) Interview with Internationalist Magazine here
3) Interview with gair rhydd (Welsh for "free word") is the official student newspaper of Cardiff University, here on page 20th
4) A Dialogue with Roel Verniers Belgiumist writer at Theater of war here
5) My monolog here
6) With Okke Ornstien here

Apr 28, 2007

No home, No food & No Sympathy


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Apr 21, 2007

Press Freedom Under Pressure

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Just a few days ago Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabit ordered the police to arrest a reporter from Tolo TV in Kabul. Sabit told media that he had been misquoted in news about hanging a number of convicts.

The police entered the Tolo TV office where they beated and arrested the three reporters. It was broadcasted live, by and from Tolo TV. The police who were ordered to arrest the journalist, had no official letter or arrest warrant, and were behaving as if they were arresting terrorists and looters.
Since last year, Sabit, a white-bearded man with a kind of embarrassed figure appeared to fight against alcohol and prostitution. Soon, he became famous when he launched a few funny tasks in the name of a revolution against corruption. For a period he was praised in the media, but he was never trusted. He has a dark background of being a member and supporter of Hezb-e-Islami Hekmatiar, a blacklisted terrorist party.

I believe that Abdul Jabar Sabit after his unsuccessful task against corruption became hopeless and nervous. He wanted to become another Afghan national hero like Ahmad Shah Masoud but he couldn’t.
Abdul Jabar Sabit has a faked face in Karzai’s government, in reality he is seen as a drug trafficker. According to General Aminullah Omarkhil, the previous chief of security and customs at Kabul International Airport, Sabit is involved in drugs and smuggling.
Some months ago, when I was working with Okke Ornstein, we interviewed General Omar Khail. He told us he was dismissed from his job after he fired a deputy who was involved in drug trafficking, but who also was a family member of Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabit.

In Afghanistan, it’s very common that officials use their power and don’t have first or second considerations for law. Just a few weeks ago one of the legislator’s bodyguards beated up the traffic police because they didn’t give priority to the MP’s car to pass the road.
This is a serious warning for press freedom when the threats and assaults come to physical abuse of journalists by government and military officials.
More than 100 journalists gathered last Wednesday in front of the Parliament to condemn this action by Attorney General Sabit and called the government for his dismissal.

Apr 14, 2007

Abandoning Anonymity

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Hereafter I decide to write by using my real name. I have already told in my Farsi blog http://kabuli.org/ where I introduced myself completely. This is not a sudden decision. For the last few months I was thinking what I should do; should I stop blogging or continue using my real name? I was receiving death threats on my pseudonym Sohrab Kabuli, used illegally in many websites by someone who used my name in articles which were not mine.

One of the controversies was an offensive against Ahmad Shah Masoud who is known as a national hero in Afghanistan. The article was published at an Afghan-German website based in Germany. After questioning and asking many times my name was removed from the article. I asked them to the reason why my name was used in the article, but they refused to give me a reasonable answer. And again I’ve seen my name being used in a similar situation along with an article supporting the Taliban.

I found no option BUT appearing into the open and write hereafter with my real name: Nasim Fekrat. After this I will take responsibility of my own stuff in both my blogs; English and Farsi. I hope to do more with this freedom of expression experiment which I can’t practice using my pen name. I would have liked to keep writing using a pseudonym but it has impossible for me. I’m sure there is no enemy, but friends, let’s shake hands and laugh at the world and let’s whisper our heartbeats to each other. We are so close, and we only need to smile at each other. Let’s smile and love the freedom, let’s put light in the darkness. I love you all; we can only make the world nice with love and smiles, nothing else to it.

Nasim Fekrat will be writing to you from Kabul, I onlined my Podcast here, so you can listen now. I really like to make interviews with international soldiers in Afghanistan, let me know if you can link me with yours.

Listen to Radio Sohrab:
Announcement


Download from here...

Mar 30, 2007

Nawrooz Festival (New year ceremony)



I am corresponding at the end of the clip from the place where the traditional festival of Nawrooz took place. You can watch my face how i am excited. A huge crowed of people screaming and shouting. Many others running towards the Holey Flag of Hazrat Ali.
The Afghan Calender year starts on March 21.
I am reporting; the tight security reason today is because such worship in the of Taliban was forbidden...

Mar 19, 2007

Interview With Sandra Schäfer

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I met Sandra Schäfer in Kabul and made interview via email whilst she was in Kabul for a short period.
Sandra Schäfer studied Art, Political Sciences and Sociology in Kassel, London and Karlsruhe. She is filmmaker and curator. She lives and works in Berlin. Since 2002 she has been several times in Kabul and Tehran for doing research for her film project Passing the Rainbow and the film festival Kabul/ Teheran 1979ff. She curated film programmes about Afghanistan and Tehran in Belfast, Lüneburg, Karlsruhe and Berlin. Currently she works together with Elfe Brandenburger on the documentary film Passing the Rainbow. She is coeditor of the book Kabul/ Teheran 1979ff: film landscapes, strained cities and migration. The book got published 2006 in the publishing house b_books in Berlin. Films/ videos/ video installations: »Traversée de la Mangroves« (2006), »The Making of a Demonstration« short film (2004), »A country’s new dawn« (2001), »The invisible services« (2000), »The joy of communication, open with an elgant manner« (1999), »England Germany « (1997), »Shift« (1996).

Here is the interview with her in Kabul:
How you start “Kabul-Tehran” book, what you wanted to tell to your readers?

The book Kabul/ Tehran 1979ff: film landscapes, cities under stress and migration is the continuation of a film festival that I organized together with my two colllegues Madeleine Bernstorff and Jochen Becker 2003 in Berlin. It was part of metroZones in ErsatzStadt (substitute city)– a project that focussed on the social and political practices in the cities of the South. We showed 60 films from Afghanistan, Iran and Europe focusing on the changes in the two cities Kabul and Tehran after 1979, the topic of migration and the situation of film making. We invited filmmakers, actresses, sociologists, philosophers and urban planners to discuss these issues. Old films from the archives which had never been shown in Germany before as well as contemporary films of different genres were been screened. Our attempt was to show Afghanistan not only as backdrop of action movies like Rambo 3 but to introduce its own cultural production and the social and political changes through different perspectives.

The book follows up this idea. A long interview with the filmmakers Sidiq Barmak and Ingenieur Latif Ahmadi gives an introduction in the history of Afghani cinema. It is supplemented by a filmography of all Afghani feature films composed by Wahid Nazari and short film descriptions of all movies that were shown during the Kabul/ Teheran-festival. A text by Bettina Schiel and Stefanie Görtz gives an insight into the current film and media production in Kabul. The
architect Zahra Breshna writes about the history of Kabul, the old town and its traditional customs. Ajmal Maiwandi who is responsible for the restauration of Babur Garden at present introduces together with his collegue Anthony Fontenot the different protagonists of the city of Kabul like the refugees, rich returnees, warlords and internationals with their different interests and how they shape the city. The migration researcher Helmut Dietrich analyses how international organisations and governments try to control and manage the moving of the migrants and how the refugees circumvent these regulations. Jochen Becker follows the filmproduction of Afghani filmmakers in Tehran and the representation of Afghani refugees in Afghani as well as in Iranian movies. Excerpts from the book Women of the Afghan war by the Canadian writer Deborah Ellis present the activities of Afghani women inside and outside the country after the Sovetian occupation. A variety of perceptions analyse from different perspectives the changes in Kabul and Tehran after 1979 including Afghani and Irani people living in exile as well as contributions by the second generation or by authors who have grown up in Europe.

What was the opinion support your motivation on two specific region Afghanistan and Iran?
After September 11th I started together with a group of filmstudents to watch Iranian films. We were looking for a different approach to the political discussions at that time and wanted to get to know the situation through the representation in the local film production. Watching the different films, discussing with Iranian people living in Germany and studying the history of Iran with its deep political changes after 1979 and its consequences gave a very contradicrory insight into the present political situation. I started to develop a screenplay for Tehran. The research for this screenplay directed me from Tehran to Kabul where I had the luck to join the making of the film Osama by Sidiq Barmak. That is how I got to know the film making scene in Kabul and how I found out more about the short history of cinema in the country without images. During the last years I could follow the building up of the filmmaking production in Kabul.

The book focusses on the two cities Kabul and Tehran because both of them were deeply changed through the date 1979 – with the revolution and the foundation of the Islamic republique in Iran and the invasion of the Sowjetian army in Afghanistan. The invasion of the Soviets in Afghanistan was the beginnimg of the end of the cold war whereas with the foundation of the Islamic republique Iran the political Islam took shape. These events have influenced world politics until now. Besides this Afghanistan used to be for many years the country with the highest migration rate inside and outside the country. Most of the refugees went to Pakistan and many to Iran where the majority of the male refugees worked on the construction sides and built up the city of Tehran.

How was the interest and reactions of filmmakers in Germany?
Filmmakers in Germany were very interested to find out about Afghani cinema and filmproduction. Many of them did not know that there had existed a film production in Afghanistan since the 60s. And they did not know that there exists a film production now. The film Osama was one of the first Afghani feature films many filmmakers in Germany had ever seen. They are very keen to find out more about the situation in Afghanistan through local productions and to know under which conditions filmmakers work.

Do you interest to print “Kabul-Tehran” to different version languages?
Yes of course. It is a pitty that the book got published only on German as the readership is very limited. It should be translated into English and Dari. But we would need a publisher who would coordinate and support the translation. You can find some texts translated into English on the webpage www.metroZones.info.

What is your plan in cinema arenas in the future?
At the moment I work together with my collegue Elfe Brandenburger on the post production of the film Passing the rainbow. It is a film about acting and women in Afghanistan. We will finish it during the next months. In September 2007 we will organise in collaboration with Afghan film and the Goethe Institute a women film festival in Kabul. In November the festival will take place in Germany. In November 2006 I set up together with Jochen Becker and Elfe Brandenburger at Liquidacion total in Madrid the exhibition Kabulistan. We showed photographs of the daily life in the city of Kabul from 2002 to 2006 and films by Afghani filmmakers like Roya Sadat, Malek Shafi'i or Saba Sahar as well as films by Iranian filmmakers like Azita Damandan or Ali Mohammad Ghasemi about the situation of Afghani refugees on the border to Iran and in Tehran. The film programme got accompanied by the documentary film >Afghanistan 1362 – a cinematic diary made in 1984 by the East German filmmaker Volker Koepp as well as >Dream of Kabul by Wilma Kiener and Dieter Matzka about the Hippies in Kabul and the civil war in the 90s (www.liquidaciontotal.org).

You had visited Afghanistan and its people, how you see them?
When I came to Kabul for my first time in 2002 people were very euphoric and happy about the defeat of the Taliban regime. They were full of hope that the situation would change and improve. During my last stay in Kabul in summer 2006 there were many explosions in the city even attacking the local authorities. Many people were depressed and frustrated because the political situation in the country and even in Kabul was unstable and unsafe and the power of the Taliban throughout the whole country increases. Many people live under bad economical conditions and the situation has not improved as much as they hoped it would do. Although the new constitution is very progressive it shows hardly any effect. Warlords do not want to give up their power and corruption makes it difficult for the society to change. It is a very complicated situation in which I hope that people will not loose patience

Your comments for your Afghan readers:
I can recommend any contribution in the book and look forward to hear the readers comments.

Mar 8, 2007

Afghan women suffer domestic violence (8th March)

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It is not now but a prolonged years especially a dark period of Taliban that Afghan women suffered of violence. Violence not only in out side house but inside. Though afghan men always look to their wives as possessed materials who owned by paying. In Afghanistan women are completely apart of daily live, what the husbands believe to them is too different than western men do.

Sometimes Afghan men beating their wives for nothing just they like it to show their power and anger in his family member. When they feel to beat their wife they do it immediately. Many parents marry their daughters off to wealthy men aged 60 and 70. A shocking story of child bride at the age of four in Kandahar is one example of thousands. Many parents sell their daughters like materials, they are not care where does she goes and what will happened on her. About 57% of Afghan girls are married before the legal marriage age of 16; about 60-80% of marriages are forced.

Hundreds of women are jailed, last year a local reporter said; the prisoners of women prison, are always rape. A lady whispered me that last night five soldiers with Kalashnikov forcedly took me out of prison and raped in their cabin. He said.

A UNIFEM research project suggests that 80 percent of the violence is committed by a family member - husband, father, brother, son. Ten percent of the abuse is committed by women, the study says.
Last year an Afghan man exchanged his young girl with a dog. Tens of others sold for just one thousands dollar. The situation for Afghan women is deteriorating everyday not only in society but domestically.

Feb 18, 2007

Street children in Jalalabad city


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Jan 30, 2007

Bloody Ashura in Kabul

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Ashura, the 10th of Muharram is a holy day for Muslims and especial day for Shi’a. This day is a remarkable day of Muharram in Islamic calendar, the day of mourning for the martyrdom of Hussian the son Ali and the grandson of Muhammad in the unequal battle of Karbala in the year 61 (AD 680).

Hussain was the son of Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatima in which Muhammad said: Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain, may God love whoever loves Hussain. Apparently Hussain with his 72 colleagues whom were all from his own family and relatives killed in the battle took place in Karbala in the land of Iraq on the shore of the Euphrates River.

Ashura is a fasting day for Sunni Muslims; they cook food such as Nazr and distribute it to their neighbors and poor people. In Afghanistan, Sunni take this as a holy day; they respect and believe in the sacrifice of Hussain, the grandson of Mohammad.

Last year Ashura was a bloody day in Herat, the ceremony turned to violence and killed tens of people. This year in all circles and Takyakhana where the people hold the ceremony they were taking tight security measures.
This year in Ashura, the priests of both sides, Shi’a and Sunni, had speeches including the government authorities, legislators, leaders and President Karzai.

As you see in the video, people are beating on their backs, shoulders and chests with sharp knives at the end of chains. They make bloody like, slaughtering to show their feelings in Ashura and Hussain’s martyrdom. Although making bloody is banned from Shi’a Muslim leaders but this still goes on and never stopped. This is not only for the people in Afghanistan but different countries like; Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine and Iran.

I got a chance to ask questions of a few of them - why are they beating and making bloody.
A young man said; I have wishes to gain, before I bloody myself I have reasons for that. When I asked him to tell me what your wishes, he to me; is I want to get marry, I don’t have money.

Another told me I am not using chains with the sharp knifes at the end because I last year I did in order to get the result but I didn’t.

Some people believe using chains with the sharp knifes at the end is a passion more than mourning on Husian and his 72 colleagues sacrifice. Many get naked in public and want to show their body and arms. Some times if you asked them the reason they will give you no reason except their personal nonsense beliefs.

Look at the pictures of Ashura here

Jan 25, 2007

Died from exposure

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Children are playing soccer by the river of Kabul, while others are running on the streets to sell matches, cigarettes and plastic bags in order to earn money for their families.

This winter, three children with their mothers died from exposure, who were lying down in front of a giant building in which the bottom contained the Cinema Pamir, a place which shows Indian Bollywood films.
Not very far away are UN offices and other international NGOs who drive by in their modern luxury cars every day.

Jan 21, 2007

I Need help

I am working on my Podcast to launch it as soon as I can. I would broadcast in two languages: English and Farsi. Programs will be different like, interviews, discussion with civilian and international, may be if I had access to ISAF military I will go to them to interview and also US military in Afghanistan. I had already contact with two US military commanders but lost them. If you have any contacts with them please provide me. I would also have Video Podcast from Kabul and some times in rural areas. But you shouldn’t expect me good quality in Video because I am catching video with 5.00Mig handy camera that I always use it for my photography.

What I need is your help. First, if anyone knows about jingles, sound effects and soft harsh melodies to use in my Radio Sohrab

Second, I kindly asking you if anyone knows how to make the Paypal account. Third, how is it possible to get Net MD recorder or any voice recorder I will pay through western union bank, because in Afghanistan these tools are not available.