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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

Skateistan 2008, the first unofficial skate jam!

Monday, March 31, 2008

What a monumentus day!

The original skateistan crew cruised down to their ol' stomping ground, the Amani School. Where we were unfortunately told we couldn't skate in their grounds due to the rise in security levels at all school.
Hhhhmmm. They did allow us to use their car park, conveniently situated next to the presidents office though!

Hameed injured himself the night before. But he was was stoked after I presented him and the rest of the boys with their new T-shirts!

The boys jumped straight into it, with Masoud determined to land his first ever and Afghanistan's first ever ollie.

Nabil took the first fall like a true Afghan man would.

Wasn't long before the kids came up wanting a go.

Naaser from the class of 2007, took a break from his day job as a beggar to have a ride.

Then I got a call from Guinness Book of Records. Sir, we heard that you witnessed the first ever female Afghan skateboarder!

That's right....Sir, she is ripping it up, right now.

Two minutes later I got another call. Sir now they're telling us you have seen the first ever blind Afghan man ride a skateboard!

If this is what we can do, with three boards and a car park, imagine what we can do once we have the 30 boards, 50 pairs of shoes and a skate park!

What a day.....
posted by Travis, 10:01 pm | link | 13 comments |

Knocking on Heavens Door

Prepare for radioactive fallout from US nuclear attack on Iran

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran's borders, a high-ran king security source said Tuesday.
"The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran," the official said.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran "that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost."
He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Rumors from Russia continue to swirl that the Cheney-Bush junta has decided to bomb Iran on April 4th or 6th, targeting not only nuclear-power research facilities but ships, planes, antiaircraft installations, and the Iranian pentagon. Apparently the nuclear-power reactor being built by Russian companies will be spared, but not much else.
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posted by Travis, 1:55 pm | link | 0 comments |

Woops: NZ soldiers face court martial over alleged hashish use

2:35PM Friday March 28, 2008 New Zealand Herald
Six soldiers have been shipped out of Afghanistan back to New Zealand to face drug charges at a court martial.

The New Zealand Defence Force said the six members from the Provincial Reconstruction Team contingent in Afghanistan had returned to New Zealand on remand for trial by court martial for alleged drug use.
Six junior personnel are alleged to have used the Class B drug hashish, at the PRT base in Bamyan Province.

Kiwi troops seized drug shipments and burnt them outside their NZ army barracks, despite an unofficial policy to leave the drug shipments alone.
NZ Army Land Component Commander Brigadier Dave Gawn said a thorough investigation into the allegations resulted in the charges being laid.

The six will be disciplined if they are found to have used drugs.
Disciplinary action might result in a fine, jail sentence or dismissal.
The 107-strong reconstruction team is tasked with assisting in security and reconstruction in Bamyan Province.
posted by Travis, 9:15 am | link | 3 comments |

Skateistan Fund Raiser Triumphs!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last Saturday night Northcote, Melbourne, Australia we held our first skateistan fund riaser. We kicked off at 7 pm and celebrated until 4 am, with tunes of some awesome bands and DJs, an auctions, a skate jam (where I almost broke both legs!) and a lot of loving in the air.

The energetic punters raised $3000 for Skateistan. This money will go towards building our ramp and paying for the rent of the premises in Kabul. I landed in Kabul 3 days ago and thanks to the help of the punters I can now go and source us a gnarly location for the skate school.

I want to thank everyone who came along to support and a big thank you to all our volunteers who helped get skateistan onto the main stage. Without their help, this could not have been possible

Below are some images from the night:

Volunteers Donna ans Erika man the door.

Co-founder Oliver and offical photographer Ben get into the spirit of Skateistan.

Jarrah and Jim Cocks, Chris Percovich selling drinks and T-shirts.

MC "Seedy" and Travis auction off some prizes to the hungry crowd.

The Insurgents rock the night away.
posted by Travis, 3:47 pm | link | 1 comments |

Facebook The Movie! Coming soon to a cinema near you

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I posted a very interesting article about facebook a while back. I received some interesting comments, but I know a lot of people just didn't bother reading the (too long) 3000 word article.

So the link below is for the lazy surfers out there who need facts spoon fed to them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wogtTQs8Kzw
posted by Travis, 3:29 pm | link | 4 comments |

2008. The year of the Skate

I happily flew back into Kabul yesterday. The sweet smell of exotic spices, burning hashish and cheap petrol tickled my nose as we drove into town. I hooked up with my Afghan crew, gave and got the low down and then made the call.

"Fardin-Jan, how are you? I am good, yes my family is good and yes my time in Australia was very nice. How are you? How is your family? How is your health? Good, hey, how is Lolita (my motorcycle)? Good, can you bring her over?"

Within half an hour I was cruising the streets of Kabul again. (Or maybe it was more like dodging and weaving.) But either way I was happy to be riding around on my Super Kabul motorbike again.


So back in Kabul for another year. I think this year will be even more interesting than last. Both because of the ever-changing situation of Afghanistan and also because of the projects we have lined up for 2008.

So, expect more colourful image capturing from the Aina Photojournalism Institute. Watch the building and implementation of the first ever skateboarding school in Afghanistan (skateistan.org). And bask in the beauty of Afghanistan as we ride around with the Afghan Angels Motorcycle Club.

And that's just to wet your appetite!

Looking forward to bringing a fresh, factual, and funky view of one of the best countries in the entire world.

Kabul Korrespondence (Unofficial new name of this blog!)
T
posted by Travis, 2:49 pm | link | 0 comments |

"ITS ALIVE!" The Cyberation of Skateistan.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hello all

We are proud to announce that SKATEISTAN is now LIVE!

skateistan.org



PLUS you can listen to us on the wireless!

ABC RADIO NATIONAL
http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/current/audioonly/aks_20080316.mp3

2SER
http://www.mypodcast.com/fsaudio/ellice_20080310_1800-192585.mp3

Also a live interview on RRR (102.7 FM) this Tuesday the 18th from 10.30 AM

AND
check out: http://www.northcoteleader.com.au/article/2008/03/17/31461_ptv_news.html

PLUS
Come to our fund raiser this Saturday
Flyer in previous post below!

So Type, Tune, Make an Appearance.

OR GO WILD AND DO 'EM ALL!

Travis Beard
Media Dept

skateistan@gmail.com
www.skateistan.org

+61 0424 569149
+93 0700 286215
posted by Travis, 10:12 am | link | 3 comments |

TALIBAN FACE APACHE APOCALYPSE

Daily Star 
By Neil Chandler 
16th March 2008
The British Army is about to unveil its most destructive weapon yet for the war in Afghanistan. Apache helicopters will be armed with missiles that kill the enemy by crushing their lungs, sinuses, ears and intestines. The next-generation weapons have been slammed by human rights campaigners as “particularly brutal”. But gunship crews in Afghanistan are looking forward to delivery of the AGM-114N Hellfire thermobaric missile. They say it will give them extra ability to kill Taliban hiding in caves and bunkers. Makers of the missile boast it can destroy the first floor of a building – and everyone in it – while leaving upper floors untouched. When it hits its target it releases a fine cloud of aluminium particles which spreads and burns far more effectively than a normal bomb.


A CIA report said: “The effect of the explosion within confined spaces is immense. “Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs and possible blindness.”
Another US government report said: “It is possible victims are not rendered unconscious by the blast but instead suffer before suffocating.”
Thermobaric weapons are horrible, critics say. A February 2000 Human Rights Watch report said: “These weapons kill and injure in a particularly brutal manner over a wide area.” The Ministry of Defence is touchy on the use of thermobaric weapons. It has denied a new shoulder-launched bunker-busting missile is thermobaric, instead calling it an “enhanced blast munition”. Back in 2002 then MoD minister Lewis Moonie said: “There are no thermobaric weapons in service with the British Army and we have no plans to procure any.”
posted by Travis, 9:56 am | link | 0 comments |

Skateistan Goes Public!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

MEDIA RELEASE 06.03.08
SKATEISTAN© Afghan Skate School
Benefit Gig 22.03.08




Skateistan is Afghanistan’s first dedicated co-educational skateboarding school. The project will engage with the growing numbers of urbanised Afghan youth in Kabul through skateboarding and provide new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction and education. The school will teach more than 100 students from a range of different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Student capacity will be developed in skateboarding, skateboarding instruction, project management, life skills and English. Our aim is to develop a program that empowers youth to take leadership on issues important to them and build networks countering ethnic barriers.

The three founding Melbourne born members of Skateistan: Oliver Percovich, Sharna Nolan and Travis Beard are staging a benefit gig to raise funds and awareness for the project. The 303 Bar in Northcote will host an array of musical entertainment, such as: Bass Bin Laden, The Insurgents, The Wasp Factory, Aux 1 and MC’s, Gluefoot + more T.B.A. Details: 303 Bar, 22/03/08 6 - 1 pm, 303 High Street, Northcote, 3067

There will also be a photo exhibition of images from the pioneering days of Skateistan in 2007. We will hold an auction of prizes donated by Black Box, Crumpler, Lonely Planet and Argusphotography. Merchandise such as T-shirts, badges and stickers will be on sale.

100% of all proceeds from the benefit will go towards the first months of operation in Kabul, which will commence in April 2008.

Supporting organizations:
Black Box Distribution, 303 Bar, YMCA Victoria, Convic, Crumpler, Lonely Planet, Argusphotography, AADO: Afghan Australian Development Organisation

For more information please contact:
Travis Beard
Media liaison
Ph: 0424 569 149, 0400 094 194
Email: skateistan@gmail.com

posted by Travis, 10:14 am | link | 13 comments |