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Kabul Korrespondence

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

Flying by the seat of my pants

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Flew in from Tehran at 6am yesterday, ran around town in search of gear for the gig and then rocked Relax Guest house from 10 pm til 2am.

About to fly out to Europe for 2 weeks to attend the 20th year of Visa L'Image photojournalism festival.

I promise once I have a spare day with a good high speed European connection I will update you all on whats been going on

Bon Voyage

posted by Travis, 8:23 pm | link | 3 comments |

Introducing the band:

WHITE CITY: Afghanistan's only rock band are:

On Sax and in search of the ultimate groupie: Diego

On Guitar and the king of 1,000,000 riffs: Archie

On trumpet and harmonica and general vocal graffiti: Clement

On drums and still listening to the Jethro Tull: Andreas

On vocals and general good behavior: Pernille

And on bass lil' ol' rocker: Me

Let there be rock every where

posted by Travis, 11:07 am | link | 0 comments |

Forbidden Music in Iran

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hello all, I am currently in Iran doing a story on forbidden music scene in Tehran. The powers that be here, have outlawed most western music (and my blog account: hence no postings for the lasts weeks, sorry!)

With punishment of imprisonment, whipping and even death (for females singing solo in public) as hurdles in front of them, there is still a healthy community rocking and rolling in underground studios.

I was here last year when a public concert was busted by the police and around 200 people were arrested. Some Iranians were detained for up to 3 weeks and the powers that be dubbed the concert a meeting of the DEVILS PRAYERS!

I have returned this year to see how the bands are faring; Some have left the country in search of stages and crowds to play their music to, while others are determined to stay here and help build some kind of music scene here.....

I was also lucky enough to play with some of the bands here.

Thanx guys, RESPECT

Tehrani's ROCK ON!

posted by Travis, 2:46 pm | link | 12 comments |

&*£@ hits the fan in Afghanistan

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Its been a mad couple of weeks in Afghanistan:

Taliban insurgents mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting in Afghanistan over the last two days, including a co-ordinated assault by at least 10 suicide bombers against one of the largest American military bases in the country.

In the near by district of Surobi, just 30 km south of Kabul about 100 insurgents attacked and killed 10 elite French paratroopers.

There were also several rockets fired at Kabul ISAF base and the airport this week.

And last week two Canadian and one Brit aid workers were killed while travelling in Logar province.

Today Sarkozy arrives in Kabul......

Im currently in Iran and safe.

posted by Travis, 12:38 pm | link | 3 comments |

Our beloved Wakhan is in danger!

Afghanistan expects road link with China
-- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday that Afghanistan is interested in building a road in Wakhanto connect with China. Karzai said this after returning home from Beijing.

Karzai, who attended the inaugural ceremony of Olympic Games on Aug. 8 in Beijing, added that he exchanged views with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao during his visit and briefed him about the willingness of Afghans on constructing the road.

Wakhan corridor in the mountainous Pamir area connects Afghanistan's North Eastern Badakhshan province to China's Xingjian Uygur Autonomous Region. Linking Afghanistan with China through road in Wakhan would enhance trade and economic activities in the region, the President said.......

Not good.....
posted by Travis, 11:57 am | link | 0 comments |

Aina Photo Agency Officially Launched!

The Aina Photo Agency (A.P.A.) proudly opened its new offices this week. The 100% Afghan owned and run agency specialises in images of Afghanistan taken by Afghans: "Through Afghan Eyes" is our slogan.

I along with Karin were proud to host the ceremony that was attended by many of our photographers and other press corp in Kabul.

A.P.A. is going to launch itself internationally at the 20th Visa Por Image Photojournalism Festival in the South of France next month.

So if your going along, please look out for our stand in the 'Collectives Room" in the main conference hall.
posted by Travis, 11:54 am | link | 11 comments |

Woops wrong hostages......

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wardak, Nirkh District
Abduction Threat:

Further information indicates the abductors were likely local AOG who mistakenly thought the abductees were from a construction company working on a road construction project.

The abductees’ car was stopped by armed men on a motorbike. Their mobile phones were confiscated and they were taken blindfolded by car to another location.

When the abductors were informed of the actual work the abductees were performing, they apologized for the abduction and fed the abductees.

Local elders who had heard of the abduction met with the abductors. After discussion with the elders, the abductors indicated their approval of their work. The abductees were released unharmed, and their car was returned along with all their belongings.

You gotta laugh at how mad this place is sometimes....

posted by Travis, 3:11 pm | link | 0 comments |

Mullah Bombar

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

In Paktika province, which adjoins Ghazni, two men were killed when a waistcoat they were packing with bombs for use in a suicide attack exploded, the government said.

"The Two mullahs (prayer leaders) were killed when a suicide vest they were building went off prematurely," the interior ministry's Zemarai Bashary said.


posted by Travis, 8:28 am | link | 0 comments |

Afghan Journo freed

Monday, August 04, 2008

Authorities have freed an Afghan journalist who was detained after alleged criticism of top government officials, but he has been charged with seeking bribes from ministers, his station said Thursday.

The intelligence service arrested Nasir Fayaz, presenter of an outspoken TV programme called "Haqiqat" or "The Truth" on privately-owned Ariana TV, on Monday, a day after the airing of part of his show.

Authorities alleged the show, in which commentators were invited to give their opinions about developments in the country, had insulted certain ministers. It was halted mid-broadcast on orders of the intelligence agency.

"Mr Fayaz was freed Wednesday unconditionally," Abdul Qadir Mirzai, the chief news editor and a spokesman for Ariana, told AFP.He had been charged "demanding a bribe" from Commerce Minister Mohammad Amin Farhang and a 24-hour power supply for his home from Energy Minister Mohammad Ismail Khan, he added.

President Hamid Karzai and his cabinet had discussed the show at a regular ministers meeting Monday where the reporter was accused of "insulting" top government officials, according to a government statement released Tuesday.
posted by Travis, 4:18 pm | link | 3 comments |

Afghan bride, groom among 13 killed in bomb blast

Sunday, August 03, 2008

KABUL (AFP) - A suspected rebel bomb struck a minibus carrying a newly married couple in Afghanistan Saturday, killing the bride and groom and 11 wedding guests, police said, in the latest in a wave of insurgent attacks.

The device that blew up the wedding party in the southern province of Kandahar was likely planted to target security forces, provincial police chief Mutiullah Khan said.

"A roadside bomb exploded under a minibus carrying a bride and groom. Thirteen people including the bride and the groom were martyred," he said.

posted by Travis, 8:46 pm | link | 0 comments |