Jun 29, 2007



Jun 11, 2007

Two women journalist killed

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

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

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

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 27, 2007

No home, No food & No Sympathy


Apr 21, 2007

Press Freedom Under Pressure

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

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:

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

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)


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


Jan 30, 2007

Bloody Ashura in Kabul


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 24, 2007

Died from exposure


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.

Jan 14, 2007

Cock Figh in Kabul


Cock fighting is a new sport in Afghanistan; it dates back years ago, not only in Afghanistan but throughout Europe, Latin America and Asian countries.

Morgh Janngi which means cock fighting is a traditional winter sport as is dog, Camel fighting and donkey racing. In Morgh Janngi, men (only) come from all over Afghanistan to enter their prized cocks in the Kabul arena. Morgh Janngi is highly complex in its rules, brutal in its savagery and can be expensive for the gamblers involved. Most competitors have a non-formal support group of men who help raise the stakes in betting and argue for or against a decision of which cock wins. The cocks fight until blood is drawn, then the owner will pull his chicken out of the ring, for repairing the animals wounds and refreshing its vitality with a mouth of water, blown into the cocks face.

The competition is not cheap, men risk money on the result of each fight, sometimes betting 100,000 to 200,000Afghanis ($2,000 - $4,000 US). Sometimes the betting exchange becomes so heated that groups will bet amount exceeding $5,000.

See the rests of Cock fight pictures
here and the gallery here

Jan 5, 2007

Kabul Express

An offensive parts of Kabul Express a Bollywood Movie which released on December 15, 2006 by Kabir Khan an Indian documentary filmmaker. This video record after september 11 but it's very weird that they are following the story so cruelly. For example part of this film is about Hazara people which always humiliated and genocide in the country. Part of the movie is focused on them and telling how the Hazara are wildest than US troops plane.
The movie is a complete humiliation and insolence for Afghanistan in common and Hazara in particular. In the movie, they refer to Hazara as bandits, looters and sodomites.

Dialogue of the movie

- If we escaped from the Americans, we can not escape from Hazaras.
- What is Hazara?
- This area belons to Hazara mujahideen. They are the most dangerous tribe of Afghanistan. Looting is their business.
- What’s he murmuring?
- He says they are Indian journalists. They were kidnapped by Taliban. The Taliban escaped.
- Keep smiling at them… I feel something is wrong.
- Take them
- take them to the commander.
- Commander, they are journalists…
- What if they are journalists? We take them.
- He says he is the man of a great commander. He takes you to make a report about Taliban.
- Not you! These two.
- He says I am not needed… you have to go.
- Be careful.
- What is going on?
- They were Hazaras. They would have looted and naked you. Then would have hit you in the head with the nail. Then would have sold your car in Pakistan.
- Light a cirgarette!
- Thanks for saving our life.
- No need for thanks. If you got killed, getting on the road might have been difficult for me.
- Son of a bitch! What’s the difference between you and these dogs? You people can shoot anyone for your interest…Bastard! You pissed in front of me. Now I will shoot you and throw you among these dogs… before dying, tell who started the war first?
- We did!
- What?
- Pakistan…
- Take his gun!

Dec 28, 2006

Small shepherd in central part of Afghanistan


Dec 19, 2006

On the course of Silk Road

The biggest pass which created fairs and favor to travelers was the “Haji Yaqub” pass. The Haji Yaqub pass is the biggest and the highest one. We already had passed lots of others. The pass was filled with snow and it was stormy. An old traveler with his wife who came pilgrimage was behind me, they were telling weird words of God’s names and lots of others whom are followed by lots of people like prophet and imam. They were asking God’s help repeatedly.

When we were going to a slope and reached almost the end, the old man behind me shouted “Oh! There, the smoke comes up from the house We survived!”

The other whispered, “Yes we really survived. This was the most dangerous pass not only difficulty with snow, but robbers too.” They pulled their hands up, spelling words of Arabic and thanked god.

More than two hours later we were going into the darkness. The narrow road caused a traffic-jam and we stopped until the others left the road. After a few hours we reached a small coffee shop, which was almost full. There was only one room, where food was served. It had also a place for sleeping. I asked people where we were and what the name of the place stood for.

“This place is called Sarayee Markhanah” said the owner of the coffee shop. He told me the long history of this road and the “Sarayee”. He insisted that this was one of the roads linked with Asian countries.

I didn’t have a voice recorder to record the story. He was very old, almost 80 years old.
I realized that I am on one of the Silk Road routes. The Silk Road is the famous route where the Asian countries linked together. The Silk Road recently became a symbolic political aim for the western world to follow their worldwide political strategies in central Asia. Today, this road has a lot of specific signs telling its history.

“Sarayee” is a Farsi word meaning a big garage with lots of rooms for travelers and their horses. Lots of custodians took care of the luggage. People came from Japan and other Asian countries, through this route to India.

Several Sarayee still have their signs for counting time and distance. For example from this Sarayee to another one takes a whole day walking until the next one is reached.
I just asked the people and they named a few of them like: “Sarayee kotal onai”, “Sarayee duzdqol”, “Sarayee saisang”, “Sarayee Du Sang”, “Sarayee Markhanah” and “Sarayee Kotale Mullah yaqub”.

In the books written by historical writers, the Silk Road continues until Bamian but the end seems lost, it’s never mentioned where it goes after that. The reason why the history writer couldn’t follow continuing the Silk Road is still not mentioned and it remains anonymous.
But now I am on the route of one of the Silk Roads and in one of the famous Sarayees with the name of “Sarayee Markhanah”. I am writing this post from a coffee shop in this Sarayee. I don’t know the name of coffee shop. My travelers and others who came late in the evening are all sleeping. I am writing my diary and two others are talking about their adventures of being in different frontlines of fights during the Soviet Union invasion.

This place is in “Behsood” district, part of “Maidan Wardak” province. The room is almost 5x10m, more than 25 people sleep stuck to each other. Their breath makes me think of the sound of a generator, but not normal.

Tomorrow I should follow my way to the destination and step by step get it gets clear where I am going. I never before stepped around here, or heard the name of these places.

I just went to the toilet; I saw a young boy shivering out of the door, wearing a summer suit. “From which tropical climate you came here?” I asked him. “From behind the backside of this hill, called Gurdam, just 30 minutes walking” he answered. “How did you come here? By car or walking?” I asked him. “I came by walking here, there is no road where a car can pass, but a motorcyclist can get through the narrow passage.” He answered.

He told me there is a big valley, where 3500 people live, “But we don’t have road, we don’t have a clinic, we don’t have schools.” I asked him if they don’t have a hospital where they take their patients. “Mostly they die, but it happens rarely that they are taken to a hospital for treatment, because the hospital is so far from our place. The nearest hospital is 60 kilo meter away from us”, he said.

Almost sixty thousand people, and they have to take their patients to Tagab hospital in Behsood.
This is after five years of Karzai government.

In the last five years billions of dollars were spent in Afghanistan, but if you ask the people if they ever received any help from the government, they answer, “we think we are forgotten and we are probably not from Afghanistan.”

Dec 17, 2006