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Visiting Afghanistan

Jayboy

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Hi there fellow Stylenerds,

I recently filed an application to go to Kabul and work for a charity organization called Skateistan, who takes kids between 7-17 and teach them to skateboard, and at the same time put them into school.

Usually this spot requries a 6 months stay, but i talked to them and ask for a 6 weeks stay, and i i payed my own ticket, they would take care of the rest. So now Im waiting for a final answer, which could be up to two weeks. If i get the go, ill go after June.

Anyways, the biggest reason for going is photography, i wanna cover the project, but there are other stuff i want to do as well, like going to the Kabul Mental-institution, graveyards, factorys and kiteflying and so on.

Being not the usually place to visit, i might not find anyone here to help me out.. But. Questions. And more questions.

What to wear for a starter? Wont be walking down the street in Lanvins you know.. Whats the best for blending in?

Moving around as a westerner, difficulty, security and so on?

What to bring?

And so on.. Just fill in anything of interest.

So. Anyone who been to Afghanistan here?
 

usnawolfe

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I've spent a good deal of time in Afghanistan, but not too much in Kabul. Your best bet is to get in touch with the person you'll be replacing or someone who has done the job; the organization should be able to get you in touch or provide some form of guidelines. You're going to stick out, but it's more important to not become an easy target from a security perspective. I don't know what the organization has worked out, but if you avoid developing a predictable routine (if you walk/drive/practice the same route every day you're making it very easy to plan your demise) you'll reduce some of the major threats. Bring sturdy clothing, and pack for both cold and warm weather. You'll be able to pick up more "authentic" garb in country, if you really want to, but again don't plan on fooling the locals nationals. Remember, bad guys in the area don't care if you carry a camera or a weapon so never get complacent or feel too secure when it comes to safety. Enjoy your trip.
 

Rugger

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Good luck safely taking pictures.
 

ratboycom

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Good luck! Skateistan is one of my favorite NPOs and they do great work.
As for clothes, most people wear normal western style clothes (think jeans and shirts). Stick with that and you will be fine. Kabul is a moderately safe place, but I believe you will still get some security escort for the most part. There are a couple luxury hotels in the city (you will likely be put up in company dorms or something though), one is known for getting attacked all the time, the others never get touched. I suggest you stay away from that one, I cant think of what it is called right now.

Enjoy lots of the food there, its all really good and really cheap, especially the pomegranates, super super good.
 

Nereis

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The only way I'd be willing to go to Afghanistan as a civilian is if I have a crack squad of ex-SF guys from Blackwater following me around. You're a better man than me.
 

IndianBoyz

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Visit the huge pre-Islamic Buddha statues.
 

tiger02

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Originally Posted by IndianBoyz
Visit the huge pre-Islamic Buddha statues.
With a time machine. Kabul is fine, just don't go places frequented by foreigners and don't get close to any security forces. Keep your elbows and knees covered at all times. Don't dress like a power ranger and don't dress like you used to be in the military. Frye & RMWilliams serve me well. There are plenty of videos kicking around about Skateistan. Wear what they wear. Olivier will be the one to tell you where to stay and how to move around because you will be his insurance risk. If I had to guess: that is the reason he has a 6-month minimum and you will have to prove to him that you're providing enough value to justify the risk. It's not just about funding--you can get here from Europe for under $2k. The insurance hit if you get killed is the problem. Also, Skateistan very much has a long term vision. Hosting tourists for six weeks doesn't necessarily fit that vision. There's always the option of coming as a journalist and covering them once you're here. The summer is hot, dry, dusty. You'll miss pomegranate season if you're only here six weeks and the good pomegranates go straight from Kandahar to Pakistan anway. Look for melons instead. Eat Qabuli palau, chopan kebab, mantu, anything with saffron. The food is great but tends towards the greasy. If you are serious about covering factories then email me off the forum. Good luck. Thanks for the link Matt Tom
 

IndianBoyz

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Don't go chase any girls but I heard Chinese massage parlor girls might be available if you're really desperate.
 

Eason

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JayBoy you've got brass ******* balls. One of the most dangerous places on Earth, no women, only upside is food? Better man than I.
 

impolyt_one

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you white people do some crazy stuff to get your rocks off
redface.gif
 

Jayboy

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Thanks everyone for the feedback, didn't think i would get any. And for you talkin about the craziness of going, there are more important things that yourself in this world, never forget that.
 

Nil

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Not to belittle the OP, but with everything that's messed up with Afghanistan, I never figured on their lack of skate parks to be one of the things people should focus on.
 

Jayboy

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Originally Posted by Nil
Not to belittle the OP, but with everything that's messed up with Afghanistan, I never figured on their lack of skate parks to be one of the things people should focus on.
Its not so much about the lack of skateparks or skateboarding in general thats the main focus of Skateistan. Its mere a ventilationhole for young people to go to have fun and build a confidence and to get a chance to go back to school. Not to mention all the girls who go there and can feel equal to the boys and what it does for their confidence. The peace and prosperity of Afghanistan wont come trough guns in the end, but of todays young Afghanistan's. You need to look outside the box
satisfied.gif
Check this link out and maybe you grasp the concept a little better: To Live and skate Kabul
 

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