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SCENE

AFGHAN
ISSUE 62 - SEPTEMBER 2009

Lost Gold The amazing
story of Afghanistan’s hidden treasure
A Scene Special

Afghan Scene September 2009

SCENE
AFGHAN
ISSUE 61 - AUGUST 2009

Afghan Scene September 2009 Afghan Scene September 2009

Contents Introduction

Publisher: Afghan Scene Ltd, Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul, Afghanistan Manager & Editor: Afghan Scene Ltd, Kabul, Afghanistan Design: Kaboora Production Advertising: sales@afghanscene.com Printer: Emirates Printing Press, Dubai Contact: info@afghanscene.com / www.afghanscene.com Afghan Scene welcomes the contribution of articles and / or pictures from its readers. Editorial rights reserved.

7 Introduction 11 The maths professor of Kabul David Gill introduces us to a another extroardinary character from his ongoing Kabul at Work project. 16 SCENE SPECIAL - Lost then Found Matthew Leeming, Christina Lamb, Bijan Omrani and Joanie Meharry introduce the dazzling artefacts of the Kabul Museum and unpick the extraordinary history of a treasure trove once feared missing but which is now wowing museum goers the world over.

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34 The play’s the thing A harrowing piece of experimental theatre that draws on the horror of Afghanistan’s wars is explored by Emily Winterbotham. 40 The Venice collection Jemima Montagu on the exhibition she helped to organise of Afghan, Pakistani and Iranian work currently on show in the Italian lagoon city. 44 Kaboul Disco: The Return Nicolas Wild is back by popular demand with another English instalment of his graphic novel about love, life and security restrictions in Kabul.

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54 Be Scene Everyone’s favourite party pictures from Kabul’s best bashes. 60 Springfield chicken Restaurant sleuth Rosemary Stasek goes on the hunt for a decent pizza. 64 Lighter Scene Top secret government intercepts, revealed 66 Classifieds Got something to sell or buy? Fortunately Scene’s all new small ad section is here for you. 68 Farewell Scene A fond farewell to Afghanistan survivor Joanna Nathan.

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72 Afghan Essentials A super-sized directory of the best restaurants and hotels in Kabul. Afghan Scene September 2009

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Introduction

Scene 2.0
I
t takes two to tango – and nowhere is that the community it serves. If you want to write more true than in the relationship between something or suggest an idea, just drop the a magazine and its readers. editors an email at the address below. Take, for example, the humble Or contact us through our groovy new publication you are currently holding. It would Facebook page, where you will also find a slowly not exist without a community of people developing digital archive of back issues. Leave who care deeply about the country they find your thoughts on the wall, or pictures from the themselves living and working in. Kabul party circuit for inclusion in BeScene. You are both the consumers and providers And if you’ve ever fancied yourself as a of all our top notch articles, photos and even photographer, why not take part in the Afghan cartoons about all things Afghan. Scene photography competition – just email your Members of that Afghan scene, past, present best pictures of Afghanistan to the editors. � and honorary have all contributed to this edition. editor@afghanscene.com In our Bactrian Gold special section we have articles by Afghanistan veteran Matthew Leeming, long-time friend of the country Christina Lamb and Bijan Omrani who knows more about Afghanistan’s history than most people and yet has never visited. Joanna Nathan also writes movingly about her years of living in a place where she made so many friends. Our friends at Langley have also passed on a top secret diplomatic telegram which we are “My sources tell me you’re not happy with you job, so we’ve delighted to print. decided to put the war on hold, forget about profit and make But we want more, much more so the your happiness our number one priority...” magazine can truly reflect the diversity of

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Scene Team
Afghan Scene September 2009

Afghan Scene September 2009

Farewell scene

Afghan Scene Magazine is proud to showcase work from the best photographers in Afghanistan
Jay Lamey is an Australian journalist who arrived in Afghanistan after four years based in Thailand, where he worked in print and broadcast media as well as community development

Contributors

David Gill is a British writer, photographer and videogrpher focusing on a social documentary and overseas development. His current book project Kabul, a City at Work is a selection over 100 original portraits. web.mac.com/shot2bits/work

Harry Cole is a cad and a bounder. A former guards officer in the British army he’s now a raconteur, wit and man about town who juggles security and logistics in between scribbling Scene’s pocket cartoons.

AfghanITT Limited is a SMB Cisco Select Certified Partner in Afghanistan so you can be sure of getting genuine Cisco equipment with standard warranty and a host of other benefits. Benefits to working with SMB Cisco Select Certified Partner like AfghanITT: • Value: Our certification will ensure your needs are fulfilled through an emphasis on delivering value-added services for the SMB market. • Proven technical expertise: AfghanITT is a Cisco Certified Partner with sales and technical expertise in switching, routing, security and wireless solutions for SMB customers, allowing them to deliver the new solutions you demand. • Focus on customer satisfaction: With access to the same online customer satisfaction evaluation tools Cisco uses to evaluate its own performance, we can identify strengths and develop targeted plans to serve your needs.
Learn how Cisco is helping transform businesses. Contact AfghanITT today. Call +93 799 622 868 or email info@afghanitt.com to find out more.

Ash Sweeting is a freelance photojournalist, videographer, climber and adventurer. After over five years working all over Afghanistan he is still working on an exit strategy, but is yet to find anywhere as good. www.ashsweeting.com

Almost all of the photographs and cartoons featured in Afghan Scene are available for sale direct from the artists. Most of them are available for commissions, here and elsewhere. If you would like to contribute to Afghan Scene, or if you can’t get hold of a contributor, please contact editor@afghanscene.com.

PARTNER Select Certified

Who was that foreign looking fellow, insisted on seeing the plans?

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Kabul at work

The

manwith a
“Y
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mathematical plan
ou don’t have to be crazy to live here... but it helps”. This over used office slogan is more apt here than anywhere else in the world. According to the UN some 60 per cent of the population are suffering some form of post traumatic stress disorder. So what better place to host The World Philosophical Mathematics Research Center run by Siddiq Khan Afghan. Afghan is actually his name and numbers are his game. He is a crazy Nobel Prize nominee who believes that world peace can be achieved through philosophy and maths. It’s Islamic theory meets Pi. One visit to his centre will fry your mind. I went twice and I now believe that there is such a thing as Faith in Chaos. I know that Obama is not the 44th president and that the lifeline

DAVID GILL meets a maths professor and one of the city’s great eccentrics

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kabul at work
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Kabul at work

HOPSCOTCH: Nobel nominee Siddiq Khan make rubix cubes look easy | David Gill

on the palm of my hand is Arabic script for the number of names for Allah. I also know that life is just a dream and that we are all figments of some numerical master plan that he has assembled into giant revolving numerical cube inside a giant cupboard. If Alice went through the looking glass in Kabul, Siddiq Khan Afghan

would be running the country and it would be hexagonal shaped. To anybody thinking of visiting Kabul and not quite weirded-out enough already… go see this man. Think Johnny Ball meets Albert Einstein in a mosque. He might one day run for president. �

MEGA BRAIN: Khan at Kabul’s Academy of Sciences | David Gill

Kabul, A City at Work is a selection of over 100 original portraits from the capital. It’s authors describe it as a window into Kabul’s soul. For more information visit www.web.mac.com/shot2bits/work | www. kabulatwork.com

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Cartoon scene
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Well, if that Yank can wear pink boxer shorts into battle...

No, this isn’t mine. Mine wasn’t loaded.

So, tell me where it hurts...

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Rediscovered

treasures
Lost and feared destroyed for decades, Afghanistan’s priceless cultural heritage is now wowing crowds around the world. CHRISTINA LAMB, MATTHEW LEEMING, BIJAN OMRANI and JOANIE MEHARRY on the treasures of Kabul Museum

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Lost and found –

KABUL MUSEUM

the rediscovery of the Bactrian Gold
nlocking the riddle of the missing Bactrian Gold was a rare stroke of good luck in a country that has known nothing but war and destruction for the last 24 years. Often compared to the treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb, Afghanistan’s legendary 2,000 year old gold collection had long been thought of as lost amid Russian invaders, civil war, looting warlords and Taliban clerics out to destroy the nation’s non-Islamic culture. Then in 2003, the art world started buzzing with rumours that it had been discovered in a vault deep below the presidential palace. “It was like something out of a movie” President Karzai told me. “We had to go down in three elevators under the palace and along a tunnel set with booby traps and then through a door with seven or eight codes all held by different people.” The precise course of events after this is difficult to establish – disinformation seems to have been put out by the various people involved who were worried that the gold, worth

U

Veteran war reporter CHRISTINA LAMB on how millennia of history once feared lost was found in a vault in the presidential palace

The treasures of the Kabul Museum came from four sites across Afghanistan. One is from the ancient city of FULLOL and includes a Bronze Age set of gold bowls that hint of the native wealth of Afghanistan. Another contains artifacts from AÏ KHANUM, a Greek city in northern Afghanistan. A third features untouched treasures from what is thought to be a merchant’s storeroom in BAGRAM, sealed up 2,000 years ago. And the fourth is the Bactrian gold, a collection of the precious items discovered in the graves of six nomads in TILLYA TEPE

RECOVERED: Expert Carla Grissmann working with Afghan officials to verify lost artifacts re-discovered in 2003 | Kenneth Garrett

several billion dollars, might yet disappear. But some months later television footage was released showing the safes containing it being forced open. The fate of the Bactrian gold had long been a matter of speculation. Reports of when it had last been seen were confusing and contradictory. If it had disappeared there were a number of

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ALI KHANOUM

The Greek connection
PRECIOUS SHARDS: Matthew Leeming was offered priceless artefacts during a 2001 visit to Ai Khanoum

possibilities: it might have been secretly taken windows and holes in the roof from Mujahideen to Moscow, looted by warlords or melted down rockets. A headless stone lion stood outside the by the Taliban. Millions of pounds worth of front door over which hangs a forlorn banner illegally excavated ‘A Nation Stays Afghan artifacts Alive when its have been Culture stays recovered alive.’ by Scotland Yet today Yard though not it appears that yet returned to the thanks to the country. Coins from bravery of museum the Kabul museum have staff much more appeared on eBay. from the museum When I visited the Kabul survives than had been Museum – once the most thought. Employees important museum in BOWLED OVER: A fragment of a gold bowl with risked their lives to hide Central Asia – when Mesopotamian motifs dating from the Bronze Age objects, including the discovered at Tepe Fullol in northern Afghanistan unique Bagram ivories this story broke, it was | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet desolate. The building and Roman glass in safe was shell-shattered and derelict with children places around Kabul. These objects are the ones playing hide-and-seek on the second floor, no on display at the Metropolitan Museum.

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For two hundred years ancient Greek civilisation flourished in what is now north Afghanistan. Just months before 9/11 MATTHEW LEEMING toured the ancient city of Alexandria-Oxiana

n one of the most obscure areas of the country, on the junction of the Oxus river that forms the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan and the Kokcha river stands a Greek city known today as Ai Khanoum, almost certainly Alexandria-Oxiana founded by Alexander in 327 BC. Along the route of his anabasis, Alexander founded cities – always called Alexandria – where he settled troops too old or too injured to continue that provided a Greek presence and garrison to consolidate his conquests. The site had been known to locals for many years but it was only in 1963 when King Zahir Shah stumbled upon it on a hunting expedition that it came to the attention of archaeologists. The Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA) started excavations in 1964 that continued until the Russian invasion in 1979 and provided an extraordinarily detailed picture of life in the Bactrian kingdom. The settlers lived a completely Greek way of life: the accuracy of their
EARTH MOTHER: A plate showing Cybele the goddess whose followers castrated themselves | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet
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HIS NAME WAS ALEXANDER: Clay second century BC head from the site of the former Greek city Aï Khanum in the region conquered by Alexander the Great. | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

weights and measures was enforced by an agoranomos; they watched The Bacchae at a tiered Greek theatre; exercised at a gymnasium; and worshipped at a shrine dedicated to a hero called Kineas. His name is Thessalian and we know from Arrian that Alexander discharged his Thessalian cavalry in the Oxus valley – significant evidence that Ai Khanoum is an Alexandria. When I first visited in August 2001, the site was the front line between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban who were firing rockets overhead. The locals had taken the opportunity to indulge in treasure hunting and the local commander offered me a Hellenistic gold and glass bowl for $80,000. He had been running a bazaar for visiting antiquity dealers, mostly French. The exhibition shows the most important finds from Ai Khanoum: the plate of Cybele, a Greek Earth-Mother goddess whose followers castrated themselves. The plate shows the goddess in a chariot drawn by lions, a sacrifice by a priest in Persian dress and the sun god. And a statue of a Greek philosopher who would have been perfectly at home in 3rd century Athens together with the maxims from the shrine of Delphi inscribed by Klearchos, a philosopher who we know was (like Alexander) a pupil of Aristotle. The presence of a mint where coins were struck shows the city to have been a royal one. Bactrian coins were the finest in the ancient world and their cupro-nickel

currency was not emulated by the Europeans for two thousand years. Balkh and the ‘mirage of Bactria’

B

alkh was old before Alexander arrived there in 330 BC. Ruled by the Persians it was known as ‘the mother of cities’ and the birthplace of Zoroaster. For Alexander, as Bactra, it was his headquarters during his three-year campaign to subdue the central Asian satrapies of Bactria and, north of the Oxus, Sogdia. It then became the capital of the Greek kingdom of Bactria and today is a huge, flat-topped mound surrounded by mudbrick walls dating from the second century AD. In the 1930s, DAFA spent many seasons digging through the mound to find Greek remains but with no success. Its chief archaeologist, Foucher, wrote a famous essay lamenting ‘the mirage of Bactria’, a kingdom known from written sources and coins, but which had left no physical remains. But then in 2002, local treasure hunters made a hugely important discovery. They found clearly Hellenistic remains at the foot of the walls. Foucher had been looking in the wrong place. The exhibition’s Corinthian column head from Balkh is utterly Greek and while the exact dating of the remains will require further excavations, it seems that the only place that can be linked with confidence to Alexander’s lifetime has been discovered, perhaps even the paving stones on which he walked.

Barbarian hoards
he treasure was discovered at a site known locally as Tillya-Teppe – the Golden Mound. It seems to have been originally a Persian fire-temple and which, ruined, was used by the nomads as a secret burial place for five women and one man, placed in open coffins and covered with cloth decorated with silver and gold disks. The enormous wealth represented by the 21,000 pieces of gold jewellery suggest that these individuals were royal. The presence of a gold coin of Tiberius minted in Gaul between 16 and 21 BC gives the earliest boundary date, but otherwise the precise date is a mystery as are the questions of why the nomads died and why they were buried in an old fire-temple – something that is unusual, if not unique. The style of the jewellery suggests a mixing of various civilisations and artistic styles. There is a strong classical influence – in the mouths of two of the women are coins for Charon’s toll to ferry them across the Styx and a ring with the inscription ATHENA in Greek characters. But Parthian coins bearing the name of Mithridates (124 – 87 BC) were found clutched

BACTRIAN GOLD

T

MATTHEW LEEMING on the star of the Kabul Museum collection – a stunning collection of gold jewellery made by a people the ancient Greeks regarded as totally uncivilised
in the hand of one of the bodies. Yet other decorative motifs are unique, in particular the heartshaped motif in the jewellery. Some shoe buckles show a chariot drawn by dragons – which resemble Han Chinese motifs – yet in a design whose canopied

SCABBARD: Part of turquoise inlaid gold dagger fragment | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

ANCIENT WONDER: An artefact from Ai Khanoum | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet
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chariot echoes the plate of Cybele at Ai Khanoum. The most obvious influence is the Scythian ‘animal style’, thus labelled by the great scholar of southern Russia, Rostovsteff in 1929. Bracelets with opposing lion and antelope motif at each end are very similar to those found in Scythian barrow burials from the Siberian steppe to the Black Sea. There are also Persian motifs – for example a griffin intaglio that is clearly paralleled in the carvings at Persepolis, the Persian palace torched by Alexander in 330 BC. Other items show a fusion of artistic styles similar to those found at Bagram and, most famously, in Gandharan art – the Indian and the Greek. The most striking item is the ‘Kushan Aphrodite’ whose curvaceous body is very reminiscent of Indian art but who is seated in a throne with Doric columns.

DRAGON MASTER: Boot buckles depicting a chariot drawn by dragons | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

CROWNING GLORY: A folding crown from the Bactrian Gold treasure | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

BEASTLY BANGLE: Scythian gold bracelets in the form of antelopes, first century | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

BLING-TASTIC: Scythian belt depicting Dionysiac figure riding a panther | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

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The Dubai of the ancient world
Modern Bagram is home to the US Army, Pizza Hut and Burger King. But BIJAN OMRANI reveals that 2,000 years ago it was a centre of an international luxury goods trade

BAGRAM

T

oday Bagram is an American airbase on the Shomali, the fertile plains north of Kabul that lead the traveller either eastwards through the Panjshir, over the Pamirs and to China; or northwards over the Oxus and into central Asia, crossing the Hindu Kush via the Salang Tunnel, a dank and creepy burrow through which the Soviet tanks rolled in 1979. Bagram is probably another Alexandria – Alexandria-adCaucasum, thus named because the Greeks thought
IVORY WARRIOR: Horseman trinket | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

that the Hindu Kush was an extension of the Caucasus. But the exhibits from Bagram date from a later period than the Hellenistic – the Kushan. The Kushans were originally a branch of a nomadic people who lived in the steppes north of China. During the second century BC, they began to migrate into central Asia and Afghanistan, overrunning and taking over the Greek kingdoms and establishing their own empire as the successor to these states. The heyday of this empire came in the second century AD. Its territory stretched from the south-eastern shores of the Caspian to the Ganges and it stood at the hub of the intercontinental trade routes which had grown up between Rome, Persia, India and China – the Silk Road. The period of peace and stability which these regions enjoyed in the second century AD saw a great development in the exchange of luxury goods between the various empires and the cities of the Kushans grew wealthy as commercial entrepots in the midst of the way.

INDIAN INFLUENCE : The international trade route affected the styles of carved ivories | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

Bagram was one of these cities and the Bagram Treasure is a snapshot of the trade that passed through Afghanistan at the height of its prosperity. It was discovered by Foucher’s team from DAFA in 1937 and excavated over the following three years. The artefacts were found in two massive chambers of what appeared to be a merchant’s warehouse which had been walled up and abandoned in ancient times, perhaps in response to an attack by the Persian King Shapur I in AD 241. The rooms contained luxury goods from every quarter of the known world. From Alexandria in Roman Egypt coloured and painted glassware; from Italy, items of furniture,

bronzes, and statues; from further north in Central Asia, metal statuettes of possibly Scythian manufacture; drinking rhytons of a sort associated with Persia; and the remains of lacquer bowls from China. The Indian ivories, amongst other things, display the miscegenation of artistic ideas that came about as a result of the growth in international communications and trade. These ivories were carved on flat ivory panels, probably designed to be incorporated in furniture, boxes and chests. In some cases, pictures of subjects – dancers, women, animals and ornaments – were incised or chased into the ivory, as if they were designed to be cut out, and inlaid into wooden panels.

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FISHY FLASK: A drinking goblet found at Bagram | Thierry Ollivier / Musée Guimet

Viktor Sarianidi (left), who originally excavated Tillya Tepe in northern Afghanistan, examines some of the artifacts known as the Bactrian hoard, discovered in 1978 | Viktor Sarianidi

In other cases, the subjects were carved in a deeper sunken relief. In both instances, the figures represented belong unmistakably to the Indian tradition, and show an unparalleled elegance and mastery of line. In the words of Benjamin Rowland, sometime Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard, they are “representative of an art that had reached the apogee of perfection both technically and in the evocation of a gently erotic mood and provocative sensuality unmatched anywhere in the art of the world.” Yet, for all their Indian provenance and flavour, the recurring motifs of Greek fretted borders, acanthus meanders, and bead-and-reel patterns, all point to the influence of the West.

Another discovery at the site points more clearly to the mechanics whereby artistic ideas were interchanged – fifty plaster casts, usually called emblemata, with representations of classical subjects in relief. These were taken in Imperial Roman times, usually from valuable Greek salvers with subjects repoussé in the middle, but in some cases from later Roman examples, and used in the fashion of pattern-books for metalworkers, sculptors, gem-workers, and other artists. The subjects found range the full gamut of classical mythology – for example many representations of Dionysus and Aphrodite – but also more contemporary themes, such as idealised portraiture of Alexander the Great (in the

guise of the War God Ares), or the Empress Livia, the wife of Augustus. Similar classical subjects were also represented in other of the artifacts. The Roman glassware, thought to have been imported from Alexandria, is festooned with depictions of the lighthouse of Pharos (one of the wonders of the ancient world), Poseidon and monsters of the deep, and what is possibly a representation of Jason’s ship, the Argo. Similarly redolent of merchant ventures are steelyard weights, rendered in the form of sculpted heads of various gods – Mars, Minerva – made for use in the conduct of trade. It is likely that this artistic currency was one of the means whereby ideas from the West were transferred to the sculptors who worked on some of the most important monuments of early art in Afghanistan – the Monasteries of Hadda, and the Buddhist sculpture of Gandhara.

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Don’t come home too soon
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JOANIE MEHARRY says the eventual return of the treasure could spark interest in preserving Afghanistan’s heritage
he Bactrian Gold has a tendency to appear at moments of significant political change. The gold was discovered within ancient nomads’ tombs and excavated by a team of Afghan-Soviet archaeologists from 1978-79. Within the year the Soviet invasion isolated the country and forced the trove into hiding once more. By 1988 the gold was safely stored in the vaults below the Presidential Palace, owing to a group of concerned Afghan museum employees who organised its protection under the orders of President Najibullah. In 1991 it was released for a one-day exhibit at the Koti Bagcha in the Presidential Palace for a small group of international and Afghan VIPs, in order to dispel whispers of its disappearance. It was then placed back in the secure vaults and a year later the country was amidst the throes of civil war. During the next decade, as the Mujahideen pillaged the museum’s extraordinary collection and the Taliban destroyed much of what little was left - after a shocking policy reversal in 2001 - rumours about the gold’s whereabouts claimed the Soviets stole it, the Mujahideen sold it, and the Taliban destroyed it. By the time the Taliban were overthrown by international forces, the survival of the Bactrian Gold was a distant hope. While the looting of the Iraq Museum in 2004 received immediate international attention and rapid responses from foreign donors, the pillaging of Afghan archaeological sites and the looting of the Kabul Museum – once considered one of the most opulent small museums in the world – received little more than lukewarm warnings from international players throughout the 1990s. Rare artifacts disappeared into

THE FUTURE

the international art market and the museum was left roofless and exposed to the elements and looters. When the Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed in March 2001, despite universal condemnation, the media deemed it the final blow to efforts to protect the country’s cultural heritage. So when the 22,000-piece Bactrian Gold was once more exhumed and found intact within the vaults in 2003, the world was in awe. Western countries clamored for first bids on a traveling exhibit: the French ultimately won as a nod to the historic archaeological AfghanFranco special relationship. From 2004, the gold toured Europe and then the United States - it is currently showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City through September - and will travel to Canada and the United Kingdom from 2009-2011. The astonishing survival of the breathtaking artifacts was finally drawing attention to the dire situation back home. In this way, the true value of the exhibit is educational, for it is leaving a deep impression on the millions of museum-goers who are flocking to see the rare antiquities. The convergence of Greek, Persian, and Indian influences seen in the exquisite pieces is a testament to the importance of the region along the ancient crossroads of the Silk Route. The artifacts also tell another tale through their unlikely saving, which speaks about Afghanistan’s recent political history, pluralistic social structure, and unique cultural heritage. It is also debunking the belief held by some that all Afghans do not appreciate their cultural heritage. Indeed, the story emphasises the great lengths a group of Afghans went to in order to

protect these antiquities, even during times of unimaginable conflict and uncertainty. Yet the question lingering in the minds of those who diligently worked to preserve the country’s cultural heritage, is when will the Bactrian Gold return home? Before the gold left Afghanistan, the country’s cultural experts debated whether to let the precious artifacts leave. The answer lies principally in security. No location in the country is equipped to house the collection and offer public access. The touring exhibit in Europe and America, organised by the National Geographic Society offers both. It is also paying a sum to the Afghan government, which is hoped will eventually go towards a new museum with a proper security system in the centre of Kabul. Thankfully, the decision was made to send the artifacts on a round-the-world tour, which is drumming up support everywhere they exhibit. As it travels, it is clear that the Bactrian Gold is still a legend in the making. Ultimately, it will be up to the new generation of bright Afghan minds to harness this momentum, and generate innovative ways of preserving their heritage and educating their countrymen about the region’s rich history. In that way, when the Bactrian Gold finally returns home, it will be able to mark a more promising era of the reconstruction of Afghanistan’s cultural identity. �

A photo exhibition of the Bactrian Gold is currently on display at the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul. An exhibition of Afghan artifacts recently returned by British Customs will open at the museum late this summer.

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About the Authors
MATTHEW LEEMING is an adventurer, entrepreneur and scholar from England who has been coming to Afghanistan since the 1990s. He now divides his time between Kabul and Aylsford, the Water Cress capital of the world.

CHRISTINA LAMB is the Washington correspondent for the Sunday Times. She first covered Afghanistan during the mujahideen resistance to Soviet occupation and has reported extensively from Pakistan, Zimbabwe and other hotspots.

BIJAN OMRANI is co-author of Afghanistan a Companion and Guide, the first guide book to the country written after 2001. When not attending to his duties as a classics teacher at Eton College he studies the history, ancient and modern, of Afghanistan. His work has been published by, among others, the Asiatic Society.

JOANIE MEHARRY is s an academic in Islamic Art and is currently working on a publication about the untold history of the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul.

Acknowledgements
Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Afghanistan finishes at the Metropolitan Museum in New York on September 20.

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ghost war
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EMILY WINTERBOTHAM on a harrowing play which helps people confront the horrors of Afghanistan’s recent past
first toured the country in 2008 attracting international media attention. Now, the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization (AHRDO) with the support of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) has revived it as part of its “Human Rights Theatre: Creating Spaces for Change” project. The director, Hjalmar Joffre-Eichhorn, explained why: “The victims really appreciated it the creation of the space for discussion. Unfortunately, the play will be relevant for many years because transitional justice will most likely be on the agenda for many years to come.” The play is a one man show. A solitary presence on stage, the patient, Sardar, is tied to seven chairs each containing a jar of blood representing seven victims of violence: a young girl killed by a Mujahiddin car bomb; a Mujahiddin killed fighting Soviet invaders; a Taliban soldier killed in combat in the north fighting for a commander who does not practise what he preaches; a Mujahiddin killed during the civil war; a victim of sectarian violence caught in the wrong place at the wrong time; an innocent bystander killed in a suicide blast; and a civilian shot down by upholders of the

The

of

urrounded by hunks of raw meat, a medical patient, his hands tied with red wires, is haunted by the ghosts of war victims. Their anguished screams speak of the death and torture inflicted on the people of Afghanistan during three decades of war. The screams resonate with the open-air theatre audience who understand their pain and loss: the first showing of this revived play in Kabul in June was to an audience filled with members of help groups for war victims. Their losses stare back at them in pictures hanging around the stage of their loved ones who died or disappeared during the fighting. Props illustrate the bloodshed and destruction: guns, barbed wire, bits of flesh attracting flies, bottles filled with blood. The past becomes the present, and one girl starts to cry. Called AH-7808, a reference to the period 1978 to 2008, the play is an adaptation of a story about reconciliation in Northern Ireland, exploring the challenge of truth recovery in a society with a legacy of conflict. Using a medical metaphor, it portrays that the traumas of past conflict are embodied in people and that the truth must be “cut out” to explore how they can deal with this pain and move forward. Backed by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and UNAMA, the play

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POWER OF NIGHTMARES: An actor relives the horrors of war | Jay Lamey

law. Appearing as ghosts they possess Sardar. He screams, “Do you want truth?” “You want prosecutions?” “You want justice?” or “Is it revenge you want?” Sardar explores these questions in a one way dialogue with the audience. For AHRDO, the play is for the victims. Sardar is played by two lay-actors, both members of a victims’ group. The poems spoken by each of the ghosts were recorded by two victims’ groups. Victims were also involved in the design of the set. When the play toured in 2008 some of the venues included historic or damaged buildings. In the Kabul performance, rocks scattered around the stage were from destroyed buildings. Despite Afghanistan’s current conflicts, new theatre groups and performances have sprung up around the country as a mechanism for social change. AHRDO aims to take this one step further through building Afghan capacity in using theatre methodologies and establishing an all-Afghan platform for participatory theatre. It hopes to open the space for dialogue and reflection and allow people to speak of war time experiences. Some may never have told their story before. Ultimately, the play sparks debate. How does Afghanistan come to terms with the legacy of three decades of violent conflict? As the final scene closes, Sardar lines the stage with mirrors, forcing the audience to confront themselves, both metaphorically and literally. A genuine debate follows and the audience give their impressions: “The hanging meat represents different pieces of the body. Every part of the body needs justice and peace. The people who have died want justice and peace,” said one woman.

One man disagreed: “I visited four provinces and asked the people what they wanted. Some spoke of justice, but many people just want peace; even if that means amnesty.” For others it triggers memories of the war: “I remembered when the Russians came to Herat and took away 40 elders. They beat them, killed them and threw them to the dust. They need their justice. Their families need their justice. We need our justice.” Human rights and transitional justice theatre is just one part of a much larger process. But, in an environment where war rages and those

responsible for gross human rights violations walk free, it exists as one avenue for victims to express their grief and anger. As Hjalmar concludes: “People never forget the experience. You can meet them a year or so later and people still talk about it. These are probably the by-products of such an endeavour, which really does hopefully lead into some kind of movement, from tears into energy.” AHRDO is set to take the play to other provinces in Afghanistan. � For more information please contact them: ahrdoafghanistan@yahoo.com

Emily Winterbotham leads a transitional justice study at an Afghanistan-based research agency. She has previously conducted research on the role of the ICTY in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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When East meets West

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Scene favourite JEMIMA MONTAGU on how Afghan contemporary art fared at the Venice Biennale

t’s not only in Kabul that different nations vie for influence and supremacy; even at the apparently innocuous Venice Biennale arts festival, countries challenge each other in a match of cultural superiority. Every two years, they come from all over the world bringing their best artists and exhibitions to Venice. This year saw the usual range of the weird and wonderful – from an uprooted palm tree spotted floating in a barge down Venice’s Grand Canal (Libya’s contribution) to a floating corpse outside

a re-created Hollywood dream-home (Norway’s contribution). But there was another tale of the unexpected this year: an exhibition of art from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. Some readers might remember ‘Living Traditions’, an exhibition of contemporary art from Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan shown at the Queen’s Palace in Bagh-e-Babur last October. The same exhibition, slightly re-configured, has currently on tour at the Venice Biennale under the revised title of East-West Divan. The title is taken

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MOSAIC: Millions of reflections at East-West Divan

STARE WAY: Giant neon installations hang above the entrance to the exhibition

MIRROR IMAGE: Art goers inspect the double mirrors of Aisha Khalid

from a collection of poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, inspired by the Persian poet Hafez, and refers to the ‘divan’ or council chamber, as a physical meeting point between cultures. The exhibition set out to challenge media stereotypes and pervasive negative perceptions of the current situation in this region with a presentation of challenging and reflective works by both emerging and established contemporary artists. Set among the faded ruins of a famous Venetian scuola, the exhibition presented

contemporary miniature painting by Pakistani Imran Qureshi and Afghan Khadim Ali, and large paintings inspired by the Imam Ali by Iranian Khosrow Hassanzadeh. There was also a large room-size installation by Pakistani Aisha Khalid where the viewer found themselves caught in the cross-fire of a spray of khaki-patterned ‘bullet’ forms; and Afghan designer Zolaykha Sherzad created a giant, billowing white textile sculpture, inspired by the form of a pleated burqa,

which rose up like a dervish whirling towards the heavens. East-West Divan received a warm reception by the usually skeptical international art critics. Waldemar Januszczak from the Sunday Times in London wrote: “I found the opportunity to

encounter modern artiusts from Kabul thoroughly heartening. You never hear about them on the news. I didn’t even know there were any!” East-West Divan was organised by Turquoise Mountain and supported by Unique Zan Foundation and other private donors. �

Jemima Montagu first came to Afghanistan more than three years ago to work on cultural projects for the Turquoise Mountain Foundation. She has now moved back to London.

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Back with a
By popular demand French illustrator NICOLAS WILD is back, with another extract from the first English translation of Kaboul Disco

boum!

The story so far...Clementina, a foreign aid worker in Kabul has been kidnapped and the staff at Zendagui Media are ordered into a ‘lock down’.

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Be scene
FISTED: Party animal Fisnik Abrashi gets punchy at Gemma’s birthday

Share your event or party pics with Aghan Scene. email info@afghanscene.com

FRONTLOYN BOYS: Tamim chat’s to Butcher and Bolt author David Loyn

POSTER BOYS: Jerome with Roshan pin up Herve

SCARF ACE: Paula and Travis at the Chateau bash

BOARD MEETING: Skatistan’s Ollie with his halfpipe heroes

HAVANNAH BALL: Award winning doco girl Havannah with Greg

YING YANG: Kabul favourites Heather and Holly at Gemma’s birthday party

SHERRY BABY: Daniel Sherry and Heather at Gemma’s 28th

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ESLIELICIOUS: Chris and Leslie Knott at the Black and White Ball

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Afghan Scene September 2009

Afghan Scene September 2009

Party scene

NEWS AT WHEN?: BBC boys Ian and Martin at the French Restaurant

GROUND BREAKER: Nancy Hatch Dupree kicks off work at the Louis Dupree library

SKID LID: Bacha get’s protected on a motorbike roadtrip

AT YOUR SERVICE: Gandamack’s finest waiter with Kim at the Black and White Ball

UNBUTTONED: Basil Ross ties up his tux at the Black and White bash

PSYCHO-DELICA: Sam French trips the light fantastic at Anna’s leaving bash

LAMPOONS: Scene fans Hannah and Kim get lit at the Chateau

RESERVOIR DOGS: Kai Eide interviewed by Lyse Doucet as Aleem Siddique stays one step ahead

LESLIELICIOUS: Chris and Leslie Knott at the Black and White Ball

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Pizza
Restaurant Info: Springfield’s Take-away/Delivery Only 0799-001520

forever?
With restaurants under pressure from a crack down on their most lucrative items, ROSEMARY STASEK checks out the survival strategy of an old favourite
a team’s knowledge of topics like bartending and obscure British history could win them a case of special refreshents. And the high-stakes poker nights. They were priced out of my league but quite the event in town nonetheless. Social life in Kabul changed over time, with the riots in 2006 and the Serena attack in 2007 bringing a lot of people to a more constrained lifestyle. Springfield’s was impacted by this as well and took the chance in 2008 to transform into Milano’s, with a new menu and return to the original venue. But the old name was too well known and everyone kept calling it Springfield’s. The business was fine but like many other places it was never the same. The owner Harris sat down and started thinking about what might get people excited again. Something new. But then came another change and one that could fundamentally impact the foreign restaurant scene in Kabul. The new law banning

T

he restaurant industry is famous for the extent to which restaurants come and go over time. The vast majority of restaurants close pretty quickly, with just a few enjoying long stretches in their community. The reasons vary but usually include poor management, insufficient capital, and that impossible to define but obvious circumstance when popularity fades and folks move on to somewhere new. Kabul has all those restaurant hazards and its own unique set including extended lockdowns, various security clearances and the risk of unannounced governmental visits. The small group of restaurants who have been around the past 4 years or so have been through it all but the time may be coming when things are really changing. Springfield’s has been a Wazir Akbar Khan institution since 2005. Over the years it was home to the hugely-popular quiz nights, where

sale of alcohol to foreigners. Restaurants in town have always had to walk a fine line between competing government entities. A tourism ministry that gave clearance to sell alcohol to foreigners as long as they got their hefty percentage. And government security forces who made random raids for purposes ranging from raising political moral capital to supplying their own party that weekend. And the endless bribes to keep the whole system lubricated. But the hard reality is that a western restaurant usually survives on the margin they make on drinks and many foreigners want a drink with their meal. So the restaurants did the best they could balancing the government pressures with the demands of a bunch of foreigners who wanted a little bit of their western lives here in Kabul. No one knows how it’s all going to play out at the moment. Restaurants with stock are serving while they have it, but things are getting tense for some. And the election has cleared out town taking business with it. Springfield’s has taken an interesting tack for the short term: close the restaurant and go take-away only. Harris wanted to figure out a way to keep the restaurant alive but cut the huge losses an empty restaurant generates. Staff went from 26 employees to 6. 20 families have lost their support but the key kitchen staff is still in place and for an increasingly locked-down clientele the food is still plenty popular. The same menu from the restaurant is in place with pizza, pasta, salads and steaks. If you need to stay in for a meal it

can be a good option. I’m not a fan of take-away because the food can be cold and mangled by the time it gets to you. The night I gave the delivery service a try we picked a range of items to see how they fared. Pasta bolognaise arrived hot and saucy. My test was a Springfield’s steak with sauce and potatoes and was really pleased, the steak was hot and the potatoes were still crisp. Pizza is the most popular item, with boxes and boxes of them going out to embassies every night and it arrived fine. Long-time favorite shop salad arrived fresh and bright. I’ve been eating Springfield’s food for years and my only criticism of the current chef is his classification of oregano as an ingredient rather than a spice. Way, way too much oregano in just about everything. Maybe his cousin has the Kabul oregano franchise but someone needs to take it away from him. Springfield’s is making plans to re-open a new restaurant with an attached PX for highquality groceries. Time will tell how things play out over the year. There is a market for all kinds of restaurants in town from the great kebab place we sneak into regularly, to the coffee shop, to the fancy but dry Serena to the classic western places where foreigners can have a meal with favorite drinks. Things may be changing but it is interesting to see how the long-time restaurant owners try to keep going. We wish them well. We all still need to eat. �

Rosemary Stasek has short reviews of most Kabul restaurants at http://www. stasek.com/rrr. The adventures at the Café Boeuf can be enjoyed at http://prairiehome.publicradio.org.

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Dear Scene,
I read your recent review of L’Atmosphere cheerfully, so convinced was I that you would notice the changes since your first visit years ago. An avid reader of whatever pertains to nightlife in Kabul (“optimism is a moral duty” says Karl Popper) I have frequently visited your webpage and know in which standing you have held the restaurant to date. I felt quite upset by what I read. There are indeed some factual mistakes in the article, and, maybe, even some profound misunderstandings of French gastronomy. Of course, my point of view is partial; I have a vested interest on top of being genuinely French. As French, I think none can prove me wrong, especially in matters of cooking. I am sorry for the latter, but I cannot help it: it’s a builtin feature. It was too bad you could not find me, I would have availed myself of the encounter to change your mind. I am indeed the restaurant manager and occasional chief of the restaurant. · First, I would have explained to you how much I dislike the fake béarnaise sauce that you relish. A predecessor bought such an inventory of readymade Knorr sauce, that I would not replace it with genuine béarnaise lest we would face bankruptcy. If not for some butter we add to the sauce, I would not dare serve it. Still, you are among the fans. I thank you for your keen understanding. · Second, I could have explained that the fisherman’s salad is served with vinaigrette. As it is customary, vinaigrette is not fully emulsified, which serves a purpose (by the way, there is NO mustard in vinaigrette). No wonder it makes a disappointing homemade cocktail sauce. The latter is served with

calamari, a completely different item on the menu. · I apologize for the homemade mayonnaise. Well, not really. To be sure mayonnaise is pale yellowish unless you add unspeakable ingredients to the recipe. It has never ever tasted like canned Kraft mayonnaise, hence some cross-cultural misunderstanding. Instead, it tastes of mustard and lemon or white vinegar, i.e. two very different tastes. To define real mayonnaise, I suggest a field trip to a friteriebowling in Virton in Belgian Luxembourg. · There are these dishes that I advise to customers and those I don’t, especially when we are running short of key ingredients. You are right about the Parme melon salad. It will be replaced because no Afghan Honeydew melon can match a Gala from Cavaillon. But do you know anything about “Melon au Parme a la florentine” to have a legitimate point of view? A new menu is scheduled in 3 weeks: yummy flamenkueche and fougasses. Be my guest then. As for my workhours, I have been spending most of my conscious time at the restaurant over the past seven weeks. I have been off only two days out of 52, because I felt so exhausted that I could not stand on my feet. Do you work as hard as I do to have the right to make an unsubstantiated comment at me? Other comment of yours, I will not try to change. No questioning the atmosphere and the service. I remain an undeterred optimistic and I do hope I will manage to keep the first and to overhaul the latter.

We have been denied permission to film the actual fighting, but we have managed to secure clearance to show you the inside of my hotel - and here it is...

Regards, Guillaume Delamarche

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first casualty
of

The

s.gov. <a.sole@tellingitasiti From: “Sole, Andrew” ble> lingandsometimesa coalitionofthereadywil T+04:00 2009 9:38:46 AM GM Date: July 26, s; tre; all Afg embassie media cen To: Afg government . e ing liberal reporters Subject: Lines to tak ambush by Taleb-lov dles y under attack and dwiches and cud nication are constantl off with cheesey-san Our lines of commu like s who can be bought un-reconcilable, who cks are reconcilable others, I fear, are Some of these ha hard Head. But many t far from press l envoy, Ric rginalised; kep with our extra-specia led, shunned and ma ar, need to be ridicu d mullahs of Kandah the ma . on one-way embeds conferences or sent g: e Bush’s speechmakin r dear leader Georg rate and n as impressive as ou ss has bee at an impressive The march of progre economy is growing do we have to tell w going to school, the in. Howmany times llion children are no six mi ighted land, aga tely venture. It’s comple established in this ben is an imperialistic democracy has been ple suggest that this s’ as to why, tired when peo ate ‘talking point them?I get so, so, SO gns (note to self; cre and Russian campai m the failed British different fro t questions). in case of impertinen time ren’t in power at the yes by people that we o the country (yes, were invited int Oh that’s right! We on the same Invaders? Piffle! all the troops leave erved our support). but they des doubt, I wouldn’t let wrong, which I really Reds. go compared to the And even if it does all aster! We might get a public relations dis day! That would be hasn’t then this campaign ays the best policy), car. face it, that is not alw (and lets the backseat of my But, if we’re honest ter’s daughter onto g a Methodist minis been easy as gettin exactly critical! st look back – and be To go forward, we mu

war

Afghan Scene has been leaked this confidential email from ANDREW SOLE head of the Office of Truth at Our Overseas Embassy, Kabul

In light of this, I’ve been working with the Afghan ministries on some catchy new slogans, whic express this new vein of critical h thinking: 1) Afghan Tourism Ministry: Get here before the tourists do! 2) Afghan Agriculture Ministry : Let wheat be the fruit of your labours, let poppy wither on the 3) Afghan Education Ministry: vine! Can’t read or write? Invest in the country’s future, become 4) Afghan Ministry of Interior: a teecher! Evening all! The long-arm of the law with an outstretched hand open palm. and an 5) Afghan Ministry of Culture: The Big Burkha House – a new TV programme We need to “accentuate the posi tive” here (great song, lurrrve it) and not languish on the posi that aren’t so obvious (what the tives hack-scum would probably call “failures”). Nothing gives me greater prid e than writing press releases about “soldiers armed only with I know a good story when I see pencils”.... one. After all, I was local editor on Hicksville Gazette News for years. ten People like real stories, like anim al tales, and I’m sure that’s the same in Afghanistan. Perhaps we should refurbish the zoo? Or rescue the country’s only pig locked in a cupboard over swin concerns? Remember that? Hey e-flu , if we’re not careful that pig will be in hiding longer than Osama! As for understanding this coun try, well, hey, I’ve read all ten books on Afghanistan printed which has given me a pretty nua in English, nced grasp. Leaving the embassy compou nd, I find, just fogs your underst anding. What’s the old diplomat maxim: you know the most whe ic n you first step off the plane! You bet, slam dunk that punk! And journalists just see this coun try through the bottom of a glas s –and it’s supposed to be dry! How’s that for understanding, empathy, and culture – underst anding? Anyway, the Afghanis love us. (I’ve spoken to my Afghani cook about this –and he says that he’s happy with his salary.) very And when Afghani women com e to the embassy they don’t wea r the burkha. Because, hey, we can only wor k with people that see the futu re through our lenses. Right? right! Of course I have what I call a “press-erent ial” system. Americans first, “Cin cinnati Courier come on down” though on occasions those snot – ty NYT/WP/LAT types can be maj or league smarties. But at leas will deal the second draft of histo t they ry. Surely it is we, the press-of ficers who are on the frontline truth??? of But the Brits. OMG x ten or mor e!!!! What a bunch of pompou s, lousy, lazy, layabouts. Som claim to be writing stories that e of them are actually true. SURE YOU ARE , limeys! I’m a fan of the truth. Apparen tly there are Euro journalists here too: WHATEVER! No, I like my job. I serve my country. Not with a gun, but with a trusty sword of truth. And ther more honour to be gained than e’s no that. Andrew Sole, Office of Truth,

Afghan Scene September 2009

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Afghan Scene September 2009

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Farewell scene
Afghan Scene September 2009

Afghan Scene September 2009

Farewell scene

Bile-Bye Afghanistan
Scene favourite JOANNA NATHAN left Kabul last month to take a year studying. Here the ex-ICG analyst remembers her time in Afghanistan
When and why did you first come to Afghanistan? I came in July 2003 to work on a media project leading up to the Constitutional Loya Jirga. It was my birthday the week I arrived and a cheap friend took me to the Herat restaurant and then we walked around Share Naw Park and had icecream. Everyone says “don’t eat the icecream”, and watching the men knead it with their hands can be off-putting, but it is delicious -- chewier than Western ice cream. Try some! Best of times? 24 hour electricity at home for the most of summer 2009! And the road trips accompanied by the prerequsite thumping techno/pop music, Buzkashi in Kunduz, watching the kuchi trains in Ghor, and picnics in the Panjshir. As often happens in Afghanistan, one of the very best of times came from one of the worst of times. I was offloaded from my Christmas flight after throwing up green bile on the pilot’s shoes just before boarding (never sure what that was). The very next morning I was offered a road trip to Islamabad to make my connection, back when that was still possible. It is a spectacular drive with the guards at the border firing up the computers to record the passing of the harajis as behind us everyone else, their overloaded cargo, their sheep and their camels, swarmed either direction unimpeded. Worst of times? The death of Paula Loyd [US human terrain analyst burned to death in Kandahar] and

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friends in the Indian Embassy bombing were the absolute low points. What will you miss the most? The rose gardens which seem more vibrant than flowers I have seen anywhere else. Kebabs. Random acts of chivalry: I have had Afghan policemen bringing me plastic chairs and tea as I waited by the kerb and a taxi driver wrap his turban around my wet feet when we were stuck in a traffic jam in the middle of winter. What will you miss the least? Falling down open drains and gutters on the streets. Pointless traffic jams. Security checks to get into ISAF and the US Embassy.

Actually nearly all the things that irritate me most are to do with the behaviour of certain internationals who seem to be paid far too much for achieving far too little. Favourite place in Afghanistan? Flower St Cafe! With visitors the first stops are always the top of Television Mountain and Babur Gardens. Out of Kabul the Spinghar Hotel in Jalalabad and its orange groves -- with a spot of fish eating by the river -- and the UNICA in Kandahar. What happens next? I am off to study for a year. Think South/Central Asia will be calling again after that. �

Lapis is Afghanistan’s leading full service strategic communications company:
Lapis Ltd is the PR division of the award-winning Moby Group (MG) Afghanistan’s leading privately owned and integrated media company, with a strong emphasis on client service and a passion for our clients’ businesses. We are currently recruiting for positions within our small, thriving consultancy for talented and experienced public relations staff who have worked in a recognised agency on corporate accounts, preferably on donor-funded or government projects. You should be comfortable working in a challenging environment. Our client list includes many well-known Afghan and International organisations. Deputy General Manager – as the senior manager in Lapis you will supervise a mixed team of national and international staff working on a diverse range of projects. You will have at least 6 years’ experience of managing small teams working for a range of clients, preferably on government or donor-funded contracts. Agency experience can be an advantage. Account Managers - you will have the ability to manage complex projects and multiple activities simultaneously, in a swiftly changing environment. You will have at least 3 years’ experience and at least one year in a developing or emerging economy.

Joanna Nathan first came in 2003-2004 working with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR). She returned in May 2005 as senior analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG). The first report she worked on was on the 2005 parliamentary elections and the final one on the recent 2009 polls.

Great news! The documentary we made about you has just won another award!

Interested applicants please forward your CV and covering letter to jobs@lapis.com.af
70 Afghan Scene September 2009 www.afghanscene.com www.afghanscene.com Afghan Scene September 2009

Lapis is a Moby Group Company – “engaging, educating and entertaining Afghanistan since 2002”

Essential scene
Afghan Scene September 2009

Afghan Scene September 2009

Feature scene

Afghan Essentials
Where to stay, where to eat, where to Shop. And how to pay for it. Afghan Scene Making Life Easier

Hotels and Guesthouses
Kabul Serena Hotel Froshgah Street www.serenahotels.com Tel: 0799 654 000 Safi Landmark Hotel & Suites Charahi Ansari www.safilandmarkhotelsuites.com Tel: 0202 203 131 The Inter Continental Hotel Baghe Bala Road www.intercontinentalkabul.com Tel: 0202 201 321 Gandamack Lodge Sherpur Square www.gandamacklodge.co.uk Tel: 0700 276 937 Mustafa Hotel Charahi Sadarat www.mustafahotel.com Tel: 070 276 021 Heetal Plaza Hotel Street 14, Wazir Akbar Khan www.heetal.com Tel: 0799 167 824, 0799 159 697 UNICA Guest House Kolola Pushta, opposite Royal Mattress Tel: 0797 676 357 The International Club Haji Yaqoob Square, Street 3, Shar-e Naw. Tel: 0774 763 858 Golden Star Hotel Charrhay Haji Yaqoob, Shar-e Naw. www.kabulgoldenstarhotel.com Tel: 0799 333 088, 0799 557 281 Roshan Hotel Charaye Turabaz Khan, Shar-e Naw. Tel: 0799 335 424

Restaurants
Delivery Easyfood Delivers from any restaurant to your home www.easyfood.af Tel: 0796 555 000, 0796 555 001 Afghan Rumi Qala-e Fatullah Main Rd, between Streets 5 & 6 Tel: 0799 557 021 Sufi Muslim Street, Shar-e Naw www.sufi.com.af Tel: 0774 212 256, 0700 210 651 Herat Restaurant Shar-e Naw, main road, Diagonally opposite Cinema Park Khosha Restaurant Above the Golden Star Hotel. Tel: 0799 888 999 Mixed/Western The Lounge Lane 2, left, off Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan. Tel: 0796 174 718, 0700 037 634 Fat Man/What-a-Burger Cafe Wazir Akbar Khan, main road, On the bend near Masoud Circle Tel: 0700 298 301, 0777 151 510 L’Atmosphere Street 4, Taimani Tel: 0798 224 982, 0798 413 872 Flower Street Café Street 2, Qala-e Fatullah. Tel: 0700 293 124, 0799 356 319

Cabul Coffeehouse & Café Street 6, on the left, Qale-e Fatullah Tel: 0752 005 275 Le Bistro One street up from Chicken Street, Behind the MOI, Shar-e Naw Tel: 0799-598852 Red Hot Sizzlin’ Steakhouse District 16, Macroyan 1, Nader Hill Area Tel: 0799 733 468 Le Pelican Cafe du Kabul Darulaman Road, almost opposite the Russian Embassy. Bright orange guard box. Tex Mex La Cantina Third left off Butcher St, Shar-e Naw Tel: 0798 271 915 Lebanese Taverne du Liban Street 15, Lane 3, Wazir Akbar Khan Tel: 0799 828 376 The Grill Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan. Tel: 0799 818 283, 0799 792 879 Cedar House Behind Kabul City Centre, Shar-e Naw Tel: 0799-121412 Turkish Istanbul Main road, on the left, between Massoud Circle Jalalabad Road Roundabout. Tel: 0799-407818 Iranian Shandiz Pakistan Embassy Street, off Street 14 Wazir Akbar Khan Tel: 0799-342928

Italian/Pizza Everest Pizza Street 10, Wazir Akbar Khan www.everestpizza.com Tel: 0700 263 636, 0779 317 979 Boccaccio Street 10, Wazir Akbar Khan Tel: 0799 200 600 Bella Italia Street 14, Wazir Akbar Khan Tel: 0799 600 666 Springfield Restaurant Lane 3, Street 15,Wazir Akbar Khan Tel: 0799 001 520 Indian Namaste Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan, Between lanes 2 and 3 on the right. Tel: 0772 011 120 Delhi Darbar Shar-e Naw, close to UK Sports Tel: 0799 324 899 Anar Restaurant Lane 3, Street 14, Wazir Akbar Khan Tel: 0799 567 291 Chinese Golden Key Seafood Restaurant Lane 4, Street 13, Wazir Akbar Khan. Tel: 0799 002 800, 0799 343 319 Thai Mai Thai House 38, Lane 2, Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan Tel:0796 423 040 Korean New World Between Charayi Haji Yacub and Charayi Ansari, on the right. Shar-e Naw. Tel: 0799 199 509

Supermarkets, Grocers & Butchers
A-One Bottom of Shar-e Naw Park Chelsea Shar-e Naw main road, opposite Kabul Bank Spinneys Wazir Akbar Khan, opposite British Embassy Finest Wazir Akbar Khan Roundabout Fat Man Forest Wazir Akbar Khan, main road. Enyat Modern Butcher Qala-e Fatullah main road, Near street four

ATMs
Kabul City Centre, Shar-e Naw (AIB AIB Main Office, Opposite Camp Eggers (AIB) AIB Shar-e Naw Branch, next to Chelsea Supermarket (AIB) HQ ISAF, Outside Cianos Pizzeria, US Embassy Street (AIB) KAIA Military Airbase, Outside Cianos Pizzeria, Airport (AIB) Finest Supermarket, Wazir Akbar Khan (AIB) World Bank Guard Hut, Street 15 Wazir Akbar Khan (Standard Chartered) Standard Chartered Branch, Street 10, Wazir Akbar Khan (Standard Chartered) Want to get on the Afghan Essentials list of places to eat and sleep? Contact sales@afghanscene.com
Afghan Scene September 2009 77

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