09 January 2009

Preparing for Kabul

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan--I met with three former AUCA students from Afghanistan over tea this afternoon to get their advice about working and living in Kabul. Yalda, an ethnic Tajik, is from Kabul and Hakima, a Hazara, and Naziha, also Tajik, are from Mazar-e Sharif in northern part of the country. Naziha also lived for a while in Kabul. Their suggestions were straightforward: Avoid crowds but don’t travel or walk alone; stay away from a few selected areas, which they identified, and don’t draw attention to yourself. The danger to foreigners is overstated, Yalda said. I was also told to expect a level of hospitality for which Afghans are legendary. And then they invited over for dinner the following week.