---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Inna Bakker <innabakker@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 9:20 PM
Subject: Fwd: #7 Kabul

sorry for mistakes--no spelling check

Dear family and friends,

please look at the map, we flew  Isfahan-Dubai-Kabul,

we stayed overnight in Dubai, taxi was driven by lady in pink uniform, she is from Kirgizia--former Soviet republic, we spoke Russian,

people who work in the hotel  are from so many countries; Phillipines, Nepal, Kirgizia, Russia, Sudan, Libya, etc,

i took a lot of photos in the airport in Dubai at the Kabul gate, to me people around looked either like Korzai-president of Afghanistan or like terrorists from the TV image, security was very tight, everybody was checked, body searched, x-ray luggage  5-7 times before to get to the plane's seat,

it is a mountain country, at the landing we saw mountains covered by snow, then again to get out of the airport

7 time security check,  we were met  as always by tour guides and drove to the hotel , again 5-7 check points to get to the entrance, dog sniffing, check our van for explosive, check our luggage, finely we are inside, hotel; Serena is very beautiful , peaceful inside, garden around, great luxury, decorated in traditional Afghan style, 5 years ago here was explosion and about 9 people were killed,  now security is very good but nothing is a guarantee,, in the hotel we met a lot of Americans, British, Canadians, Europeans who work in Kabul, doing business, trying to develop this country---NGO people--Non Governmental Organizations, they shook our hands that we came as tourists, no tourists in Afghanistan, no tourist industry of souvenirs, magnets and little things, only handicrafts and carpets,

By van we had tour of Kabul, getting out only at the ruins of Presidential palace and took photos with soldiers, driving through the streets all photos are taken from windows, it is a war zone even now Kabul is the better place in the country, very poor, primitive, ruined but a lot of people, children, everybody is doing something,
we went to Kabul museum, used to be a great museum, now most precious objects  are on the world wide tour of other museums for security concern,  we had a walk in the Barbur's garden - formal park built in 16 century, met a lot of locals, they came to us, wanted to take photos, young people speak English, one girl with the family invited me for lunch in her house, but i said -thank you very much but i have to stay with the group, we saw a lot of Embassies --about 20......, collection of burned cars, former Russian compound, wedding hall where our young guide will have a wedding next week, 600 people, groom family is paying,

history of Kabul and the country are wars, conquest, destruction and very little creations--nothing much to see, very sad,

NGO people told us a lot of stories, good and bad, very harsh, especially for women, but they said--it will take generations to change,

i am glad we went and now we are out in Delhi, safe and sound flying to Kashmir,

love to all, Inna






















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