It's scary here
August 19, 2007

It's official: I'm scared. It's scary here. I want out NOW. It's a holiday at the ministry. I'm not going *anywhere*. I'm going to finish this and then take a nap.

The woman abducted from a restaurant so near where I work works for an international NGO, Ora International.

Was this criminally or politically motivated? Not known. Security thinks it is somehow significant that they took the woman and not her partner. Could be an inside job -- some Afghan local she actually works with who decided for some reason she would be the best target for kidnapping, and has been promised a cut of whatever is gotten for her.

Security says "We do have information that several organized criminal gangs in Kabul are planning more abduction of internationals in Kabul."


We are confined to our guest houses and work places until further notice. No restaurants. No shopping. No missions. No meetings outside the office. We can go to the airport to leave on booked flights.

Our guest house is stocked with alcohol, so we ordered Chinese food from a nearby restaurant (it was really good) and drank way too much and told very morbid, tasteless aid worker jokes. And derided Italy for paying the ransom for their folks a while back -- everyone here agrees that that's what started the open season on kidnapping. One of the security guys here says they are getting dozens of warning from "security sources" threatening everything under the sun.

Please not only keep this latest woman in your thoughts: a German guy has been held for more than three weeks, as have the Koreans. *Several* Afghans are being held. Several de-mining dogs are being held (I'm not kidding).

As for what Afghans think - they all are mortified. The administrative director came up to apologize and assure us that this had nothing to do with his culture and country. I felt so bad for him feeling the need to say that. The best justice for anyone caught kidnapping would be to turn them over to ordinary Afghan citizens - the justice would be swift and terrible.

I must complement the Ministry -- they were ready to do whatever it took to protect the international staff. I felt very well taken care of.

This is the part where you write me assuring emails...


If you have read this blawg, PLEASE let me know.
Comments are welcomed, and motivate me o keep writing --
without comments, I start o think I'm talking o cyberair.

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