Whiteboard Journal (2013): Journeys Through The Viewfinder 29 April 2013 Whiteboard Journal Journeys Through The Viewfinder The Photographic Tales of Two Indonesian Travellers They say a photograph is worth a thousand words, but Agustinus Wibowo and Dave Lumenta, two individuals who have travelled extensively, prove that the value of photographs go beyond the number of words they are able to represent. Featuring the works of these prominent figures, this article highlights the connection between photography and travelling. Author Dwiputri Pertiwi · Photo/Illustration Agustinus Wibowo and Dave Lumenta 04/29/13 · 22,329 Views We are perhaps all too familiar with the phrase, “seeing is believing.” It is the perfect line to start a philosophical discussion, but it is just as popular among advertising agencies – haven’t we become acquainted with several variations of the concept? Most of us must see to confirm the realness of an object, even though there are times [read more]

April 29, 2013 // 0 Comments

ChinaNews 中国新闻网 (2013): 印尼华裔青年作家出版新著 讲述游历多国经历

4月20日晚,印尼华裔青年作家翁鸿鸣(Agustinus Wibowo)在泗水敦绒望商厦Gramedia书店举行《零点》(Titik Nol)新书发布会。来自泗水市和外埠的读者,及泗水华社代表郑菊花、何婉芸、吴萌暄和陈新来出席了活动。

发布会上,翁鸿鸣介绍《零点》是他的新作。之前,他已经出版两本书《灰尘毯子》(Selimut Debu)和《界线》(Garis Batas)。《零点》讲述当年他当背包族(Backpacker)游览中国西藏、尼泊尔、印度和阿富汗的经历。

April 25, 2013 // 0 Comments

千岛日报(2013): 华裔青年作家翁鸿鸣出版新书《零点》


(本 报记者徐健境报道)4月20日晚上6时,我国华裔青年作家翁鸿鸣(Agustinus Wibowo)在泗水敦绒望商厦Gramedia书店举行《零点》(Titik Nol)新书发布会。来自泗水市和外埠的读者,及泗水华社代表郑菊花、何婉芸、吴萌暄和陈新来出席了活动。

April 25, 2013 // 0 Comments

Surabaya Highlight (2013): How Much Are You Willing to Let Go?

19 April 2013 Surabaya Highlight How Much Are You Willing to Let Go? Surabaya – “There’s no end to traveling, it is all about how well we understand places that we have visited,” an afternoon talk during lunch with Agustinus Wibowo is such an eye opener for lucky Surabaya Highlight. Agustinus Wibowo is a travel writer and freelance journalist that was born and raised in Lumajang, East Java. In his short visit to Surabaya, he agreed to meet us and share his inspiring life to Surabaya Highlight’s readers. Coming from a small town of Lumajang, Agus had a dream to someday see the world outside his hometown. “Children would run around screaming to a plane passing by. I always watch Dunia Dalam Berita, because that was the only chance I had to see the world since there was no internet or other programs,” his vivid explanation made us picturing how it [read more]

April 19, 2013 // 0 Comments

Jakarta Globe (2013): Detailing a Nomad’s Return to Point Zero

4 April 2013 Detailing a Nomad’s Return to Point Zero By Lisa Siregar on 3:24 pm April 4, 2013. Category Features, Travel Travel writer Agustinus Wibowo has walked many kilometers and dangerous turns during adventures in Afghanistan and across Asia — a long way from his childhood days in Lumajang, East Java, when he used to chase passing aircraft. After years away from his family, Agustinus eventually returned home to read the stories he had written about his experiences to his ill, bedridden mother. These previously unpublished tales of his journeys to Nepal, India and Pakistan, as well as the conversations with his mother in her final days, are the main themes of his new book, “Titik Nol” (“The Zero Point”, or “Ground Zero”). “To lose my mother is the worst thing that happened to me in my life,” Agustinus said at the launch of his book in Jakarta. “But I keep writing, [read more]

April 4, 2013 // 0 Comments

Third Book, Titik Nol (Point Zero) is Coming

Faraway. Why everybody is obsessed by that word? Marco Polo traveled faraway from Venice to the Mongolian Empire. The explorers adventured through dangerous seven seas. The climbers put their life on the line just for a few moments conquering majestic peaks. He was also overwhelmed by the “faraway”. The Traveler decided to get involved in globetrotting journey. He sneaked to the forbidden land in Himalaya, staying in mysterious Kashmir, and became witness of warzones and massacres. Started by a dream, flowing like a series of dreams, this is a journey of a traveler searching for a meaning. Until to the point that he had traveled very, very far, he was forced to return home, kneel down besides his mother’s bed. And from the story of the very mother who has never traveled anywhere, little by little he revealed the meanings of journey that he was missing. Paperback, 568 pages Published February 2013 by Gramedia Pustaka Utama ISBN: 9789792292718 edition language: Indonesian For the [read more]

February 7, 2013 // 0 Comments


巴彦乌列盖(Bayan Olgii)是蒙古最西部且海拔最高的省份,如果从乌兰巴托前往,需忍受长达70 多个小时、十分颠簸的车程,但仍值得一去。在当地生活的哈萨克族人至今保留着伊斯兰传统生活方式,由于穆斯林在饮酒上的限制,犯罪事件相对较少,因此在当地旅行比在蒙古其他地方安全许多。每年在乌列盖都会举办金鹰节(Golden Eagle Festival),当地数百名猎鹰高手参与角逐,成千上万的国际游客也会前来观赛。节日期间,还会举行哈萨克族的传统服饰狂欢秀。

March 23, 2012 // 0 Comments



January 13, 2012 // 0 Comments (2011): ‘Traveling is about Losing your Ego’

December 29, 2011 Indonesian Travel Writer & Photographer Agustinus Wibowo: ‘Traveling is about Losing your Ego’ By: Yvette Benningshof   Passing borderlines is almost a daily routine for Agustinus Wibowo. The travel writer and photographer from Indonesia picked up his backpack at the age of 19 and started to travel throughout Central Asia. He has lived in Afghanistan for three years as a photojournalist and has written two bestsellers books about his borderless travels. Wibowo’s current latitude: Beijing, China. Agustinus Wibowo (30) left his village Lumajang in East-Java, Indonesia in 2000 to study Computer Science in Beijing. From there he started his travels to Mongolia where he got robbed on the first day. That didn’t hold him back to travel to even more ‘dangerous’ countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2003. As a true budget backpacker he took off with only 300 US dollars. ‘I [read more]

December 29, 2011 // 0 Comments



December 23, 2011 // 0 Comments


他们的祖先是成功的商人。徽商创造的传奇广为流传,谱写了中国经济史上的一段佳话。 历史上,徽商所经历的黄金时期,约在唐宋年间。当时的徽商从古徽州出发,其经商路线不仅遍布全中国,还曾至抵东南亚,当然也包括今天的印度尼西亚。在中国流传着这样一句话,“没有徽商,市不成市。”由此足见徽商在中国经济史上举足轻重的地位。 弹指一挥间,五百年也好似匆匆而过。坐落在黄山市南部的西递、宏村是祖辈留给后人的珍贵遗产。2000年,这两个村被联合国教科文组织列入《世界文化遗产名录》。自此,徽商的历史成就不再仅仅是当地居民的骄傲,也成为世界历史遗产中独具特色的一部分。 [read more]

November 11, 2011 // 3 Comments


人问:“游历四海山川,何处最奇?” 徐霞客答曰:“渤海内外无如徽之黄山,登黄山天下无山,观止矣!” 徐霞客,是中国明代的一位著名的旅行家,他曾经两度徒步游览位于今安徽省南部的黄山。在他的印象中,黄山是中国乃至世界上最美的山。后人将其发自肺腑的黄山感言表述为:“五岳归来不看山,黄山归来不看岳。” [read more]

November 10, 2011 // 4 Comments


尽管山野像是盖着厚厚的白毯子,太阳也隐藏在大雾弥漫的山中不曾露面,但我们在马仁奇峰的一天,却从清晨那一抹绚丽的“红霞”开始…… 当我们一行人走入古朴的山门,进入坐落在山麓的“红色收藏馆”,马仁奇峰的“红色”便跃然眼前——“心中的太阳永不落”,几个烫金大字嵌在正红色的背景墙上,让人心中油然升起一种肃穆的情绪。在这所纪念馆里,成百上千块形状、设计各异的毛主席像章,规整地陈列在墙上的玻璃镜框或是展柜里。从最小的衬衫徽章,到碗口大、乃至锅沿儿宽的大型纪念章,可谓应有尽有,用“壮观”来形容,绝不为过。 [read more]

November 9, 2011 // 3 Comments


  安徽:光辉的昨天,今天的事业 仿佛难以冲破密密层层的乌云,飞机在合肥上空盘旋了许久。终于,我们拨开浓得化不开的雾霭,在冷雨中降落在合肥机场。据说,每逢十一月,雨雾天气是合肥的常态,我便裹紧了厚厚的外套。大巴在街道上飞驰,不多久,便载着我们驶入了合肥政务新区——一个标志这座省府城市已达到国际标准的城市新区。 [read more]

November 8, 2011 // 6 Comments

Traveler【旅行家】(2011):伊朗旅游的“后ADS时代”: 既小众,又高端


October 23, 2011 // 0 Comments

Appearance in Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2011 Agustinus Wibowo is an Indonesian travel writer, travelled overland from Beijing to Central Asia and Middle East. He traveled extensively and settled in Afghanistan as journalist for three years. His works include Selimut Debu (A Blanket of Dust) and Garis Batas (Borderlines). Festival Appearances Time travel Saturday, 8 October 2011 10:45 Left Bank Lounge What is the future of travel writing and how do travellers utilise the genre? Has it all been said and done? Brian Thacker, Fiona Caulfield, Trinity, Agustinus Wibowo Chair: Peta Mathias Ticketed A blanket of dust… Saturday, 8 October 2011 13:45 Left Bank Lounge Standing at the cutting edge of Indonesian literature, this modern day wanderer has travelled to the ends of the earth, living in Afghanistan for three years. Wander with him in this intimate session. Agustinus Wibowo with Jamie James Worlds, in words: making language work Saturday, 8 October 2011 16:00 Neka Museum How [read more]

September 23, 2011 // 0 Comments

A Blanket of Dust—New Edition

My first book, A Blanket of Dust (Selimut Debu) is going to be republished with new cover and new photos, to be launched by Gramedia Pustaka Utama this coming 29 September 2011. [Agustinus] tak ingin hanya menjadi penonton isi dunia. Ia mau terlibat sepenuhnya dalam perjalanan itu. Ia tak sekadar melihat pemandangan, berpindah dari satu tempat ke tempat lain, tetapi juga mengenal budaya dan berinteraksi dengan masyarakat setempat. –Kompas– Afghanistan. Nama negeri itu sudah bersinonim dengan perang tanpa henti, kemiskinan, maut, bom bunuh diri, kehancuran, perempuan tanpa wajah, dan ratapan pilu. Nama yang sudah begitu tidak asing, namun tetap menyimpan misteri yang mencekam. Pada setiap langkah di negeri ini, debu menyeruak ke rongga mulut, kerongkongan, lubang hidung, kelopak mata. Bulir-bulir debu yang hampa tanpa makna, tetapi menjadi saksi pertumpahan darah bangsa-bangsa, selama ribuan tahun. Aura petualangan berembus, dari gurun gersang, gunung salju, padang hijau, lembah [read more]

September 17, 2011 // 4 Comments

Whiteboard Journal (2011): Interview with Agustinus Wibowo Forming a passion for traveling, Agustinus Wibowo has spent most of his years in a foreign country. Referred as a world backpacker, Agustinus Wibowo whose profession is as a journalist, has taken the road less traveled by going to the depths of China, Mongolia, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran to the unfamiliar countries of Central Asia. His contemplative nature and literary adeptness has pushed him to compile his travel stories in a publication called ‘Selimut Debu’ in 2010, and ‘Garis Batas’ recently in 2011. Whiteboard Journal had a chance to learn more of his purpose of travels and the turnings points that have defined him as a word traveler. W: How did everything start? What initially drew you to be so engulfed in traveling? Everything started from childhood, when my dad introduced me to [read more]

June 20, 2011 // 0 Comments

Garis Batas – Perjalanan di Negeri-Negeri Asia Tengah (Borderlines)

My second published travel writing book, on journey to Central Asian countries (The “Stans”). Indonesian language. Borderlines – Journey to the Central Asian States Everyday, Afghan villagers stare to “a foreign country” which is just a river away. They look at passing cars, without even once experiencing sitting inside the vehicles. They look at Russian-style villas, while they live in dark mud and stone houses. They look at girls in tight jeans, while their own women are illiterate and have no freedom to travel. The country across the river seems magnificent—a magnificent fantasy. The same fantasy brings Agustinus Wibowo travel to the mysterious Central Asian states. Tajikistan. Kyrgyzstan. Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan. The “Stan brothers”. This journey will not only bring you step on snowy mountains, walk accross borderless steppes, adsorbing the greatness of traditions and the glowing Silk Road civilization, or having [read more]

April 25, 2011 // 4 Comments

The Jakarta Globe (2011): An Indonesian’s Lust for Asian Travel

An Indonesian’s Lust for Asian Travel Lisa Siregar | May 26, 2011 For Agustinus Wibowo, a travel writer who has explored and lived in some of the most dangerous parts of Central Asia, traveling is all about gaining fresh perspectives — even if it means going unshowered for months or getting kicked out of an Afghan man’s house for refusing the generous offer of a male prostitute. “It’s not about the number of stamps in your passport. It’s the traveler’s point of view that matters,” he said last week during the launch of his new travel book, “Garis Batas” (“Borderlines”). He showed up to the launch proudly wearing a white flowing tunic known as a shalwar kameez from Afghanistan, where he had lived for several years. Agustinus, now a translator based in Beijing, is famed for his travel columns published in Kompas newspaper as well as his first book, “Selimut Debu” [read more]

March 26, 2011 // 0 Comments


本期介绍 本期节目主要内容: 1、新春亚洲行–走进文莱和印尼; 2、昨天互动问题的答案:“黄梨”谐音“旺来”喻示好兆头; 3、文莱:新春亚洲行: (1)文莱并不遥远,古称渤泥国; (2)五万华人为社会作出积极贡献; (3)吴尊为您介绍文莱华人过春节; (4)华人新春活动迎来“神秘贵宾”; 4、文莱:今天的互动问题:今年文莱华人团拜会的贵宾是谁; 5、文莱–大年初一要放假; 6、文莱:新春亚洲行:几代华人依然保留着过年习俗; 7、印尼–春节是法定假日;

February 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Jakarta Post (2010): A thrill ride to Afghanistan A thrill ride to Afghanistan Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Feature | Sun, June 27 2010, 10:30 AM Several years ago, a man dreamed of traveling to Afghanistan to see what was behind the dust — the seemingly endless war, the grenades, the refugees, the Taliban. In his dream, he saw two gigantic statues of Buddha located in Bamiyan valley and was mesmerized by a soft, deep whisper from a girl with beautiful eyes, who stared at him from behind a blue burqa. In 2003, Indonesian Agustinus Wibowo made his dream come true and backpacked from Beijing to Afghanistan with only US$300. After his journey, he wrote Selimut Debu (Blanket of Dust) which gives his insights on daily life in the war-ravaged country. The author views Indonesia from the perspective of the Afghans as he unveils the beauties, miseries and ironies of a country where warfare is reported daily on televisions and in the newspapers. His [read more]

June 27, 2010 // 0 Comments

My First Book, “BLANKET OF DUST — SELIMUT DEBU” is Launched in Indonesia

Finally…. after long time of editing and rewriting, and editing again, and rewriting again, (I already have lost count about the process), my first travel narrative book will be launched by Gramedia Pustaka Utama, one of the leading publishers in Indonesia, by January 12, 2010. This book is about Afghanistan, based of my travel around the country by hitchhiking in 2006, but the contents are enriched with my contemplation after my two and half year stay in Afghanistan as a journalist. The first edition is in Indonesian, but hopefully an English version will come out soon as well. ——————————————– Selimut Debu – Agustinus Wibowo 468 halaman Rp69.000,- Dilengkapi foto-foto berwarna. No GM 40101100002 ISBN: 978-979-22-5285-9 Pada tahun 2006, Agustinus mulai melintasi perbatasan antar negara menuju Afghanistan, dan selama dua tahun ia menetap di Kabul sebagai fotografer jurnalis—catatannya [read more]

January 6, 2010 // 34 Comments

Aplaus (2009): Single Fighters – True Story Unveiled

Edisi 112 Aplaus Fokus Single Fighters: The True Story Unveiled Teks oleh Linda Yusmiyani & Judika B.M Foto Bobby Wongso Wennars, Istimewa & dari berbagai sumber Menjadi single fighter bukan berarti harus merasa sendiri. Justru merupakan proses perjuangan untuk melatih melupakan ego, percaya diri dan mensyukuri kemandirian yang telah dianugerahkan. BANYAK hal yang harus dilewati untuk menjadi sukses karena kemandirian. Mulai dari jalan berbatu, berliku, bertemu dengan orang yang salah, merasakan jatuh, sebelum akhirnya menggenggam sukses sejati seperti mereka ini. 1.Go Far And Experience The World Agustinus Wibowo (Backpacker) Masih muda, tapi pengalaman backpacking-nya segudang. Apalagi kegigihan dan kemandiriannya dalam menelusuri hampir seluruh negara di Asia. Awal petualangan backpaking kamu gimana sih? Tahun 2001 saya terinspirasi seorang teman perempuan dari Jepang yang melakukan perjalanan sendiri [read more]

December 3, 2009 // 6 Comments

Mashhad – The Empty Border

The dusty border Two years ago, when I came to Iran for the first time through the Islam Qala border, I was astonished by the scene of hundreds of wild Afghan men fighting to pass the border line, to quit their homeland and reach hope in rich Iran. But now, it’s not anymore the scene. The Afghan-Iranian border in Islam Qala is quite empty. Iran has tightened up the visa approval for Afghans. Land crossing is no more permitted for ordinary Afghans. The Iranian visa from Kabul is mostly stamped “For Air Travel Only”, putting them to obtain roundtrip ticket only with Iranian airlines. In some cases, visa applicants need to spend at least 1000 dollars just to get the entry visa. Indeed, one’s passport determines his or her fate. I arrived in Afghan immigration hall after 100 meter walk. People are sitting idly to wait for the officers come back from their lunch break. There are three officers behind the table. One is examining the passports, one is stamping, and the last one is [read more]

June 9, 2009 // 1 Comment

Kabul – End of Journey?

Mama, wearing my academic dress. She did not finish her primary education, as the school was forced to close by the Suharto regime. But her dream is to learn, learn a lot, and be a real university student The last few weeks were very difficult time for me. Once my dad called from Indonesia, “Your mom is going to have an operation. Please pray for her.” It’s very unlikely that my mom gets sick, as my mom is a very active woman, doing physical exercise almost on daily basis. In late few years I have never heard she fell into serious sickness, even for once.The news was not too good. It turned out to be tumor, cells which grow abnormally. It sounds not so serious, my mom just complained of pain in her abdominal. Operation was conducted. It’s not a simple tumor. Doctor said it was malignant tumor, euphemism of saying ‘your mom got cancer’. My mom ovary was lifted. The next diagnosis saying that the cancer has spread to her intestine, and they claimed my mom got a Stage-3C [read more]

May 28, 2009 // 30 Comments

Jakarta Post Weekender (2009): Face of Kabul THE WEEKENDER JAKARTA POST: Face of Kabul The Jakarta Post – WEEKENDER | Thu, 01/29/2009 8:00 PM | City Scene Agustinus Wibowo is a 27-year-old backpacker, photographer and writer whose passion for traveling the world has carried him across continents and borders. Recent explorations led to Kabul, Afghanistan, a city that was once the proud son of Persia. Agus’ essays on Central Asian countries are published regularly on and will soon be serialized in print by Kompas Publisher. Here he gives us a glimpse of the war-torn country after decades of civil war and living in fear under the Taliban regime. Mean Streets According to UNICEF, between 50,000 and 60,000 children live on the streets of Kabul. The number continues to rise every year, even though dozens of local and international organizations have committed themselves to eradicating poverty in Afghanistan’s war-torn regions. These children will do [read more]

January 29, 2009 // 2 Comments

Gender Corridor Afghanistan (2008): A New Beginning

Gender Corridor Afghanistan, November 2008 “Gender Corridor Afghanistan” is the publication of Gender Equality Project of UNDP Afghanistan. A NEW BEGINNING Armed men loyal to brutal Afghan warlords set up checkpoints and take what they want – including helpless young girls. Women are often raped before being given or sold to whoever desires a bride. Some who survive and escape can no longer live with their ordeal. They douse themselves in gasoline and set themselves ablaze. “Who can say ‘no’ to a war commander?” asks Naseera Shafi, 26, the Regional Office Coordinator for UNDP’s Afghanistan New Beginnings Programme (ANBP) in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif. “They have guns and power. They do whatever they want. When they see a beautiful girl, they may kidnap her and force her to marry …. It’s not uncommon for a young girl to marry an old man under these conditions,” Naseera says. The ANBP aims to create new opportunities for peace and security in the [read more]

November 5, 2008 // 1 Comment

UNDP Gender Equality Posters (2008)

Photos I took in Badakhshan and some other parts of Afghanistan are used for publication posters of Gender Equality Project of UNDP Afghanistan, October 2008. WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY IN AFGHANISTAN   AFGHANS WORKING TOGETHER FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT   COMMUNITIES CAN TAKE ACTION TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN   Posters are designed by Inis Thailand.   [read more]

October 25, 2008 // 5 Comments

Bomb in front of Indonesian Embassy in Kabul

I am not in Kabul at this moment, but was very much shocked to read a friend’s SMS: Bomb outside of Indian and Indonesian embassies in Kabul. Casualties. All Indonesian friends are safe. Building damaged. Later, I read more on the Internet. The bomb happened at 8:25 a.m., the busy hour when dozens of visa applicants queueing in front of the Indian embassy. The Indonesian embassy was not the target, but unluckily it was located right next to the Indian embassy. The location is on sensitive area of Ministry of Interior street, heavily guarded everyday during office hours as a deadly bomb blast in 2006 here. On the same street is also the Pajhwok Afghan News Office, where I used to live in Kabul. Here is a photo of the scene after the bomb blast, taken by photographer colleague of Pajhwok, Ahmadullah Salemi The deadly bomb blast At the right side, far behind, the white building is the Indonesian embassy. Despite of the worsening security in Kabul, the embassy still puts its office [read more]

July 7, 2008 // 6 Comments

Kabul – Welcome to Ariana Flight

The boarding room of Kabul International Airport. Everybody is ready to fly … The first encounter with Ariana – the Afghan national carrier – is not always thrilling. It might be a unique experience from the Afghan land. In last several months I have been working as a consultant for UN. This, more or less, has changed my preference in traveling. Probably I got spoiled already with those amenities, facilities, and luxuries. Today, the first day of me turning back to be a backpacker again, I feel a sudden shock. Usually I prefer to take overland trip, but this time, on my way going to Iran for a short holiday to change the routine in Kabul, I chose to fly Ariana. The Kabul – Herat’s 1000 kilometer distance can be reached through three different routes. The northern route, through Mazar-e-Sharif, takes at least four days, killing unpaved road full of dust of the desert Dasht-e-Laila at the end of its leg. I have experienced this in 2006 and am not so keen to try again. The [read more]

June 9, 2008 // 3 Comments

Women’s Silk Factory in Kabul

AZANA is an Afghanistan women’s small enterprise aiming to a much bigger dream Not only they weave silk, they also weave their future. “AZANA has changed my life,” says Nazdana, a 16-year-old girl who just recently learned how to weave silk shawls in AZANA, a silk factory managed by a woman director and operated mostly by woman workers, in deep alley of Kabul, where job opportunities for women are still scarce. “Before joining AZANA, I used to only do house works. There are 14 people in my family, and I knew only how to cook food, wash their clothes, and clean our house. But, now I am very happy because I start to earn money from my own hands. Not only does Nazdana learn about silk weaving, now she starts to grab pens to write. Ms Shaima Breshna, the director of AZANA silk factory, provides literacy class for the female employees of the factory. Nazdana remembers, “At the first time [joining the class], I even did not know how to hold pencil. Other [read more]

June 2, 2008 // 0 Comments

Kabul – Assassination Attempt

He has managed to escape several assassination attempts. Who knows what happens next. Since the beginning of 2008, there had not been any big incidence in Kabul yet, until today, when the government and people of Afghanistan was proudly celebrating the victory of the Holy War, to commemorate the withdrawal of Russian troops. I did not go to the scene myself, as the program is restricted to accredited journalits (I am now a freelancer), but some colleagues from Pajhwok went there for reportage since early morning. Nobody expected that the yearly military parade turned to be assassination attempt to President Karzai, and the attack turned bloody. Some TV cameramen and photographers lost their cameras amid the chaos. Here is the updated news: ——————– Afghanistan’s President Karzai Is Safe After Attack (Update1) By Jay Shankar April 27 (Bloomberg) – Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and [read more]

April 27, 2008 // 1 Comment

Kabul – Women Carpenters from Afghanistan

Woman carpenters from Dasht Barchi. Most if not all of them are Hazaras. Most people believe that carpentry is a man’s trade, but for the 60 carpentresses of Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi district, it simply isn’t true. “Women are able to do all kinds of work that men do,” they proclaim proudly. Hidden among mud houses which sit idly off of the main road, the center for carpentry is a local shura (council) where women learn about basic carpentry and build various items from cupboards, tables, computer desks, chairs to sandalis (heaters). A middle-aged woman is too happy to take me to the production center, where everything seems to happen all at once, located inside a small hut. “See, we are now able to handle heavy machinery,” she points out to several woodworking equipments that are modern-looking, where two or three women work in tandem to produce wood chops or create nail punctures and screw holes. Nails, chisels, hammers, sawing machines, screwdrivers are as familiar to [read more]

April 3, 2008 // 3 Comments


2 April 2008 千岛日报 走出去就是一门学问 “周游世界探险”的梦想 南海漳 绿草 “人生好比一个旅程,我们无法预知我们的生命何时终止,同样的我也无法确知我的探险何时才能结束。扪心自问我将继续我的探险,尚有很多地方准备去驻足探 访、考察和挖掘世界上鲜为人知的新事物”这是一位印尼青年Agustinus Wibowo (翁鸿鸣 )所述的一席话,他现在阿富汗。 翁鸿鸣是北京清华大学计算机工程与技术系毕业生。2005年写了题为《印度尼西亚语的语音综合系统与文体分析》的综合论文,那时已开发的语音合成系统有: 英语、汉语、日语和汉语四种,而印尼语可谓是第五种语言。赢得了教授的极高评价:“翁鸿鸣同学勤于动脑,工作努力,动手能力强,答辩讲述清楚,回答问题正 [read more]

April 2, 2008 // 4 Comments

Jakarta Post Weekender (2008): Time Stands Still BEYOND BORDERS: Time Stands Still Sparsely populated and well hidden from the rest of the world, Wakhan Corridor is as medieval today as it was over 700 years ago when Marco Polo passed through. Agustinus Wibowo visits the region. The awkward tongue of Afghanistan, located at the northeastern tip of the country, is a 200-mile-long valley that stretches between Tajikistan and Pakistan. A strategic territory created by the once-reigning British Empire at the end of the 19th century, Wakhan Corridor was first attached to Afghan territory as a buffer zone between Britain and Russia. Though the battle for supremacy between the two giants has long ended, little seems to have changed since then. Time has been suspended for what seems like eternity. Deprived of the comforts of modern living, Afghans tend to paint rosy images of Tajikistan, where women are not required to wear the burqa and children receive the education they deserve. [read more]

January 25, 2008 // 2 Comments

Taliban Attack on Luxury Hotel in Afghan Capital Kills Eight

The luxurious, five star Serena Hotel. With such heavy tiered security system, who expects this hotel can be attacked? Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) – Taliban insurgents killed as many as eight people in a suicide bomb attack on a luxury hotel in the Afghan capital, Kabul, where Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store was hosting a meeting. A Norwegian journalist accompanying the foreign minister and a U.S. citizen were among those killed in yesterday’s bomb- and-gunfire assault at the Serena Hotel. Store was uninjured, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. The assault is a “serious crime against humanity,’’ Ban told reporters in New York. Store was the target of the attack, he said, without elaborating. Suicide bombings in Afghanistan have risen sevenfold over the past two years and Taliban fighters are increasingly carrying out attacks in the capital. The assault may signal a [read more]

January 14, 2008 // 0 Comments

Kabul – A Midnight Jog

Kabul taxi, can be dangerous day or night People tend to have more things to say when they are angry or disappointed. And today I do the same. I regret I didn’t tell you earlier how I was impressed by hospitality of Kabul taxi drivers, who usually refuse to receive money from a foreign guest (only lip service mostly, but anyway it makes me happy), but now I have to tell a scary experience with a Kabul driver. I was invited by a friend to a dinner in Wazir Akbar Khan area, the rich part of Kabul where many embassies, foreign organizations, and expatriate housings are located. I usually don’t stay until late night, but yesterday we talked until completely forgetting about the time. At the end, an AFP French reporter friend of mine realized that it was already 10:30, and we had to leave. She offered me to walk together to the main road, from where I can find taxi to go home and she went back to her house on foot. We walked together to the direction of the main road. Usually, at this [read more]

January 9, 2008 // 0 Comments

Kabul – Shocked

Benazir Bhutto I was terribly shocked by the unexpected news of the assassination of Pakistani Former Prime Minister, Ms Benazir Bhutto. A friend from the UN called me, “Hey, have you heard about Benazir Bhutto? She was shot dead.” “Are you joking?” It was serious, a fact which I really didn’t want to believe. Benazir was shot three times in a political rally in Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi, somewhere I used to stay two years before. I couldn’t believe that Pakistan, which I used to love because of the people’s extreme hospitality, turn to boiling hell. I remembered, sometime in winter 2005, in a village in northern Karakoram Mountains, a vertical tricolor flag was hoisted on a pole on top of a house. Black-red-green. “Is that flag of Afghanistan?” “No. That’s flag of PPP,” explained an old villager, “Pakistan People Party. That’s the party of Benazir Bhutto. We loved her very much.” I remembered, deep in Thar Parkar desert town of Umerkot, a Hindu friend [read more]

December 27, 2007 // 0 Comments

Kabul – Christmas in Kabul

Christmas trees in Kabul streets, who expected? In devout, conservative Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Christmas is just like another day. It’s an ordinary day when people go to office, children go to school, and nobody is aware of what Christmas is. But since last some few years, the Christmas trees start to decorate the Kabul again. It is in the Flower Street, across the rows of foreigner-oriented souvenir shops of Chicken Street, where most flower shops in Kabul are located. Christmas trees, considered as variation of flowers, along with Christmas accessories like stars, Santa Claus, colorful ribbons, et cetera, are offered in the roadside of the narrow alley. It is indeed a bizarre combination between the artificial Christmas trees, mostly imported and costs around US$25, with women clad in blue burqas passing by. Under Taliban, said Muhammad, a shop owner, selling Christmas trees was totally prohibited. But he claimed that the Christmas trees were already available in Flower [read more]

December 25, 2007 // 0 Comments

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