AP2ARS-YA5T : Pakistan - Afghanistan

Leaving on January 6th 2002 for Dubai UAE, continuing to Islamabad Pakistan a few days later, and from there departure is foreseen after about two weeks towards Kabul Afghanistan.

Gary K9AY from AY Technologies has provided some of his K9AY arrays for low band reception, I'm again taking the Inverted-L that provided numerous topband contacts from 9X-SØ and EL.

Here's a link to the YA5T page provided by Bruce WD4NGB, where you can do an on-line logsearch.

April 2002. Back home for a break. What an interesting region and people. Unfortunately many not too good things are happening there, hopefully in time things will settle down. Although my travels convince me more and more that mankind is an evil kind. Perhaps better to have a womankind rule the world ?

Although we had a small antenna setup in Kabul and were running low power, the YA5T gang made so far over 22,000 Qs after office hours. The biggest thrill were the 400+ Qs on 160m band. Also for me my 400+ Qs from Faizabad in Northeastern Afghanistan, where it's like going back in time 500 years. No running water and electricity, interesting to go back to basics (hole in the ground, bucket showers etc...). Mortality rate (not only because of war), is among one of the highest in the world. Lots of work is to be done in the region. Due to the high visibility in the media, most of you are aware of this fact. But a high risk exists things will go back to what they were, if the international community diverts its attention to another 'media' hotspot. Hope you appreciate your contact with YA5T in that light.

Click on the following photographs to see the full size pictures.

73 - Mark - ON4WW.

Afghanistan MOVIES

Movie1 : traffic in Kandahar
Movie2 : I call this the 'suicidal cop' movie
Islamabad Sunset
ON4WW likes sunsets, you must know by the time you got to this page. In the background is the famous king Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. It is from this setting AP2ARS is activated
Pakistani Truck
Trucks and buses in Pakistan are decorated in a very artistic way. Wouldn't you like to have one of those ?
Tora Bora
Flying from Pakistan to Kabul takes a good half an hour. The mountainous landscape is gorgeous, and famous. Remember Tora Bora ?
Airplane wrecks
First impression when landing in Kabul Afghanistan, is apocalyptic. The airfield hosts many many aircraft wrecks
Kabul airport
The Kabul airport authorities are currently rebuilding the premises. The inside is like almost destroyed
ISAF army
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to Afghanistan, consists of a multi-national army force. They control only Kabul so far, and fear is great that when they leave the country, the security situation may deteriorate fast
Kabul panoramic view
Kabul is surrounded by several mountain ranges. The scenery changes from day to day, depending on weather conditions. When things get back to normal, a touristical visit to this capital will fascinate you
Kaubl panoramic view (2)
Another view under a pitch blue sky
S53R Kabul
This is Robert, S53R. An adventurer 1st class, cw operator 1st class, and a great guy to know. He was one of the people bringing WRTC2000 to what it became
ON4WW Kabul
The jacket didn't fit the needs that day, at 2000 meters ASL.
Downtown Kabul
Downtown Kabul, lots of activity
Kabul roundabout
Traffic roundabout. Lots of bicycles in town
Traffic control
Traffic control point, with minaret in the background
Ben Hur
You have to admit, Ben Hur in Kabul, you won't be able to shoot a picture like this in most nowadays capitals
Bakery
One of the many bakeries in Kabul. The taste of the flat shaped bread is just superb
Fresh fruit
Fresh fruit is available in the capital
Veggies
So are fresh veggies
Butchery Street Kabul
And fresh meat. But unemployment is so high, one wonders how few those are who can afford to buy these elementary goods
Kabul kid
Although many kids and women are begging, my general impression was that people were mostly happy for having peace after 20 years of wars, and generally begging was not more spread than in other capitals
Kabul kids
Smiling faces in front of our office. Mostly, people would even ask you to photograph them. No wonder after a regime that forbid taking pictures, and forbid so many other things as well
Three men
People would even pose so you could get your picture right ! I found the Afghan a friendly and generous people. On the other hand, many Afghans to whom I spoke felt like they were being a bad people. Not so
Shop life
Shop life
Old biker
Afghanistan is a country where almost every face would make for a great picture
Kabul kids (2)
These kids followed me around until I took their picture
Burka women
I was a bit hesitant of taking this picture of women dressed in a burka, but they insisted I took the picture. Inside buildings they take off the burka, but on the street they still wear them. The fear for 'what might happen' after the interim government (six months) is gone, is great
Old man in doorway
One for National Geographic ?
Women with children
Women and kids. What a pitty women have to hide their identity and looks in public. Could we as men imagine we have to dress likewise if women were to be ruling the world ?
Old men
Really, the faces of old men make for great pictures
Destroyed Kabul
Kabul is divided in two parts. The part where nowadays everyone lives and works. On the other side of a hill, the part that is destroyed by many years of fighting between the Muhadjedin fractions. That's where this picture is taken
Royal palace

The Royal Palace, built in 1919, destroyed in ?
What a pity. But even more so for the citizens of whom their homes became useless after the many years of fighting

YA5T operating
This is YA5T operating from Faizabad in Northeastern Afghanistan
Shoes outside
To enter the shack, the office, or any premises for that matter, one has to take off his shoes. All house floors are covered with carpets
Kids in Faizabad
Kids in Faizabad
Eating donkeys
Donkeys are the key to transport in the mountainous regions. Some of the relief agencies would hire up to thousands of donkeys to bring food and other items to the needy
White burkas
It was in Faizabad I saw white burkas for the first time. I was told they are used by single young women
Ceremony limo

Hey, what about this ceremony limo ? Great eh !

Flood
When the snow in the mountains melts, some parts of downtown Faizabad get flooded
Welding shop
We have reached the one and only welding workshop in Faizabad. Notice the bullet marks ?
Merry-go-round
21 March marks the Afghan New Year. This year it was going hand in hand with a big festivity, even in remote Faizabad. A fair was put up, with a hand-turned merry-go-round for the children
Scenery
The Afghan scenery is breath taking
Drug traffic control
Anti-drug politics are taken serious, even in a remote area such as Faizabad. However, one contemplates how quickly an economy can be put in place, to recover for the income of loss. Let's hope international goodwill and especially sustainable relief efforts, will help towards that goal
Faizabad airstrip
This is the metal landing strip in Faizabad. After the sand strips in Africa, this was a new one to me.

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