Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On the ground in Afghanistan (Part 4)

Mike Skinner's account of his experiences in Afghanistan (intro here).

Sunday, June 17 (excerpts):.

... The Canadian embassy is like none I have seen anywhere else – it is surrounded by an earthen fortress typical of a military installation not an embassy. While most embassies in the neighbourhood of Wazir Akbar Khan are typical of what you would expect to see in Ottawa – a gated mansion with security guards – the American, British and Canadian embassies are impregnable fortresses.

After passing through three checkpoints on the road leading into the embassy, we were admitted to a cramped security office. Here we were processed through an intensive security protocol – our bags were searched and I had to turn on my laptop and all my cameras and then these were taken away for
storage until our departure. An armed guard then accompanied us to a second building where we spoke to a receptionist through a bullet-proof glass partition.

... We had hoped to get a list of current Canadian development projects so we could visit these to see what progress if any is being made, but it seems there is no such list that can be provided by the receptionist at least. By some reports, every Canadian journalist and official who visits Afghanistan is taken
to the same two locations – a school and a health clinic in Kabul both funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). (See entire post here.)

No comments: