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DIREC TOR Y

202 DIREC TORY •• Elec tr icity

the Wakhan Corridor. For more details on the paperwork needed here, see p168 . Student and youth cards are of no use,

although as with any photographic ID they can be useful as a decoy if someone wants to keep your passport.

ELECTRICITY

Mains electricity, when available, is 220V, 50Hz AC. Plug sockets take round two- pronged plugs. Availability is the key issue – a constant and stable electricity supply is a huge problem in Afghanistan. Kabul cur- rently receives between two to six hours of mains electricity a day, and the roar and drone of generators provides a constant aural backdrop. Herat and Mazar-e Sharif, both of which import electricity from neighbouring countries have more reliable electricity supplies, but power cuts are still common. Travelling along the highway be- tween Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif it’s possi- ble to see the great rows of destroyed power lines, along with the newly built pylons in- tended to finally provide a reliable electricity supply to the capital by around 2008 – seven years after the fall of the Taliban. If you’re using any electric equipment, particularly computers, it’s vital to have a surge protector and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) plugged in between your equipment and electricity socket. Both are widely available in larger towns and cities across the country.

EMBASSIES & CONSULATES

We strongly advise that travellers register with their embassy on arrival in Kabul, but you should be aware of what your embassy can and can’t do for you. Your embassy general won’t help much in an emergency if the trouble you’re in is remotely your fault. Embassies won’t be sympathetic if you end up in jail after committing a crime locally, even if such actions are legal in your own country. Embassy attitudes may also be compounded if your government is cur- rently advising against travel to Afghani- stan. In genuine emergencies you might get some assistance (such as a new passport) but you’ll be expected to have your own insurance. For details of all Afghan embassies abroad, go to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Af-

fairs (www.mfa.gov.af ).

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Afghan Embassies & Consulates

Afghanistan has diplomatic representation in the following countries, among others. Where there is more than one listing per country, the embassy is listed first, followed by the consulates in alphabetical order:

Australia (x02-6282 7311; www.afghanembassy.net; PO Box 155, Deakin West, ACT 2600) Hosts nonresident envoy to New Zealand. Belgium (x02-761 3166; ambassade.afghanistan@skynet .be; 281 Rue Francoise Gay, Brussels B-1150) Canada (x613-563 4223/65; www.afghanemb-canada .net; 246 Queen St, Ottawa K1P 5E4) China (x010-6532 1582; afgemb.beijing@gmail.com; 8 Dong Zhi Men Wai Da Jie, Beijing) France (x01-45 25 05 29; www.ambafghane-paris.com; 32 Ave Raphael, Paris 75016) Hosts nonresident envoys to Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. Germany Berlin (x030-224 87229; afghanische-bots chaft@t-online.de; Wilhelmstrasse 65 D, 10117); Bonn (0228-256797; Liebfrauenweg 1A, 53125) India (x011- 410 331; afghanspirit@yahoo.com; Plat No 5, Block 50F, Chanakyapuri, Delhi 110021) Iran Tehran (x021-873 7050; afghanembassytehran@ hotmail.com; 4th St, Dr Beheshti Ave); Mashad (x0511- 854 4829; afghanistan_ge_con_mashad@samanir .net; Sevom Isfand Sq, off Doshahid St, Emam Khomeini Ave); Zahedan (x0541-243 7113; g_c_afgh_i_zahedan@ yahoo.com; Kheyaban-e Daneshga, Koi Estandari) Italy (x06-8621 6111; afghanembassy.rome@flashnet .it; Via Nomentana 120, Rome 00161) Hosts nonresident envoy to Greece. Japan (x03-5465 1219; www.afghanembassyjp.com; 3-37-8-B Nishihara, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0066) Kazakhstan (x327-255 2792; Khan Tengri 59, Almaty) Kyrgystan (x312-426372; afghanemb_bishkek@ yahoo.com; cnr Ayni & Toktonalieva, Bishkek) Netherlands (x20-6721311; afconsulholland@yahoo .com; Wellemsparkweg 114, Amsterdam) Norway (x22 83 84 10; www.afghanemb.com; 17 Kronprinsens Gt, 0244, Oslo) Hosts nonresident envoys to Denmark and Sweden. Pakistan Islamabad (x051-282 4505/6; nstarzi1@yahoo .com; House 8, Street 90, G-6/3); Karachi (x021-582 1264; agc_karachi@yahoo.com; 33/2 9th St, Khayaban-e Shamsi, Phase V, Defence 75500); Peshawar (x091-285962; The Mall, Saddar Bazaar); Quetta (x081-843364; 45 Prince Rd) Russia (x095-9287581; safarat_moscow@yahoo.com; Sverchkov Per 3/2, Moscow) Tajikistan Dushanbe (x372-216394; afghanemintj@yahoo .com; Pushkin 34); Khorog (x35220-2492; Kheyaban Kermshayef 17) Turkey Ankara (x312-4381121; 88 Cinnah Caddesi, Cankaya); Istanbul (x212-361 5500; info@afghanconsula teistanbul.com; Pamuk Palas 13/7, Taksim)

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Turkmenistan (x12-480757; Garashsyzlyk köçesi, Berzengi, Ashgabat) UK (x020-7589 8891/2; www.afghanembassy.co.uk; 31 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1QU)

United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi (x2-665 5560;

PO Box 5687); Dubai (x4-398 8229; PO Box 113233) USA Los Angeles (x310-473 6583; afghanconsulate@ hotmail.com; 11040 Santa Monica Blvd, CA 90025); New York (x212-972 2276; info@afghanconsulateny.org; 11th fl, 360 Lexington Ave, NY 10017); Washington DC (x202- 416 1620; www.embassyofafghanistan.org; 2341 Wyoming Ave NW, 20036) Uzbekistan (x71-134 8432; Murtazayev 6/84, Tashkent)

Embassies & Consulates in Afghanistan

All of the following embassies and consu- lates are in Kabul unless otherwise noted. New Zealand and Ireland do not maintain diplomatic representation in Afghanistan. For information on visas for onward travel to neighbouring countries see p211 .

Australia (x020 2104474; in Kabul Serena Hotel, Jade-e Froshgah) Belgium (Map p85 ;x070 200135; House 40, Lane 3, Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan) Canada (Map p85 ; x079 9742 822; House 256, Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan) China (x020 2102548/9; Shah Mahmoud Wat, Shahr-e Nau) France (Map p85 ; x070 284032; near Charahi Zambak & Charahi Ariana, Shahr-e Nau) Germany (Map p85 ; x020 2101512; Charahi Zambak, Shahr-e Nau) India Herat (x040 224432; Sarakh-e Qulurdo); Kabul (Map p85 ; x020 2200133; Interior Ministry Rd, Shahr-e Nau); Mazar-e Sharif (x070 309982; Dand Chowk, District 6); Mazar-e Sharif (x070 500372, Darwaza-ye Balkh) Iran Herat (x040 220015; Jad-e Walayat); Kabul (Map p85 ; x020 2101393/4; Charahi Sherpur, Shahr-e Nau); Mazar-e Sharif (Kheyaban-e Nasir Khusrau) Italy (Map p85 ; x020 2103144; Charahi Ariana, Shahr-e Nau) Japan (Map p85 ; x020 290172; Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan) Kazakhstan (x070 277450; House 1, Street 10, Wazir Akbar Khan) Netherlands (Map p85 ; x070 286640/1; Ghiyassudin Wat, Shahr-e Nau) Norway (x020 2300900/0899; Lane 4, Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan) Pakistan Jalalabad (Charahi Marastoon); Kabul (Map p85 ; x020 2300911/3; Street 10, Wazir Akbar Khan); Kanda- har (x070 302520; Noorzo Shah Bridge, District 2) Russia (x020 2300500; Darulman Wat, Karte Se)

DIREC TORY •• Festivals & Events 203

Sweden (Map p85 ; x020 2301416; House 70, Lane 1, Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan) Switzerland (Map p85 ; x020 2301565; House 486, Lane 3, Street 13, Wazir Akbar Khan) Taijikstan (Map p85 ; x020 2101080; Street 10, Wazir Akbar Khan) Turkey Kabul (Map p85 ; x020 2101581/79; Shah Mahmoud Wat); Mazar-e Sharif (x070 500501; Baba Yadgar Kamarband) Turkmenistan Herat (x040 223534; Jad-e Walayat); Kabul (Map p85 ; x020 2301504; Lane 3, Street 13, Wazir Akbar Khan); Mazar-e Sharif (x050 5023; Darwaza-ye Tashkurgan) UK (Map p85 ; x070 102000; Street 15, Wazir Akbar Khan) USA (Map p85 ; x020 2300436; Charahi Massoud) Uzbekistan Kabul (Map p85 ; x020 2300124; House 14, Street 13, Wazir Akbar Khan); Mazar-e Sharif (x050 3042; Darwaza-ye Tashkurgan)

FESTIVALS & EVENTS

Afghanistan’s new year (Nauroz; p204 ) is a major cause for celebration, but there are several important holy days for travellers to be aware of.

Islamic Holy Days

The Muslim calendar is lunar, and shorter than the Western solar calendar, meaning that the calendar begins around 11 days ear- lier in each solar year. Dates run from sunset to the next sunset. The Hejira year is dated from the time of the Prophet Mohammed’s flight from Mecca to Medina in AD 622. Each month begins with the sighting

of the new moon. Religious officials have the authority to declare the sighting, so while future holy days can be estimated, the precise dates are in doubt until a few days before the start of that month. Ask an anxious Afghan what date the Ramazan fast is going to end and you’ll understand the frustrations. For this reason, the dates given here are only approximate. Offices and businesses all shut on these days, ex- cept for the first day of Ramazan. Of the Muslim holy days, the most im-

portant is Eid-e Qurban. The Feast of Sac- rifice (called Eid ul-Adha elsewhere in the Muslim world) commemorates the Prophet Ibrahim’s readiness to obey Allah even to the point of sacrificing his son. In the run up to Eid-e Qurban, markets throng with goats and sheep; those who can afford it slaughter one, sharing the meat with relatives and the less privileged. The holiday takes place at

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