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Afghanistan: Letter of Recommendation.

Dear All,

Next hurdle. Afghanistan now requires a so-called
“letter of recommendation” from some entity in
Afghanistan. Usually, when encountering such things,
there is a way around it through some “agency”.

Has anyone got any suggestions how best to
get past this bureaucratic hurdle.

Thank you for the help.

Best Always,

James Whitlow Delano.

by [a former member] at 2007-04-14 14:25:43 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Tokyo , Japan | Bookmark | | Report spam→

i was there in Nov. didn’t ask for it, but things change i guess…Why don’t you try AINA, the photo/news agency in Kabul established by Reza and his brother (i think so)…maybe they can help, also there are agencies that provide logistical support i.e cars&fixers, i’m sure they could fix it for you…

by Ziyah Gafic | 14 Apr 2007 14:04 | back home Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina | | Report spam→
Dear Ziyah,

Thanks for the suggestion. I will check out those options.

I’ll be in tough.



by [former member] | 15 Apr 2007 00:04 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
I believe all you have to do is write one for yourself telling them you are a freelancer and how you think you and they can benefit from you being there. Bit of a no-brainer apparently.

by lisa hogben | 15 Apr 2007 13:04 | Still Stuck in Bloody Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
Hi James, I was in Afghanistan about 3 weeks ago on a journalists visa and had no such demands. That sounds very odd to me. Try the embassies in London, Paris or Dubai for Visas if you can, or India/Pakistan. They usually take 2-3 hours and a letter from a ophoto agency or a press card is all you need, Best wishes and hope you are well, Gary

by [former member] | 15 Apr 2007 21:04 | Pelissanne, France | | Report spam→

I will be heading there in May and just got my visa, and this will be my fourth trip. I had a letter from an NGO that I volunteer with and used that. This is not a journalists’ visa, but an “entry” visa, good for 30 days. If there’s any org that you will be doing anything for that can write you a letter, that will probably work. Gary Knight is correct that a journalist visa has no such demands, but you do need some kind of press credential. In my case I have those credentials but prefer to go in on the entry visa, and then register with the Ministry of Internal Affairs to get a press credential once I’m there. If you go this route bring some extra passport pics, they will need one for the document. The benefit of this is that you then have a letter with your photo attached, written in Dari, stating you are a journalist. I found this handy on a few occasions.

If you need any info on accomms or fixers, let me know.


Paula Lerner

THE WOMEN OF KABUL – A Multimedia Feature – WEBBY Award Honoree
Photos and Audio by Paula Lerner, on the Washington Post web site:
also at


by Paula Lerner | 16 Apr 2007 00:04 | Boston, Massachusetts, United States | | Report spam→
Hi Paula,

I’ve just joined this site and I’m really appreciating all your useful posts on Kabul. I’m going there in November to cover arts regeneration for a number of mags, and I’m just making initial enquiries about accommodation. Do you happen to have any friends who could put up one female (journalist) and/or one male (photographer) in return for English lessons or some nominal expenses? Our commissions don’t cover expenses and so we’re doing this as cheaply as possible.

All the best!

Kate Brothers.

by Kate Brothers | 15 Sep 2007 15:09 | Kabul, Afghanistan | | Report spam→
Hi Kate:
Good luck with your work in Kabul. Unfortunately I don’t know of anyone who would be in a position to put you up in exchange for English lessons. Unlike other parts of the world, this kind of exchange may not be appropriate for various reasons.

I do recommend you join the AfghanistanFPA (Afghanhistan Foreign Press Association) yahoogroups email list and make some inquiries there. That can be found here:

Good luck and all the best,

Paula Lerner

by Paula Lerner | 10 Oct 2007 03:10 | Boston, MA, United States | | Report spam→
Hi James,

What kind of recommendation letter you need?

I am in Kabul and working with Aina photo, let me know how can i help you?


by Nasim Fekrat | 16 Oct 2007 09:10 | Kabul, Afghanistan | | Report spam→
Dear Nasim,

Thank you for the reply. I have been and left Afghanistan
already. It was a wonderful country and I will return.

Thanks for the offer of help. Perhaps we can meet when
I return some day.



by [former member] | 17 Oct 2007 09:10 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
Hi All

I was searching for this thread and only just found it.

I am applying for a standard entry visa (non journalist ) at the Afghan Embassy in London and they told me I need a letter of recommendation.

I would normally go the “No Brainer” route but I don’t want to take a chance on this as I have an assignment and I need to make sure there are no problems.

Nasim I have been in contact with Travis who supplied me with some good info.
Would it be possible to draft me a letter stating that I am a photographer wishing to work in Afghanistan?

No need for the specifics as I can put that on my visa application.

I would appreciate it.

Send me a PM if it’s possible and I will forward my email address.

If everything goes to plan I will stick my head in the Aina Photo office and say Hi and have some Tea!

Thanks in advance


by [former member] | 09 Nov 2007 18:11 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Ziyah Gafic, Photographer Ziyah Gafic
Sarajevo , Bosnia & Herzegovina
lisa hogben, Visualjournalist! lisa hogben
Sydney , Australia
Paula Lerner, Photojournalist Paula Lerner
Boston, Ma , United States ( AAA )
Kate Brothers, Kate Brothers
England , United Kingdom
Nasim Fekrat, Freelance PJ/Journalist/W Nasim Fekrat
Freelance PJ/Journalist/W
Kabul , Afghanistan


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