The Survival Guide to Kabul©

Published internationally in July 2003 as Kabul: The Bradt Mini Guide.

First published in Kabul in September 2002 as a pamphlet.



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Print guide 2002


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The authors



January 2004


June 2003 Kabul – The Bradt Mini Guide is published, the successor to the Autumn 2002 pamphlet The Survival Guide to Kabul. 6000 copies of the new mini guide were printed. 3000 were taken into Kabul for sale. Other copies are available from bookshops and Amazon in the US and the UK. In October 2003 a further 1000 copies of the book were reprinted with some amendments. A pirate copy (the height of flattery in Central Asia!) has also been printed and is for sale in Kabul.



The book has received excellent coverage such as: “book of the week”, “best buy”, “a must read” and “a good stocking-filler.”


Read some reviews from The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Newsweek, The Guardian, USA Today and Wanderlust.


In 2003 the mini guide also featured in the Financial Times on News Hour on the BBC World Service, on Fast Track on BBC World TV and on Globetrotting on BBC Radio Five Live.


In January 2004 co-author Dominic Medley was interviewed on Cape Talk 567MW in Cape Town for thirty minutes about the book and Kabul.


The December 2003 issue of Outside Magazine The Kabul Express begins with the launch of the Kabul Mini Guide in June 2003.


In August 2003 Dominic revisited Sarajevo where he used to work. The Sarajevo Media Centre promoted the guide and Dominic was interviewed by two Bosnian magazines BH Dani (full scanned article) and Start (full scanned article).


There’s also been coverage on the Kabul guide in the Croatian media.


Dominic also featured in the Warwick Graduates Magazine.


Other coverage on the new book from: Internews.


Photos of the guide on the streets of Kabul and the guide at the printers in Italy.


And see the original pamphlet guide in Kabul in Autumn 2002: The early days of The Survival Guide to Kabul.



June 26 2003 Guide co-author Dominic Medley quoted in The Caterer magazine “Hospitality the healer?”


May 10 2003 Guide co-author Dominic Medley quoted in Wall Street Journal front page: The Spoils of War in Kabul Now Include Thai Restaurant.


And in the Indonesian media.


April 26 2003 This guide is linked from the BBC story Threats close Kabul’s Irish bar. (Photos provide by this guide are used in the story.)


April 12 2003 Survival Guide co-editor Dominic Medley quoted in Kabul InterContinental in $10m rebuild, Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine. (Reprinted on The Hospitality Site.)


April/May 2003 The Survival Guide to Kabul in Wanderlust travel magazine.


April 5 2003 The Irish Club features in The Times, courtesy of this guide (photo provided by this guide is also published).


March 15 2003 The Survival Guide to Kabul features on Fox News.


December 28 2002 The Survival Guide to Kabul in The Times. And the cartoon and photo that accompanied the article.


November 14 2002 USA Today photo of a street seller with The Survival Guide to Kabul. Full article.


October 6 2002 There’s a story mentioning the guide in Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

("And in Kabul - a city spending time in which both in principle and in practice is a threat to your life, and which has not seen a tourist for twenty years - I could buy a recently published travel guide, "The Survival Guide to Kabul". Sure, it is only 16 pages thick but includes the ordinary tips of travel guides about bars and hotels, tipping and common phrases in the local languages Dari and Pashtu.)


September 2002 Caritas Press Release on The Survival Guide to Kabul by guide co-editor Jude Barrand.


Wais at the Mustafa Hotel has had the guide’s web address painted on the hotel’s staircase wall and on the outside of the hotel.


Guide souvenirs: There are 500 mugs and 500 pens with the guide web address on scattered around the offices, restaurants and guesthouses of Kabul. Watch out for your tea or coffee in a guide mug.


This from Manoel de Almeida e Silva, Spokesman for the UN Special Representative in Afghanistan: “Just a quick word to tell you that Mr. Brahimi enjoyed very much the survival guide mug you sent to him.  It is now on his desk at his office at the residence.  He asked me to thank you.”


We also had T-shirts printed in 2003 to launch Kabul: The Bradt Mini Guide.



Co-editor Dominic Medley worked for Internews in Kabul in 2002.  A link appeared on the main Internews web page and is also part of the Internews Afghanistan pages.


Co-editor Jude Barrand works for Caritas Internationalis. A link appears on the Caritas Afghanistan web page.


And Caritas in the Netherlands covered the story: AFGHANISTAN: straatkinderen verkopen stadsgids Kaboel 28/11/2002 -  "The Survival Guide to Kabul", is een 16 pagina's tellende gids voor hulpverleners, journalisten, zakenlui en toeristen die de stad Kaboel aandoen. Jude Barrand, de communicatieverantwoordelijk voor het Caritasnetwerk ter plaatse is co-auteur. De stadsgids wordt verspreid via straatkinderen die sedert de val van de Taliban als krantenventers aan de kost proberen te komen op de drukke kruispunten van de hoofdstad. Kinderen die vroeger de vuilnisbakken doorsnuffelden op zoek naar eten en verkoopbare spullen, verkopen nu de gids en met plezier, want heel wat toeristen zijn bereid een behoorlijk bedrag neer te tellen! De opbrengst van de verkoop gaat volledig naar de kinderen.Meer info over onze hulpprogramma's in Afganistan vindt u bij onze prioriteiten voor 2002 en 2003


We’re linked from a new website Kabul Caravan who describe us as “currently the best travel website dedicated to Afghanistan.”


The IOM Return of Qualified Afghans Programme also features a link to the guide.


There’s a link to the guide from the web page of the Afghanistan Reconstruction Task Force, US Department of Commerce.


We’re also linked from the Swedish South Asian Studies Network.


The Afghanistan Embassy in Australia is also using material from The Survival Guide to Kabul on its web pages.


This guide is linked from the American International School of Kabul.


There’s also a link to the guide on the pages of the Afghanistan Girls’ School Project 2003.


Centurion Risk Assessment Services, which provides training for hostile environments, also mentions the guide on the media safety (subscriber only) pages for the Afghanistan Field Report: "Mine maps are available. HALO De-mining Trust is present and Handicap International Belgium runs mine awareness courses. Details can be found in the Survival Guide to Kabul which is distributed by children at traffic calming areas, markets, street corners, etc for 40,000-50,000 Afghanis (up to $1)".



The Survival Guide to Kabul has featured on several occasions in the Moby Capital Daily Afghanistan Update, a free email digest of news on Afghanistan. To subscribe email:


The guide has also featured in the BAAG (British Agencies Afghanistan Group) Bulletin Board which provides a weekly email on latest Afghanistan developments and in the Afghanistan Briefing Pack (


The US Embassy in Kabul photocopied the guide and distributed it to newcomers.


IAM uses The Survival Guide to Kabul as part of its orientation courses for expat staff in Kabul every other month.


Thanks to the UNHAS flight crews flying from Dubai and Islamabad to Kabul for distributing the guides on the planes. We’ve seen all the passengers reading the guide and taking their free copy with them!


A German organisation (LANDESINITIATIVE ded AFGHANISTAN, Country Initiative of former Volunteers, 413 of them) who worked in Afghanistan from 1964-1980, has also distributed information on the guide to the volunteers, German businessmen and institutions working on co-operation with Afghanistan.



In September 2002 500 colour cover copies of the guide were printed in Kabul. A further 2000 with hard colour covers were printed in Islamabad. More than 600 were printed and bound by the editors on office printers.


The newspaper street sellers sold most of the copies, often for as much as $10 a copy, though averaging $1-3.


Biggest thanks to the Kabul street sellers. Here are some of their names and ages: Naseer (15), Nasrat (14), Mustafa (12), Sorab (12), Yonus (12), Ghulam Sadiq (10), Aiaz Gul (12), Tamim (15), Abdul Muqim (14), Muhibullah (14), Samim (12), Muhammad (16).


THE STORY OF ONE OF THE STREET SELLERS. Naser Barotali has been selling The Survival Guide to Kabul for two months. With his income he supports his younger brother and his blind grandfather. He is an orphan. This is his story.


Guide 2002: Print the text of the original guide.


Autumn 2002: The early days of The Survival Guide to Kabul with authors Dominic Medley and Jude Barrand and the street children who sold the pamphlet.



كابل، افغانستان

The Survival Guide to Kabul©