Afghan In-Flight Magazine Is Realistic, Depressing

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When you’re visiting Afghanistan, you’re probably not looking for the best theme parks or golf courses. So a new in-flight magazine serving the country doesn’t sugarcoat its travel tips.

The Wall Street Journal leafed through the official magazine of Safi Airways, a new Afghan airline, and found an interesting mix of typical tips and really depressing suggestions. The magazine recommends one luxury hotel, which has a 4-star rating and “after the suicide bombing that took place, security measures have been implemented.” A few more off-beat stories include a story in praise of dog fighting (where dogs don’t fight to the death, but only until one proves dominance) and visiting the Bibi Mahru swimming pool (which has no water, but used to be an execution site).

Christian Marks, the magazine’s editor, is perfectly honest about his intention to produce a more serious magazine. “I would like it to be a magazine where you can read interesting things, not just get brainwashed by some marketing agency that says you can’t show problems,” he told the Journal. And when your advertisers include a satellite communications company, a war-zone car repair company and a producer of armored cars, perhaps spa listings wouldn’t make sense.

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