Afghan in-flight magazine provides tough love journalism

byDana Liebelson
Aug 26, 2010 in Specialized Topics

Safi Airlines flies plucky wanderlusters to four destinations: Frankfurt, Kuwait, Dubai -- and Kabul. And if you happen to be a journalist flying to Afghanistan, Safi's in-flight magazine provides a refreshing lack of sugarcoating.

Say goodbye to duty free makeup and pretentious spa reviews. The Wall Street Journal reports that Safi's magazine offers articles on Kabul heroin addicts and advertisements for war-zone car repair. But inside this blunt portrayal of Afghan life -- bullet holes and all -- there's genuine travel journalism: an insider's look at a place few outsiders get to see.

In the article, "Herat -- People Smile" an author waxes poetic about turban silk, claiming 1001 uses. Another recent edition profiles British pilots wounded by a car bomb. Despite its unabashed content, or perhaps because of it, the magazine makes for engrossing reading. And if you don’t actually want to buy a ticket to a war zone, the online copy can be found here.