Welcome to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Taliban flag, on it the declaration of faith for Muslims, stating “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” Under it reads “The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.”
It was September 2021, I was in my hometown in the UK looking for something to do. A friend running a security company messaged asking if I could head to Afghanistan to help a news crew get around the country safely. “Deffo”, I replied. If you’re wondering what to do in situations like this, say yes, work out the rest afterwards. I’d worked for several years in what are termed hostile environments and been a filmmaker so had experience. I’d also recently visited Afghanistan in January and February. But it was a different country now. The Taliban were in charge. The president had fled. People were scared. All true, but my career in the UK wasn’t going well, even pre-covid. I thought of friends I admired, soldiers, journalists, photographers who lived in other countries for years. Uncomfortable at times but happy. I had to go.
I updated my will. This is key for me. If you’re going to go have adventures, don’t leave a mess for your family to sort out. It’s rude. Make it easy. I have a list (written so it can’t be hacked, stolen maybe, but you’ll have to find it and if you do well done, you deserve it) and it has my accounts on there. Social media, for example. Nobody needs my tweets or posts after I go. Make sure a friend can delete them all. Another list, elsewhere, has my financial passwords. And a detailed list with names and address of who to call and email to sort out my affairs. Find a lawyer to do this if you must but for me it’s a trusted friend who will answer that call any time of day or night, who will get on with the job of protecting my family from the administration of death. Once all the money has been transferred into a bank account, my family can access it. Sorted. Think it through, what would happen if you died? Make the list. Hide it. Find a friend to sort it out. Your family are likely upset enough. I use this in the UK too, not just for going away.