Questions and Answers about My Escape from Jail in Afghanistan

I was invited to an Afghan party in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York on May 28, 2001. I brought along my girlfriend, Kayo. She was surprised to be the only female present.

The men who were assembled there wanted to know more about my escape from jail in Afghanistan. They all knew about it. Most of them were from Helmand or Gereshk, Afghanistan and had been present during the time of these events and had seen me there, but had been small children at the time. They wanted to know more about how I had done it. They also believed, and still to this day believe, that I was a CIA Agent.

I recounted the story and in return they gave me some details, including geographical names of the places where I had been during these events. I wanted to get all of these place names correct, because people keep telling me that they should make a movie about this and it would be best to film it on location where these events actually took place.
Tolkif, the Central Jail in Kabul

The story of how I escaped from jail in Afghanistan in June, 1978 is already on my web site at . Here are a few additional details which they provided:

I escaped from Nazarat Khana, which was not actually a prison but essentially a police station in Lashkar Gah.

After escaping from jail, I crawled in the Helmand River on my hands and knees for a few miles until the path I was on came out of the river and I was crawling behind a row of houses next to the river. Through the window of one of the houses, I heard a woman having an orgasm. There was also a big dog that barked at me. I was afraid, but thereafter the dog ignored me and loped away.

The name of that village, my Afghan hosts have now told me, was Tortan. The word "tor" in Pashtu means "black" and "tan" is tank. The village is named after the black water tank that is there.

The village where I finally crawled completely out of the river is named Lewanekaram. Lewane means "madman" in Pashtu. Karam was the man's name after which the village was named, so the name of the village was "Karam, the Madman".

I saw a guard tower which I avoided. The guard tower was also in Lewanekaram.

The next village after Lewanekaram was Kartelegan. That is where I climbed over two fences, walked past some houses and out into the open desert. The name of the desert is Dasht-e-Kartelegan.

Other villages up the road between Lashkar Gah and Gereshk I avoided by walking far out into a desert named Dasht-e-Sarkar. The village nearby was named Sarkal, but I did not go there. Another village I avoided was AuBazal, which was near to the road. The road there goes from half way between Kandahar and Gereshk to Lashkar Gah.

In Gereshk, I found a shrine to a famous man who had died. There was a pot of water in the shrine and I drank from it. The name of the shrine was Yakahak. The name of the famous man was Shah Ismail.

Later, walking near the road to Kandahar, I got a ride from a truck driver. The driver stopped at a truck stop. I slept for a few hours there until the owner of the truck stop drove me away. The name of that truck stop was Yak Chal, so named because it is a cold place.

Later, I made a serious mistake which almost cost me my life, because it was clear that they would likely have killed me if they caught me. I took a ride in a rickety old Afghan bus. The bus stopped at a checkpoint where it was searched by the police. I hid under one of the seats in the bus and the police did not find me. I was saved primarily because the Afghans on the bus waved the police away. The police said in the Afghan language, "We are looking for a foreigner" but the passengers on the bus waved them away saying "There are no foreigners (haraji) here. We are all Afghans."

The name of that check point is Durahie.

The village which I passed on the bus after Durayi was Khakeachopan, which is at a high place behind the checkpost. The next village was Melangkaras where there was a well. Malang is a Muslim mendicent. After that was a village named Kashkinakhod.

When I reached Kandahar, I got out of the bus at Sarpuza. I walked through Kandahar, avoiding any contact or conversation with people and continued five miles beyond the other side of Kandahar, where I caught a bus at Manzil Baugh.

Afterwards, in a subsequent event not described on my website, I was in Demazang Prison. I have been asked if I was in the old section or the new section of the prison. They explained that when you enter Demazang Prison, if you go straight ahead you are in the old prison, but if you turn left you are in the new prison. I turned left and was in the new prison (but it did not look at all new to me).

In Demazang Prison, I was kept in a confined area where only political prisoners are held. I was not allowed out in the open air. The name of the section where I was in is called Koti Kulf, which means "closed room". I did not consider myself to be in Koti Kulf. As far as I was concerned, the real Koti Kulf was behind me where high level political prisoners, such as ministers of former governments, were kept in solitary confinement.

My host at the party in Far Rockaway is now happily married and living with his three new wives and six new children in Gujur Khan, which is near Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

There are several Afghans now in New York who are witnesses to these events. They tend to be street sellers of fruits, including grapes and bananas. One of them is named Syed Hangul or Syed Mir Iqbal. He sells fruits on the corner of 40th Street and either Broadway or Seventh Avenue. Another who was too young to remember these events but who has relatives who do sells fruits on the corner of 41st Street and Lexington Avenue. His name is Aziz Ahmed.

Ironically, the Communist Governor of Helmand Province, the man who ordered me arrested and who probably was planning on killing me, now lives in Germany. His name is Abdul Majid Sarbaland. His brother and nephew own a gas station in Texas.

Ismail Sloan

PS My Afghan friends all think that I faked my girlfriend Kayo's birth certificate to make her appear to be 35 to get her into the country. They think that she is really only 16 or 18 years old. Kayo will be very happy to hear that they think that.

After Lashkar Gah, the villages are first Sirkar, then Khoshkawa, then Nahur Siraj, then Durayi, then Khakeachopan, then Malang Kariz, then Kashkinakhod, then Houze Madut, then Pashmul, then Saripul, then Miraws Nika, then Sarpuza, then Dand, then Kandahar. Kandahar Jail, to which I never went, was in Sarpuza.

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