Context & Culture

Despite Growing Ulema Conservatism: Afghans Managed to Celebrate Nawruz

Increasingly, during the last few years, the millennia-old celebrations of Nawruz, the New Year which starts at the spring equinox, ie around 21 March, has become the object of a religious debate in Afghanistan. Although the spring festivity is a major official holiday and continues to be a popular occasion for families to go on […]

Sal-e Naw Mubarak! Neway kal-mu mubarak!

AAN would like to wish all our beloved readers and contributors a peaceful and happy new year. The signs of spring are all about us here in Kabul – blossom on the almond trees, cats a-courting and sunshine, warm and pleasant, is mixed with thunder showers. The mud underfoot is drying to dust in the […]

The Growth of Neo-radicalism: Neo-Salafism and Sectarianism

There are indications about the involvement of neo-radical – both neo-Salafist and Iranian-inspired Shia – groups in the Ashura clashes that occurred last November at Kabul University. AAN has recently reported about the events. In a follow-up article, our guest blogger Abbas Daiyar(*) argues that an increase of the activities comes in the wake of […]

Where Many Streets Have No Name: One for the Freedom of Speech?

Afghan journalists want to rename a street in central Kabul ‘Freedom of Speech Street’ to honour the many colleagues who have sacrificed their lives in this cause over the past ten years. Their initiative has met some resistance – not because of the content but because the street already bears the name of an independence […]

On the Roof of the World: The Last Kyrgyz in Afghanistan

At most 2,000 individuals, pastoralists living for centuries in the harsh environment of Afghanistan’s north-easternmost Pamir region, are the last remaining ethnic Kyrgyz in Afghanistan. As a part of its nationalist discourse, post-Soviet Kyrgyzstan has been vocally politicking, but not doing much in practice, for the return of these Kyrgyz ‘brethren’ to their titular homeland, […]

BREAKING NEWS: Harirod Storm Swept the Northern Alborz

Yesterday, 19 October 2012, Tofan Harirod defeated Simorgh Alborz 2-1 in a hotly contested final match of the Roshan Afghan Premier League. This may not have decisive and immediate implications on the political situation of Afghanistan, but the date will indeed remain a memorable one in the annals of Afghan sport. Moreover, it turned out […]

Education in times of waseta: the example of Badakhshan

It is common wisdom that teachers are among the most important sections of Afghan society, as far as reconstructing the country goes. Also, almost everybody agrees that they are among the most underpaid and unempowered classes in Afghanistan. On the occasion of World Teachers’ Day, celebrated today in Afghanistan, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini, who has just […]

X-Factor Football: Afghanistan’s New Football Premier League

Afghanistan’s first-ever professional football league has reached the semi-final stage. This has lifted Afghan football – which has been part of international football since the 1948 London Olympics – to a new level of organisation. For the first time, Afghanistan has a club competition, something which, in most countries, is the basis for selecting the […]

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