Context & Culture

A happy and peaceful new year!

Dear readers, here at AAN, we would like to wish you a happy new year. For Afghanistan, 2014 is a year of many expectations but also anxieties. May it be a year of successful transition, harmonious cooperation and real peace negotiations. We will be here to accompany you. The AAN team

Merry Christmas!

Here at AAN, we’d like to wish all our readers a Happy Christmas! May your holidays, in Afghanistan as well as abroad, be peaceful.   For those who remain in Kabul and wish to celebrate in style, AAN made a trip to Flower Street in Shar-e Naw to check on the availability of Christmas glitter and […]

Autumn Pastimes, or the Other Fighting Grounds of Afghanistan

Bird fighting has an ancient history as a common autumn pastime among Afghans. As soon as the weather gets colder, various tournaments take place among bird enthusiasts, either in the open air or in a warm arena, depending on what sort of birds are fighting. In Kabul, the favourite birds to take the field are […]

Discussing ‘The Social Wandering’ of the Afghan Kuchis

A new report by AAN, ‘The Social Wandering of the Afghan Kuchis,’ explores both the transformations that Afghan nomads have undergone in recent decades and their current, changing position in Afghan society. Decades of insecurity, drought and economic competition have led an increasing number of Kuchis to settle close to urban centers. There, they have […]

The Nation’s Voice? Afghanistan’s loya jirgas in the historical context

On 21 November, another loya jirga (grand assembly) is forthcoming in Afghanistan, convened to represent ‘the nation’s voice’ about the still pending Afghan-US Bilateral Partnership Agreement (BSA), the basis for any post-2014 NATO mission in the country. This will be the fifth such assembly under the Karzai government. On this occasion, our guest author Benjamin Buchholz […]

Guts, Prettily Coiled: A guide to Eid sacrifices

Today is Eid al Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, the most important religious holiday in the Afghan calendar. In millions of yards across the country, Afghans will slit the throats of cows or sheep in remembrance of the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail in submission to God’s command and of the lamb which […]

A Very Happy Eid-e Qurban!

Here at AAN, we’d like to wish all our dear readers a very happy Eid-e Qurban and for Afghanistan peace in the coming year. We marked the last Eid with a celebratory dispatch of ten stories from Afghans on their customs and memories of Eid al-Fitr. Today, we are publishing a report from AAN analyst Christine Roehrs […]

Football Victory II: A night and a day of celebrations

It was a burst of massive happiness, a moment of sheer bliss and pride, something few Afghans have experienced much of in the past and thus even more powerful: only moments after Afghanistan won the South Asian Football Federation Championship, defeating India with 2:0, waves of people filled the streets of Kabul and many other […]

Football Victory I: Lions beating Tigers – the match report

The jubilation of football players who have just won a cup final is similar the world over, but neither Bayern Munich, who won this year’s European Champions League, or Spain, who won the last World Cup, celebrated as the Afghan national team did in Nepal last night. They danced wildly, threw their manager in the air […]

Poetry in Motion: Love, war and politics on trucks

I am chasing you like a drone You have become al Qaida; there’s no trace of you Trucks painted in vivid colours and lettered with poems like the one above, which has borrowed the terms of war to describe love, are part of the “cultural landscape” along the dusty roads of Afghanistan, especially the south […]

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