Context & Culture

Pashto Mashto – what’s that? Read it!

The following blog starts our new non- but not a-political blog category called Pashto Mashto. It will not deal with daily political affairs but with issues related to Afghan languages and, more generally, culture(s). Cultural issues in the broader sense are often only covered at the margins by media (including bloggers) but are, at the […]


Blog-e newin-e Shabaka-ye Tahlilgaran-e Afghanistan be-khwaned! De AAN neway blog wu-lwalley! Read AAN’s new cultural-linguistic Pashto Mashto under blog here, find out what that means and learn more about Afghanistan’s ‘human terrain’. The new category of blogs deals with non-political issues, like language, culture etc. But not only with Pashto… Contributions and comments are most welcome. Xhe raghlast […]

Small stories from the province (1): A very high-ranking dog

“Did you hear about the Australian dog that was lost?” We had been discussing everything from the latest tribal gossip to the final announcement of the provincial council and the recent local appointments. And now, as we are packing up to go, there was apparently still a story of a dog. I had noticed the reports in […]

Kabul Diary (2): A Ring of Steel Sheets

Finally, the long expected rain is falling in Kabul. But what’s good for next year’s crops makes life miserable for people in the cities. And for the first time, there were hours-long complete traffic break-downs in Kabul yesterday and today afternoon. Although President Obama today announced that he plans ‘to finish the job’ in Afghanistan […]

Militias – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s Genies (1): A Look Back

When I read Matthieu Aikins’ brilliant reportage in Harpers (‘The Master of Spin Boldak’) about the mutation of a 1980s tribal militia into a drug trafficking network that survives to the day, I was reminded of an episode in 1988. I was living in Wazir Akbar Khan then. Around the corner was the house of […]

New Book: ‘Empires of Mud’

Antonio Giustozzi is arguably the most studious and productive researcher and author on Afghan affairs. His output is based on insight won during intensive travels to the country far beyond the capital. After editing the recently published ‘Decoding the New Taliban” – with AAN members and friends contributing some chapters – he has now put […]

Prof. Rasul Amin passed away

AAN has just learned of the passing away of leading Afghan scholar and politician Professor Rasul Amin during a stay in Australia on 31 October at the age of 72 Born on 10 May 1939 at Watapur in Kunar province, Rasul Amin was son of a prominent khan of the Safi tribe. His mother was […]

What possibly still could be done…

…. after the ‘Friends of Afghanistan’ anti-democratic ‘consensus’ The leaked ‘consensus’ of the ‘Friends of Afghanistan’, i.e. the foreign ministers of the most influential Western governments, that President Karzai has won the 20 August elections, is the final knock-out for the remaining democratic aspirations of Afghans. Although it has not been stated officially yet, there […]

Kabul Diary (1): Glimpses of Kabul, Summer 2009

Blue sky over the Spinghar mountains through the airplane window. Small green fields along grey Kabul river. The tin roofs of Pul-e Charkhi reflecting the sun. The first traffic jam at Indira Gandhi hospital. A push-cart with eggfruit stuck amongst taxis and UN cars. Bicycle riders head on in the traffic. Landcruisers with tinted window […]

Another Day without an Orange Revolution

Quite some people here in Kabul – maybe internationals more than Afghans – had been looking forward to the day that just passed with mixes feelings. It was 9/9 – and eight years ago Ahmad Shah Massud, the leader of the Northern Alliance mujahedin was killed … … during a fake interview in Khwaja Bahauddin […]

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