Context & Culture

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 […]

UNODC Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging – With One Eye Closed

U.N. Sees Afghan Drug Cartels Emerging’, reads a headline in the 2 September issue of the New York Times. Now the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) got it. Or did it? The headline reminds of a 2008 World Bank paper (William A. Byrd, Responding to Afghanistan’s Opium Economy Challenge, The World Bank, South Asia […]

Theatre about conflict – and how we all have to relate to it

Mid-June, I had the opportunity see the revival performance of a play entitled ‘AH 7808’ that toured most Afghan regional capitals in 2008. The play is an adaptation of an Irish script addressing conflict and each individual’s responsibility to overcome it. Through the play, the audience gets to take part in one man’s struggle to […]

Teeth, flowers and another tale of violence

Every day in Afghanistan is full of stories. Most of them with a fair share of bad luck and wry humour and usually quite a bit of violence. This story is about – let’s call him Hamidullah. Hamidullah comes from a place not far from Kabul. It is commander country. In the past he fought under […]

Modest beginnings

April 2009. After having worked out of the EUSR office in Kabul for almost five years I am suddenly institutionally homeless. I borrow a spare office in an NGO compound, so that I can at least offer people a quiet place and a cup of tea. The walls are bare, the couch sags and the […]

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