Context & Culture

The New Gangs of Herat: How young Afghans turn away from their community

In the city of Herat, an increasing number of young people drop out of school, form petty gangs, become drug addicts and generally have problems with their community. Many of these youth are also connected to friends abroad with several of them migrating to Iran, Europe and Australia to escape the local community, and recently […]

A Very Happy Eid-e Qurban!

Here at AAN, we’d like to wish all our readers a very happy Eid-e Qurban and that the upcoming year – and the long-awaited new government – may bring peace and stability to Afghanistan. For those who wish to learn more about Afghan Eid customs, have a look at this report about Eid sacrifices for Eid-e […]

Book Excerpt: Scenes of Afghan History – Hamed Karzai before 2001

As many influential Pashtuns, in the country and the diaspora, the Karzai family – and Hamed Karzai himself – offered support to the Taleban after they emerged in 1994 but were rejected by the movement’s leadership. They turned against them and – after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 – made overtures to the ‘Northern Alliance’ […]

With a Little Help From His Friends: A new biography of Hamed Karzai

With only a few days left in the last of Karzai’s two 5-year tenures as head of state (the inauguration of his – still unknown – successor has just been postponed again), Dutch journalist Bette Dam presents the reviewed and updated English version of her biography of the politician who has shaped Afghanistan’s last 14 […]

Ahmad Zaher or Manga Style? The cutting-edge business of Afghan barbers

A young Afghan man’s morning, across the country, often starts with a time-consuming session of arranging his hair. Afghan men are proud of their usually thick, glossy tufts and barbers accordingly make good business providing their style-hungry customers with the latest cuts. This has tradition. A variety of distinct hairstyles can be seen on photographs […]

Happy Eid al Fitr!

While many Afghans seem tired of the long electoral process, and despite the concerns and uncertainties felt by the Afghan people, we hope that the coming Eid Al Fitr can bring happy days to all. The Afghanistan Analysts Network wishes a very happy and peaceful Eid Al Fitr to all Muslims, and particularly to the […]

Afghanistan in World War I (1): Afghans in the Kaiser’s jihad

 A hundred years ago, on 28 July 1914, the First World War started when Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia after a group of young pro-independence Serbian terrorists shot dead the Austro-Hungarian crown prince in Sarajevo one month earlier. Soon, millions were dying on the battlefields across four continents in what was termed the “first global […]

Memorials and Patrons: How northern Afghan elites try to own history

Elites in Mazar-e Sharif, the capital of Balkh province and most important city in the north, have, in recent years, supported the building of new memorials and re-naming of the city’s streets and intersections. They are also sponsoring intellectuals and their literary and artistic output. These are politically driven cultural projects, attempts by the leading […]

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