Dispatches

AAN Election Blog No. 2: On the Campaign Trail

A view of the Afghan elections through the eyes of the so-called ‘minor actors’, those without influence and money who try to navigate and position themselves and try to find their place in what is going on. The first campaigner to be introduced is – let’s call him Abdul Mohammad. The last few times I […]

AAN Election Blog No. 1: Rockets over Kabul

Two days ago, my local radio station called me to describe how I experienced the recent rocket attack on Kabul early Tuesday (4 August) morning. I hoped I could explain a bit about this but soon the conversation switched to the Taleban, the ceasefire with their Badghis branch and to the question whether there were […]

‘The one thing you need to read about Afghanistan’

Recently, I came across a blog that recommended what to read about Afghanistan: a Kissinger op-ed, speeches of McCain and Spanta… But if you only read one thing about Afghanistan, it said enthusiastically, don’t miss the testimony of Marin Strmecki… before the US Senate’s Armed Services Committee under any circumstances who – according to the […]

Beyond Taleban

Multiple suicide attacks in Gardez and Khost. July most bloody month ever for US forces in Afghanistan. More British troops to be deployed. Karzai’s empty chair at Tolo TV’s presidential candidates’ debate… Reporting about Afghanistan mainly focuses on security issues and elections currently. Very often, our own countries’ domestic politics overshadow the other reality, life […]

Germans at the Front

“It couldn’t have come worse. It is mid-August 2009. American pilots bomb an Afghan village, many women and children die. The target for the attack was provided by the Germans.” [The German parliament is currently in the decision-making process about sending AWACS surveillance planes to Afghanistan.] “Two days later, three German Bundeswehr soldiers publicly brag […]

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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