Dispatches

AAN Election Blog No. 5: The Best Candidates’ Posters (1)

In a loose series, AAN will introduce some of the best election posters and give some background on the respective candidates. Today: Foruzan Fana – positive vibrations and an unresolved murder. Walking or driving through the streets of Kabul is quite interesting these days. The 38 presidential and over 300 Kabul provincial council candidates’ posters […]

AAN Election Blog No. 4: The Bag and the Donkey

The balance of Karzai‘s five year tenure for Afghanistan is devastating – but it is unfair to blame him alone. Indeed, the general framework has considerably improved in comparison to the Taleban era. The country is no more an outcast in the world community but receives unprecedented international support. There are NGOs, political parties and […]

AAN Election Blog No. 3: On the Campaign Trail II

Campaigning in Afghanistan. The phone calls start coming in and friends stop by: let me tell you what is happening in my area. These are the details of just one day: rallies, threats and doubts. People from Spin Boldak are cancelling their attendance for an Abdullah rally in Kandahar because the drivers of the hired […]

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 […]

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