Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Kate Clark

A man walks along the edge of farmland submerged by the flash floods in the Khandaqa area of Zurmat district near the border of Ghanzi and Paktia provinces, Afghanistan. Photo: Sayed Asadullah Sadat, April 2024

After the Deluge: Personal accounts of rain and floods in Zurmat district

Sayed Asadullah Sadat

The rain and snow that has fallen in recent weeks has eased the hearts of Afghan farmers and given them hope that the multi-year drought has finally ended. At the same time, heavy rain falling on dry, parched land has caused flooding in many areas of Afghanistan. Hundreds of people have been killed in recent […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Mother with newborn baby at the Tangi Saidan clinic run by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, in Daymirdad district of Wardak province. Photo: Elise Blanchard/AFP, 6 October 2021

The Daily Hustle: The ancient art of making surma

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

In Afghanistan, surma (kohl) has been used since ancient times by both men and women to enhance the eyes, for its healing properties and to protect the wearer against the evil eye. Traditionally made by grinding stibnite rock into a fine power, the use of the black concoction to line the eyes also has a […]

Context and Culture Read more

Finally, Rain and Snow in Afghanistan: Will it be enough to avert another year of drought?

Kate Clark AAN Team

The last few weeks have finally seen rain and snowfall in Afghanistan, raising hopes for farmers and herders that this year could be better than the last three drought years. Afghans typically categorise a drought year as one where the low amount of precipitation causes problems for agriculture – a poor harvest or crop failure […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Bostan Karim (L) and Abdul Zahir (C), two former prisoners held at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, arrive at Kabul airport in Kabul airport. Photo: AFP, 12 February 2024

Home at Last: After more than 20 years, two former inmates of Guantanamo reach Afghanistan

Kate Clark

Two more Afghan former inmates of the United States’ Guantanamo detention camp have finally returned home after more than two decades incarcerated or in exile. Abdul Zahir from Logar was detained by US forces and rendered to Guantanamo in July 2002, while Bostan Karim from Paktia was arrested by Pakistan a month later and handed […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
The exclusive Sherpur neighbourhood in Kabul, built in 2003 after Kabul Chief of Police Abdul Bashir Salangi, on the orders of Minister of Defence Qasim Fahim, bulldozed the mud-built houses of poor residents: plots were subsequently distributed largely to their factional comrades from Shura-ye Nizar. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP, 2022

Land in Afghanistan: This time, retaking instead of grabbing land?

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) retook power, it started reclaiming state land that had been seized during previous administrations. In October 2022, the IEA established the Land-Grabbing Prevention and Restitution Commission, within the Ministry of Justice, whose purpose is to investigate land-grabbing under the Islamic Republic, restore any state land and prevent it […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Goods trucks cross from Afghanistan into Pakistan at Torkham. Photo: Shafiullah Kakar/AFP, 25 February 2023

Survival and Stagnation: The State of the Afghan economy

Kate Clark

This paper is an attempt to give an overview of the Afghan economy in light of two new World Bank reports, one on the economy, two years on from the re-establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and a second on the welfare of households. The Emirate has not published budgets for this year […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
Residents sit with a plate of eaten watermelon at a restaurant in Mirai bazaar in Andar district of Ghazni, after it was re-taken by the Taleban. Photo: Wakil Khosar/AFP, 3 June 2021

Finding Business Opportunity after Conflict: Shopkeepers, civil servants and farmers in Andar district

Sabawoon Samim

Andar district in Ghazni province was a battleground for most of the years of the Islamic Republic, from 2003 up until its fall in 2021. The conflict caused not only loss of life, but also severe damage and disruption to business. Andar’s economy is once again fully functional and, for the time being, it is […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Kafka in Cuba: A dossier of reports looking at the Afghan experience in Guantanamo

Kate Clark

AAN has followed the travails of the Afghans held by the United States at its prison camp at Guantanamo Bay on the island of Cuba for over a decade, prompted first by the cases of the five Taleban who were released in exchange for US serviceman Bowe Bergdahl in 2014, and later focussing on the […]

Dossiers Read more

Women’s lives under the Islamic Emirate

In a report for Scotland’s Daily Herald newspaper on 3 September 2023, Foreign Editor David Pratt, quotes AAN research on women’s lives: Education, employment and travel curtailed, barred from parks, gyms, and other public spaces, torture for those that disobey, the oppression of women in Afghanistan grows daily and amounts to “gender apartheid.” Their observations are both […]

AAN in the Media Read more

Extensive but not Inclusive: Afghanistan’s growing list of national holidays

Fabrizio Foschini

August has already seen two days of national public holidays in Afghanistan and will see a third this week, celebrating the anniversary of the departure of the last United States troops on the 31st. That follows the celebration of Taleban forces’ entry into Kabul on 15 August 2021, which sealed the fate of the Islamic […]

Context and Culture Read more
An American flag seen through a broken window from inside a vacant airplane hangar used by the media at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp (picture reviewed by US military). Photo: Brennan Linsley/Pool/AFP, 16 July 2009.

The Last Afghan in Guantanamo: Pressure mounts on US to deal with the remnants of its ‘War on Terror’ 

Kate Clark

It is more than three years since the United States signed its peace deal with the Taleban and almost two since the last American soldier left Afghanistan. Yet the US still insists that the last Afghan it holds in relation to that war – at its prison camp in Guantanamo – would be a threat […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
Francesc Vendrell visiting Faizabad on 23 May 2001. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/GettyImages

Obituary for Francesc Vendrell (1940-2022): An outspoken diplomat who cared about people, principles and peace

Thomas Ruttig

The Afghanistan Analysts Network mourns for the chair of our Advisory Board, Ambassador Francesc Vendrell, who died on the morning of 27 November 2022 in London of severe illness, aged 82. Francesc was a passionate diplomat, a seeker of peace and defender of human rights, not just with lip service but with a drive and […]

Context and Culture Read more