Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Reports

Reports – previously known as dispatches – are the flagship of the AAN website and our main type of publication. AAN reports are based on extensive desk and field research and provide timely and in-depth information and analysis.

Before the Deluge: How to mitigate the risk of flooding in Afghanistan

Mhd Assem Mayar

In Afghanistan’s rugged landscape, floods arise from a multiplicity of causes: torrential rainfall, rain on snow, the rapid melting of snow due to warmer weather, glacial lake outbursts, the overflow of natural ponds or even the breach of dams. Regardless of their origins, floods can destroy whole villages, ruin farmland and change the very landscape. Almost […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more
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

The State of Research on Afghanistan: Too many poor quality publications and some real gems

Christian Bleuer

Spanning almost 400 pages, the new edition of the Afghanistan Analysts Bibliography provides information about books, journal articles and other publications on a vast range of topics to do with Afghanistan – from ethnic groups, through war, regional relations, the security sector, development, peace-building, governance, opium, women, human rights, migration, education economics and natural resources, […]

Context and Culture Read more

The Durand Line and the Fence: How are communities managing with cross-border lives?

Sabawoon Samim

The Durand Line, which serves as the de facto border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, has never been officially recognised by any Kabul government. It cuts through the heart of Pashtun tribes, who share family ties, religion and traditions. For most of its existence, it made little practical difference to the lives of the people living […]

Regional Relations Read more

The Daily Hustle: The trials and tribulations of being a street vendor in Kabul

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

For anyone who has spent any time in Kabul, handcart sellers and street vendors are a familiar sight, as they walk around the city hawking their wares from dusk to dawn trying to eke out a meagre living for their families. Street vendors say that more and more young Afghans have been joining their ranks, […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Eid has Arrived: AAN wishes all a happy Eid al-Fitr

AAN Team

Eid al-Fitr or the festival of breaking of the fast is celebrated by Muslims around the world when the citing of the moon heralds the end of Ramadan, the month-long rite of fasting. Eid al-Fitr, which is an official three-day holiday, is marked by offering traditional prayers at the mosque. Across Afghanistan, there are new […]

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

New Day, New Year: AAN wishes happiness and prosperity to all celebrating Nawruz

AAN Team

The advent of spring and the arrival of Nawruz brings with it the promise of new beginnings – of life renewed, of resilience and good fortune. As Spring thaws the cold winter soil, it paints the hills and the valleys with its vibrant greens. It perfumes the air with blossoms and decorates the landscape with […]

Context and Culture Read more
A farmer walks through his destroyed poppy field on the outskirts of Lashkargah in Helmand Province. Photo by Sanaullah Seiam/AFP, 9 April 2023

The Opium Ban: The impact on small farmers, sharecroppers and labourers in Helmand province

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Jelena Bjelica

In what used to be Afghanistan’s largest poppy-growing province, Helmand, cultivation plummeted by 99 per cent in 2023 following the Islamic Emirate’s ban on the crop in April 2022. Although opium trading largely continued, which brought windfall profits to anyone with opium stocks to sell, the ban on cultivation has caused unemployment and an economic […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Daily Hustle: Waiting in Islamabad for evacuation

Rohullah Sorush Roxanna Shapour

When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan returned to power in August 2021, thousands of Afghans who were working for NGOs left Afghanistan, fearing harassment by Afghanistan’s new rulers, or just taking an opportunity to start a new life elsewhere. Many have already found their way to Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. Others are still […]

Migration Read more
The opening session of the Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the Qatari capital Doha. Photo: State of Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 18 February 2024

From Doha to Doha: The contest over a UN Special Envoy lingers as discussions and disagreements drag on

Roxanna Shapour

Afghanistan is back on the world’s agenda. The UN Security Council has met behind closed doors to hear about the recently held United Nations-convened meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in Doha. The current rulers of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate, decided not to attend the Doha gathering and are adamantly against the planned appointment of […]

International Engagement Read more