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.

The Contest for a Special Envoy: Will the meeting in Doha yield a shift in the world’s engagement with the Emirate? 

Roxanna Shapour

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will host a second meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the capital of Qatar, Doha, on 18-19 February 2024. Unlike the last gathering in May 2023, the Emirate has also been invited, although it has not yet confirmed that it will send a delegation. The two-day meeting is expected […]

International Engagement 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 Daily Hustle: Mission impossible – the quest for passports and visas in Afghanistan

AAN Team Roxanna Shapour

Afghans who got onto evacuation lists may have the chance to go to Europe or North America, if they can get passports and visas for Pakistan. Their first dilemma is whether to go; it is not easy leaving one’s homeland. But there is a second dilemma – whether to spend savings or go into debt to get the […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

Sending Money Home: The impact of remittances on workers, families and villages

Sabawoon Samim

For a country where jobs are scarce and, for many, livelihoods unreliable, sending men from the family abroad to work is an option tried by many families. Remittances, the money those workers send home, are hugely important for the national economy, individual families and communities. In this report, guest author Sabawoon Samim delves into the […]

Migration Read more

The Daily Hustle: My life as a refugee – and choosing to return home 

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

After the Islamic Republic collapsed in August 2021, tens of thousands of people rushed to Kabul airport, attempting to leave Afghanistan. Some faced specific threats from the new rulers. Others were fearful of an uncertain future, increased violence and unemployment and hoped for a better future for themselves and their children if they went abroad. […]

Migration Read more

What We Wrote, What You Read in 2023: Daily struggles, edicts and orders, falcons flying high

Kate Clark

2023 was a busy year for AAN, with just over 50 publications. They ranged from in-depth investigations into the economy, public finance and the aid industry to a poetic journey into the world of falconry. We introduced a new form of report – short, first-person accounts by Afghans of what they are doing to survive […]

Context and Culture Read more

The Daily Hustle: ‘Packing up a life’ in Pakistan and being forcibly returned to Afghanistan 

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

Nearly a million Afghans, many born and brought up in Pakistan, have ‘returned’ to their country since the start of Pakistan’s latest deportation campaign. On 3 October 2023, the government in Islamabad told undocumented Afghans living in the country to leave voluntarily by the end of that month or risk being forcibly returned. The police […]

Migration Read more

Recommended Reads from AAN Writers and Readers: The search for context, deeper understanding, surprise and good stories

AAN Team AAN Guests

We thought we would start the new year by asking AAN writers and friends to recommend books about Afghanistan. The books they reviewed were diverse – fact and fiction, classics and newly-published and written in English, Pashto and German. Two were books that the reviewers felt helped make sense of why the Islamic Republic and […]

Context and Culture Read more

UN Security Council Resolution on Afghanistan: Just another ‘much ado about nothing’?

AAN Team

The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution on the Independent Assessment on Afghanistan, which former Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Feridun Sinirlioğlu had put together. UNSC Resolution 2721 only passed after a month and a half of Security Council meetings, mainly held behind closed doors and two weeks of intensive negotiations on its […]

International Engagement Read more

Of Hunters and Hunted (2): Falconry, bird smuggling and wildlife conservation

Fabrizio Foschini

The cold weather marks the start of the hunting season in many countries across the world. In Afghanistan, despite a hunting ban, this time of year sees the resumption of particular hunting-related activities. One particular group of hunters – raptor birds migrating through the country – become the hunted. Every year, some are caught and […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Of Hunters and Hunted (1): Falconry in Afghanistan from classical literature to colonial sources 

Fabrizio Foschini

Unbeknownst to many, Afghanistan has a rich historical heritage related to falconry. Photographs dating from the 1950s to the 1970s offer a relatively recent glimpse of Afghan falconers with their birds. However, those ancient traditions of Afghans practising falconry – embodied in literary works such as the Baznama, The Book of the Falcon, by Pashtun poet […]

Context and Culture 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