Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Context and Culture

This thematic area encompasses the wide array of subjects that illustrate Afghanistan’s rich history, arts, literature and culture, and the many ways Afghan society is changing and evolving.

New Lives in the City: How Taleban have experienced life in Kabul

Sabawoon Samim

A large number of Taleban fighters have moved to Afghanistan’s cities since the movement’s capture of power, many of them seeing life in the city for the first time in their lifetime. These fighters, many of whom are from villages, had lived modest lives, entirely focused on the war. Their circumstances have changed entirely since […]

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An Afghan girl carries a thermos and packed lunch out to family members working in a field in Bati Kot district in Nangrahar province. Photo: Shafiullah KAKAR/AFP

What We Were Writing, What You Were Reading in 2022: Reports about economic struggle and loss of rights

Kate Clark

2022 was the year in which the new reality of Islamic Emirate rule bedded down, following the precipitous collapse of the Islamic Republic in 2021. In that year, our reports and, even more so, the attention of our readers was dominated by trying to make sense of the war, the change of regime and failure […]

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The Art of the Tracker: How to find a thief in Afghanistan

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon

The art of tracking footprints to find thieves, and even murderers, is well-known in Afghanistan, and particularly in southern Afghanistan and in the areas where Pashtun and Baluch tribes live on the Afghan and Pakistani sides of the Durand Line, the de facto international border, it can be a paid profession. Although trackers are in […]

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The Daily Hustle: Going to the bank

Roxanna Shapour Rama Mirzada

In the wake of the Taleban takeover in August 2021, the Afghan banking system, which up to then had been linked to the global banking network, collapsed. Reportedly very little money had been left in the treasury, and then overnight, the United States stopped flying in dollars, the central bank’s reserves held in the US […]

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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 […]

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The Daily Hustle: One young woman’s journey to an English course in Kabul

Rama Mirzada

For many Afghans the first year of Taleban rule was marked by uncertainty and anxiety over the country’s sudden change in fortunes. Virtually every area of daily life, from banking and shopping to travelling around the country to marriage celebrations has been affected. We wanted to find out from a variety of people how an […]

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AAN wishes prosperity and stability for Afghanistan at Eid al-Adha

AAN

This year, Eid al-Adha[1] has once again coincided with very difficult times in Afghanistan. Many Afghans are facing economic hardship, poverty, and unemployment as the country’s economy struggles to regain lost ground. Afghanistan remains in the grip of a devastating drought for the third year running. Many families are mourning the loss of loved ones […]

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Eid Mubarak from AAN to All Our Readers

AAN Team

The AAN team would like to wish a happy and peaceful Eid ul-Fitr to friends and readers, to all Muslims around the world and particularly the people of Afghanistan. We wish this, even knowing that the recent bloody attacks in Kabul, Kunduz, Mazar-e Sharif, Khost and elsewhere means this Eid is falling at a time of grief […]

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Marking a New Century in Afghanistan: Nawruz 1401

Roxanna Shapour

The start of the Afghan new year on 21 March 2022, or by solar Hijra calendar 1 Hamal 1401, arrives in Afghanistan with a sense of foreboding and uncertainty for the future, after a mere seven months and five days since the Taleban took power and toppled the Republic. AAN’s Roxanna Shapour reflects on the […]

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Head of the Culture Department in Ghazni, Mullah Habibullah Mujahid stands with toher Taleban next to a section of a wall of a former US military base with the names of US soldiers in Ghazni. Photo Hector Retamal/AFP, 15 November 2021

War, War, War: A look at which AAN reports you were reading in 2021

Kate Clark

AAN publications in 2021 were dominated by our efforts to understand the conflict and the failing peace process. More than 40 per cent of our reports last year dealt with war and peace. For our readers, the subject was even more important: among our most-read reports, more than 70 per cent focussed on the conflict. […]

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Afghanistan in World Literature (V): Two French portraits

Fabrizio Foschini

Over the years, AAN has written about how Afghanistan is portrayed in the literature of other countries. Such portrayals have been instrumental in shaping the views and impressions of the country up to the present and given the continuing influence of outsiders on Afghanistan, it seems important to map this literature. In this report, AAN’s […]

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Music Censorship in 2021: The silencing of a nation and its cultural identity

Fabrizio Foschini

Music and musicians once again face serious threats following Afghanistan’s takeover by the Taleban in August this year. Over the past two decades, the theory and practice of traditional Afghan instruments, as well as other musical forms, has seen a remarkable revival after the destruction of the country’s musical heritage during the 1990s, with skills […]

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