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.

"Unaware of Eid, Khaled knows only sweat and toil", titles Pajhwok about this 13-year old from Kunduz. Photo: Pajhwok.

AAN Wishes Peaceful and Happy Eid al-Adha Days

AAN Team

دافغانستان د تحلیلګرانو شبکه د نیکمرغه لوي اختر د رارسیدو له امله ټولي اسلامي نړۍ، په ځانګري توګه د افغانستان مسلمان ولس ته دزړه له کومي مبارکی وایي. هیله ده چي دلوي اختر له برکته په افغانستان کې سوله، ثبات او ورورولي ټینګه شي. زمو‌‌‌ږ ورستۍ مقاله د لوی اختر د نمانځنې په باره کې […]

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Sign of the Olympic rings at the sports ground near the Kabul National Stadium (Photo Source: Tolonews August 2016)

Two Sides of the Medal: Afghanistan at Olympia in Rio – and infighting at home

Thomas Ruttig

Afghanistan’s Olympics team has marched, along with those of 206 countries and territories and an additional refuges team, into the Maracana Stadium for the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games (5-21 August 2016). Sprinter Kamia Yusufi carried the Afghan flag, but, in reality, this was the smallest Afghan team since the country […]

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Men dance the attan in Andar district of Ghazni, Eid al Fitr, 28 October, 2012. Photo: Fazal Mazhary

Eid Mubarak from AAN to All Our Readers

AAN Team

After each dark night, a bright morning comes, and after each Ramadan, comes Eid al Fitr. As this year’s long, hot month of dawn-till-dusk fasting ends, the AAN team would like to wish a joyful Eid to friends and readers, to all Muslims around the world and particularly to the people of Afghanistan. په هره تياره […]

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The RTA building in Kabul (Photo Source: Report by DSWCI)

“No Microphone for the President”: Can Radio Television Afghanistan still become a public service broadcaster?

Jelena Bjelica

Turning government-run Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) into a public service broadcaster, a symbol of a democratic state, has been on the agenda of both donors and the Afghan government since 2002. However, only small, cosmetic changes have so far been made. As a result, many argue that this goal is no longer realistic. The overstaffed, […]

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Kabul Duck Alert 2: Pictures of birds and birdwatchers at the Kol-e Hashmat Khan wetland

Kate Clark

The springtime migration of birds over Afghanistan is in full swing. The Kol-e Hashmat Khan wetland in south Kabul is an internationally important site for tired waterbirds to stop and rest, and build up their strength. Soon, they’ll be heading north again, crossing the Hindu Kush mountains to reach their summer breeding grounds in Central […]

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How Kol-e Hashmat Khan looks to migrating water birds: a haven amid city and mountains (Photo Source: Andrew Scanlon/UNEP)

Kabul Duck Alert: Afghan capital still important stopover for migrating waterbirds

Kate Clark

It is springtime which means birds in great numbers are migrating northwards over Afghanistan. The wetland in the south-east of Kabul city, Kol-e Hashmat Khan, is an internationally important place for water birds to rest and recuperate before taking back to the air and resuming their flight over some of the world’s highest mountain ranges. […]

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Happy Nawruz! A blessed year 1395 to our readers

AAN Team

Dear readers and friends, the AAN team wishes you a blessed, healthy and hopefully more peaceful Afghan year 1395. This year spring has come early and many trees are already in full bloom. But this is no reason to abandon the tradition of getting some pink tulips from the north, Afghanistan’s new year flowers, to mark the beginning […]

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Magazine cover of "Top Notch" which published Robert E Howard's stories, including Hawk of the Hill - a El Borak story in June 1935

Afghanistan in World Literature (IV): Weird Tales from the Frontier

Fabrizio Foschini

Throughout the last couple of centuries, the way foreign authors, both novelists and scholars, have portrayed Afghans has had an impact on how Afghanistan itself is perceived. One such writer, a bestseller in his day, although now less well known, is the 1920s-30s fantasy and adventure writer, Robert E Howard. His novels stand out, says […]

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An Afghan tool to harvest opium 'latex'. Photo: (c) Andrew Weir.

On the Cultural History of Opium – and how poppy came to Afghanistan

Doris Buddenberg

Mention drugs or Google the word ‘opium’ and the link to Afghanistan will never be far away. No wonder, since over the last few decades, Afghanistan has become the largest opium producer in the world. But where did opium come from, how did it spread and what are its cultural expressions? AAN co-director Thomas Ruttig […]

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A Happy and Peaceful New Year!

AAN Team

  Dear friends and readers, Here at the Afghanistan Analysts Network we would like to wish you all a Happy New Year. May it be filled with good surprises and may it bring peace, in Afghanistan and in the wider world, closer. We will be here, together with you, closely following what is happening and hoping for a […]

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Lahndi Season: a delicacy and a feast in rural Afghanistan

Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Many find the arrival of fall and the beginning of winter depressing, but Lahndi, a traditional food feast in Afghanistan, makes the season something to look forward to. In certain ways, the anticipation of Lahndi can be compared to the way people around the world prepare for Christmas, with happiness; with one major difference, that […]

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Quarter of a Century of War in Pictures: Exhibition at ACKU

Kate Clark

An exhibition of war photographs taken in Afghanistan over the last quarter of a century is currently showing at the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University and will thereafter be available in its archive. American photographer Robert Nickelsberg has been visiting the country since 1988, catching moments on film that are variously historic, unsettling and tender. […]

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