Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Herat

Erdbeben in Herat: Die Naturkatastrophe in West-Afghanistan trifft die Schwächsten

Thomas Ruttig

Blätter des iz3w, 11 December 2023 This article is an overview about the October 2023 series of earthquakes in Herat, its repercussions for the local population and the response to it by AAN’s Thomas Ruttig, written for the ‘Blätter’ which is one of the longest-standing German NGO journals on north-south relations (in German).

External publications Read more

Hearts Turned Away from Music: Afghan musicians’ paths to exile

Fabrizio Foschini

A year and a half after the Taleban takeover, music has completely disappeared from Afghan streets, TV channels, radios, cars and wedding halls. It barely survives in more personal and subdued forms and volumes – inside a house with tightly closed windows or shutters, inside headphones on one’s smartphone. The world, and Afghanistan more so, […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more
A child makes bricks in a mould at a brick kiln in Kandahar. For the families in our study from Sar-e Pul, working in the brick kilns in Mazar-e Sharif was a last resort, but by 2016, 70 per cent of households were migrating there seasonally, with men, women and children working. Households could easily fall into debt-bondage. Photo: Javed Tanveer/AFP, November 2021

Living With Radical Uncertainty in Rural Afghanistan: The work of survival

Adam Pain

Yet again, Afghanistan is experiencing a moment of rupture, the latest in a long series of upheavals that have marked the lives of most Afghans over the age of 55. For those living in rural areas, unpredictability is created not only by regime change or violent conflict, but also drought, flooding and other natural disasters. […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Fall of Nimruz: A symbolic or economic game-changer?

Fabrizio Foschini

With the fall of five provincial capitals in three days – Zaranj in Nimruz, Sheberghan in Jowzjan, Sarepul, Kunduz and Taloqan in Takhar –, the Taleban switched pace. After an unexpected and highly successful sweep of rural districts in many parts of Afghanistan yielded particularly astounding results in areas considered ‘difficult’ for them, such as […]

War and Peace Read more

“A Future of One’s Own”: One young woman’s struggle to thrive in modern Herat

S Reza Kazemi

At a time when the future of Afghanistan as a state and society is deeply uncertain, we bring to you an in-depth case study of the life choices of one university graduate who has grown up on the outskirts of the country’s northwestern city of Herat. Following Roya (pseudonym), her family and a group of […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (9): Into the third wave

Thomas Ruttig Rohullah Sorush

Afghanistan has entered the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic amid an unprecedented rise in confirmed cases. Doctors in various provinces detected signs of the impending new wave soon after the start of the Afghan new year (21 March), but the government only imposed contact restrictions on 28 May and enlisted religious scholars to urge […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

A Sufi Lodge, a Leaning Minaret and a Polymath’s Shrine: A look at recent efforts to preserve – and appreciate – historical Herat

S Reza Kazemi

Herat, the oasis town in the far northwest of Afghanistan, has been a flourishing Sufi and cultural centre at various points along its long, chequered history. Based on observations, conversations and a literature review, and illustrated by photos, AAN researcher Reza Kazemi takes a look at the city’s rich heritage through three memorials: a tenth-century […]

Context and Culture Read more

AAN Obituary: Muhammad Azam Rahnaward Zaryab, pioneering Afghan writer and guardian of the Persian language

Thomas Ruttig

One of Afghanistan’s most influential and prolific writers died in a Kabul hospital 40 days ago on 11 December 2020. Born in Kabul in 1944, Zaryab wrote some of the first modern Afghan novels, and his contributions to Afghanistan’s literature inspired a new generation of Afghan writers. In Afghanistan’s post-Taleban media scene, the celebrated author […]

Context and Culture Read more

“Eat and Don’t Die”: Daily-wage labour as a window into Afghan society

S Reza Kazemi

At a time when Afghanistan’s economy continues to deteriorate due to intensified conflict and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, AAN researcher Reza Kazemi gives a voice to daily-wage labourers who flock to busy town squares to find work and are among the poorest in the country. Based on conversations and observations in the major […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

AAN wishes a peaceful and healthy Eid al-Adha to all its readers

AAN Team

At a difficult and uncertain time for growing numbers of people in Afghanistan, there is at last some good news: the Taleban and government have again declared a third three-day ceasefire to mark the major Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha. We acknowledge that many people who have continued to bear the brunt of this brutal […]

Context and Culture Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (5): Snapshots of women’s living under coronavirus in and around Herat city

S Reza Kazemi

In Herat, Afghanistan’s second most-infected province, women have been disproportionately hit by the secondary effects of Covid-19. AAN researcher Reza Kazemi has been hearing from women in the province about extra care and housework, increased levels of domestic violence, greater restrictions on movement and their concerns about their children, given school closures. He also finds […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Covid-19 in Afghanistan (3): Distributing aid and changing aid politics – view from a Herati village

S Reza Kazemi

At a time when coronavirus-related aid in Afghanistan is becoming a topic of heated discussion, and the cause of some unfortunate violent incidents, the aid that flowed into a rural community in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat was bitterly and deeply contested. With the day-to-day rhythm of life in this already impoverished village troubled by […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more