Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Fabrizio Foschini

Blood in the Abode of Peace: The attack on Kabul’s Sikhs

Fabrizio Foschini

At a time when Afghans face a looming pandemic and worsening conflict, one recent event has stood out: the attack on the Sikh gurdwara in the Old City of Kabul one week ago. It was an unprecedented, sectarian attack on a peaceful, non-Muslim religious minority. 26 people were killed and 11 wounded, men, women and one child. […]

War and Peace Read more

Bollywood’s ‘Great Betrayal’ of Afghanistan: “Panipat” and the cost of vilifying Ahmad Shah Durrani

Fabrizio Foschini

Panipat: The Great Betrayal”, out in Indian cinemas since December 2019, is just the latest in a string of recent Bollywood movies that feature Afghans in the role of arch-villains, in this case Ahmad Shah Durrani, often described as the founder of the modern Afghan state. The historical revisionism and stereotyping of Afghans seen in the film have sparked protests […]

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Kabul’s Expanding Crime Scene (Part 2): Criminal activities and the police response

Fabrizio Foschini

In the second part of his reporting on Kabul’s crime scene, AAN’s Fabrizio Foschini deals with the characteristics of the current spike in criminality, in particular detailing the most frequent types of offences and their impact on the lives of the population. He tries to assess the difficult task of the police force in curbing […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Kabul’s Expanding Crime Scene (Part 1): The roots of today’s underworld

Fabrizio Foschini

Criminality in Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul, has soared in recent years. An increase in the city’s population, coupled with shrinking economic opportunities, appears to have forced more people into illegal activities as a means of survival. On top of this, the activities of well-armed and politically-connected criminal groups, present in the city and its surroundings […]

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"The Afghan peace delegation while crossing the Torkham border on their way to the Rawalpindi peace conference, 24 July 1919. The tall, bearded man on the left is Ghulam Muhammad Khan Wardak, then Minister of Commerce, while the figure in the centre with a plumed cap is probably Mahmud Tarzi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and head of the delegation.”

The 1919 War of Independence (or third Anglo-Afghan War): a conflict the Afghans started (and ended)

Fabrizio Foschini

Not all conflicts in Afghanistan’s history have been long, drawn-out or seemingly endless affairs, and not all of them degenerated into civil wars either. Outstanding among them, sadly many, instances of military operations inside or around Afghanistan, was the War of Independence of 1919, one of the few which was started by the Afghan state […]

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Kabul Unpacked: A Geographical Guide to a Metropolis In The Making

Fabrizio Foschini

Today, AAN publishes a new report, “Kabul Unpacked: A Geographical Guide to a Metropolis In The Making”. In maps and text, Author Fabrizio Foschini charts Kabul’s 22 police districts, their history, landmarks and architecture, population and security. We hope this guide will be a go-to, easily-used backgrounder for a city that many of us love, […]

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Fabrizio Foschini discusses his new report mapping Kabul’s 22 police districts – March 2019

Fabrizio Foschini

Fabrizio Foschini, author of the new AAN  report, “Kabul Unpacked: A Geographical Guide to a Metropolis In The Making” discusses the history and development of Kabul city.  

Podcasts Read more

The Myth of ‘Afghan Black’ (2): The cultural history of hashish consumption in Afghanistan

Fabrizio Foschini Jelena Bjelica Obaid Ali

Hashish or chars is a fairly common substance in Afghanistan. Its use, without ever attaining the levels of mass consumption that characterise other lightly-intoxicating substances in other war-torn countries, like the chewing of qat in Yemen or Somalia, for example, has remained relatively widespread. This does not mean that it is condoned by society: hashish-users, known as […]

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The Myth of ‘Afghan Black’ (1): A cultural history of cannabis cultivation and hashish production in Afghanistan

Fabrizio Foschini Jelena Bjelica

The cannabis plant is indigenous to the region of which Afghanistan is a part. Throughout human history, almost every part of the plant has been used – its fibres to make clothes, its oil-rich seeds as a food, its leaves, flowers, and resin as medicine, and of course, as a psychoactive drug. Hashish, made from […]

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Hitting Gardez: A vicious attack on Paktia’s Shias

Fabrizio Foschini

Afghan Shia Muslims are feeling increasingly beleaguered after two massacres targeting their community this month. Both were claimed by the Afghan ‘franchise’ of Daesh, the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP). On 3 August, gunmen killed at least 38 men and boys during Friday prayers at a village mosque in the outskirts of Gardez city. […]

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Afghan Asylum Seekers in Italy: A place of temporary respite

Fabrizio Foschini Jelena Bjelica

The number of Afghan asylum seekers in Italy has been steadily rising over the last decade. Numbers grew particularly rapidly between 2013 and 2015 and only in recent months have they slowed down. Throughout the last ten years, not only has Italy become a fixture in the mental map of Afghan migrants, but it has […]

Migration Read more
Afghan minors teaching Italian kids to fly kites, Trieste 2016 - photo by Fabrizio Foschini

Afghan Child Migrants: Italy, the preferred country of transit?

Fabrizio Foschini Jelena Bjelica

Over 100,000 unaccompanied Afghan minors, almost all of them male and generally between 14 and 17 years of age, applied for asylum in Europe between 2008 and 2016, making Afghanistan the single largest country of origin for this group of refugees. While Germany and Sweden received by far the highest number of applications, Italy became […]

Migration Read more