Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Fabrizio Foschini

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 […]

Context and Culture Read more

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

Jelena Bjelica Fabrizio Foschini

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 […]

Context and Culture Read more

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. […]

War and Peace Read more

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
An Afghan ensemble performing at the Lycee Istiqlal in Kabul on February 23, 2011. Photo: Fabrizio Foschini

War and Exile Through the Musicians’ Eye: Professor John Baily’s account of four decades of Afghan music (book review)

Fabrizio Foschini

 “Music is essential for the very survival of man’s humanity.” In the opening lines of his book ‘War, Exile and the Music of Afghanistan’, John Baily motivates his research with this quote from fellow ethnomusicologist John Blacking. For the author, who spent more than four decades researching and performing the music of Afghanistan alongside Afghan […]

Context and Culture Read more

Under the Mountain: A pre-emptive Taleban spring offensive in Shindand

Fabrizio Foschini

Throughout March 2016, Shindand district in Herat province witnessed heavy fighting. Clashes between two rival insurgent groups were followed by a string of ANSF military operations. With substantial help from Quetta, the local pro-Mansur Taleban group has swept away a pro-Rasul outfit that had recently proved less aggressive towards the government. This new outbreak of […]

War and Peace Read more
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 […]

Context and Culture Read more

Classics of Conflict (2): Reviewing some of Afghanistan’s most notorious hotspots

Fabrizio Foschini

The second part of our series reviewing ten places in Afghanistan that have been fought over throughout the last decade (see part 1 here) starts close to where the first ended: with an area straddling the border between Nuristan and Kunar provinces. Insurgents have in fact just recently captured the administrative centre of one of […]

War and Peace Read more

Classics of Conflict (1): Reviewing some of Afghanistan’s most notorious hotspots

Fabrizio Foschini

There are only a few places in Afghanistan everybody has heard of. Names like Panjwayi or Tora Bora, though, have been around for a long time, in some cases more than a decade. They have gained notorious prominence in the international press because of the heavy involvement of foreign forces and the subsequent heavy casualty rates, […]

War and Peace Read more

The Killing of Farkhunda (1): The physical environment and the social types party to her murder

Fabrizio Foschini Naheed Esar Malikzay

40 days after the violent killing of Farkhunda, supporters gathered on Monday, 27 April 2015, to mourn and protest her death. Afghan public opinion has now reached a broad consensus over the unprecedented gravity of this murder. Yet, many questions remain as to what triggered the killing and how it was possible for such a […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more