Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Fabrizio Foschini

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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Footsloggers, Turncoats and Enforcers: The fight along the eastern border

Fabrizio Foschini

Among the recent wave of large-scale attacks in Afghanistan, several hot spots in the eastern region stand out: Hesarak district in Nangarhar and other nearby districts in the Spin Ghar mountains, Kunar border areas, parts of Laghman and Barg-e Matal district in Nuristan. Fabrizio Foschini has been looking at recent episodes in the conflict in […]

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The Mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Durrani in Kandahar, where the Cloak was initially meant to be hosted. Photo: Fabrizio Foschini

Under the Cloak of History: The Kherqa-ye Sharif from Faizabad to Kandahar

Bette Dam Fabrizio Foschini

These are hard times for holy shrines in many Muslim countries. Often targeted by fundamentalist militants who reject practices of popular religious devotion as un-Islamic, many ancient and famous ziarats have been destroyed or damaged. The last on the list seems to have been the tomb of Yunus (Jonah) near Mosul, Iraq, reportedly blown up […]

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The Other Transfer of Power: Fahim’s death and Massud’s succession

Fabrizio Foschini

Until the elections of 5 April, the demise of Marshal Mohammed Qasim Fahim constituted the single major political event of 2014 in Afghanistan. His death directly affects the internal politics of a large group of Afghans: all those living in the north-eastern quadrant of the country. Tracing the political ascent of Fahim and assessing the […]

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Elections 2014 (6): Two types of security in the Shomali

Fabrizio Foschini

The Shomali plain is the plateau spanning north of Kabul to the Salang. A fertile and comparatively rich area of the country, it also features strong political-armed networks dating back to the mujaheddin time. Fabrizio Foschini came back from observing the election in the Shomali with mixed feelings. The success achieved by Afghan security forces […]

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