Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Roxanna Shapour

Mother with newborn baby at the Tangi Saidan clinic run by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, in Daymirdad district of Wardak province. Photo: Elise Blanchard/AFP, 6 October 2021

The Daily Hustle: The ancient art of making surma

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

In Afghanistan, surma (kohl) has been used since ancient times by both men and women to enhance the eyes, for its healing properties and to protect the wearer against the evil eye. Traditionally made by grinding stibnite rock into a fine power, the use of the black concoction to line the eyes also has a […]

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The Daily Hustle: The trials and tribulations of being a street vendor in Kabul

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

For anyone who has spent any time in Kabul, handcart sellers and street vendors are a familiar sight, as they walk around the city hawking their wares from dusk to dawn trying to eke out a meagre living for their families. Street vendors say that more and more young Afghans have been joining their ranks, […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Daily Hustle: Waiting in Islamabad for evacuation

Rohullah Sorush Roxanna Shapour

When the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan returned to power in August 2021, thousands of Afghans who were working for NGOs left Afghanistan, fearing harassment by Afghanistan’s new rulers, or just taking an opportunity to start a new life elsewhere. Many have already found their way to Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. Others are still […]

Migration Read more
The opening session of the Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the Qatari capital Doha. Photo: State of Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 18 February 2024

From Doha to Doha: The contest over a UN Special Envoy lingers as discussions and disagreements drag on

Roxanna Shapour

Afghanistan is back on the world’s agenda. The UN Security Council has met behind closed doors to hear about the recently held United Nations-convened meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in Doha. The current rulers of Afghanistan, the Islamic Emirate, decided not to attend the Doha gathering and are adamantly against the planned appointment of […]

International Engagement Read more

The Contest for a Special Envoy: Will the meeting in Doha yield a shift in the world’s engagement with the Emirate? 

Roxanna Shapour

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will host a second meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan in the capital of Qatar, Doha, on 18-19 February 2024. Unlike the last gathering in May 2023, the Emirate has also been invited, although it has not yet confirmed that it will send a delegation. The two-day meeting is expected […]

International Engagement Read more

The Daily Hustle: Mission impossible – the quest for passports and visas in Afghanistan

AAN Team Roxanna Shapour

Afghans who got onto evacuation lists may have the chance to go to Europe or North America, if they can get passports and visas for Pakistan. Their first dilemma is whether to go; it is not easy leaving one’s homeland. But there is a second dilemma – whether to spend savings or go into debt to get the […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

The Daily Hustle: My life as a refugee – and choosing to return home 

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

After the Islamic Republic collapsed in August 2021, tens of thousands of people rushed to Kabul airport, attempting to leave Afghanistan. Some faced specific threats from the new rulers. Others were fearful of an uncertain future, increased violence and unemployment and hoped for a better future for themselves and their children if they went abroad. […]

Migration Read more

The Daily Hustle: “Helping the dreams of girls come true”

Rohullah Sorush Roxanna Shapour

After the Islamic Emirate banned older girls from education, many girls found alternative avenues to continue their studies, find intellectual stimulation – and even, as this Daily Hustle found out, make a living in the private education sector. AAN’s Rohullah Sorush hears from one young Afghan woman about how, even in the face of overwhelming […]

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The Long Winding River: Unravelling the water dispute between Afghanistan and Iran

Mhd Assem Mayar Roxanna Shapour

Afghanistan and Iran have been at loggerheads for much of this year over the Helmand River and its water. As the region grappled with a punishing drought for the third year running, the two neighbouring countries have been locked in a tense melee over shared transboundary rivers. While Iran seeks to assert its rights over […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

Nature’s Fury: The Herat earthquakes of 2023

Roxanna Shapour

The earth has continued to shudder in Herat province ever since the first of a series of deadly earthquakes hit the province on Saturday 7 October around 11am local time. They have destroyed entire villages and killed and injured thousands of people. Since then, dozens more tremors, including three powerful earthquakes have caused additional havoc […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Daily Hustle: Selling traditional Afghan clothes on Facebook

Sayed Asadullah Sadat Roxanna Shapour

How to support your family when you have just lost your job during hard economic times? That was the question one journalist asked himself after his newspaper laid him off during the calamitous contraction of the economy in 2021 when the amount of international money coming into Afghanistan suddenly diminished. The journalist’s response surprised even […]

Economy, Development, Environment Read more

The Daily Hustle: Crossing the Durand Line to visit family in Pakistan

Ali Mohammad Sabawoon Roxanna Shapour

The story of Afghan families is often one of loved ones separated by long distances and national borders. Every year, many Afghans who have family living in neighbouring countries make the hours and sometimes days-long journey overland from Afghanistan, braving long bus rides, hours waiting to cross borders and the demands for payment by border […]

Context and Culture Read more