Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

S Reza Kazemi

“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 […]

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At the Turn of a Century: A rare chance to discover Nawruz in history and in Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi

By popular count at least, the coming solar year 1400 will usher in a new century in Afghanistan. Taking this as an exceptional once-in-a-lifetime chance, AAN researcher Reza Kazemi taps into a diverse array of sources, including history, literature and folk music, to look at Nawruz in deep time and through Afghanistan as a kaleidoscopic […]

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Playful Pastimes and Much More: Seven folk games from Afghanistan

S Reza Kazemi AAN Team

A ‘fundraising’ game by children to buy themselves treats for Nawruz, a children’s play that satirises wedding traditions, a funny game about how to deal with a duff player, a deceptively easy game particularly played by girls with hazelnut-sized stones, two more stone throwing games played by grown-ups and a complicated ‘egg fighting’ game favoured […]

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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 […]

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“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 […]

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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 […]

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Covid-19 in Afghanistan (4): A precarious interplay between war and epidemic

S Reza Kazemi Fazl Rahman Muzhary

Afghans are now being killed by both the continuing war and Covid-19. The epidemic has ground much of life to a halt – with the notable exception of the fighting. In this report, AAN researchers Reza Kazemi and Fazal Muzhary (with input from Kate Clark) look at the interplay between war and disease. They provide […]

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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 […]

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Herat City’s Reported Spike in Insecurity: What a sober reading of events reveals

S Reza Kazemi

In late 2019 and early 2020, Afghanistan’s key western city of Herat witnessed a series of security incidents, including targeted killings and attacks on the police. The increase in violence resulted in an Afghan media uproar and a swirl of local theories about what or who could be behind it. Taking a closer look at […]

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Covid-19 in Afghanistan (2): Herat city between disregard and compliance

S Reza Kazemi

With around two-thirds of Afghanistan’s confirmed positive Covid-19 cases thus far, the western province of Herat is now known as the path through which the coronavirus spread from neighbouring Iran. But how have residents and government in Herat city, the provincial centre, reacted to the disease in day-to-day life? Based on observations and conversations, AAN […]

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Disputed Casualties in Kushk: The cost of blurring lines between fighters and civilians

S Reza Kazemi

The government continues to deny reports about the killing of at least five civilians in one or several airstrikes by Afghan or NATO forces in Kushk district in the north of Herat province on 17 February 2020. The following day, a group of Kushk residents staged a protest in front of the governor’s compound in […]

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Placating Ghor, For Now: 10-days protest pushed the government to respond

S Reza Kazemi

Frustrated by the exclusion of their primary development needs from Afghanistan’s budget for the coming year, a growing number of residents in the neglected and isolated central province of Ghor brought the local administration to a standstill by staging a sit-in for around ten days (21-31 January 2020). They only agreed to end their demonstration […]

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