Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: History

History

AAN Reads: An Afghanistan history covering 750 years

Thomas Ruttig

Eminent Afghanistan specialists and historians have praised Jonathan L Lee’s 2018 Afghanistan: a history from 1260 to the present as “detailed research of the highest quality” and even the new go-to “encyclopaedia” on this subject. It is indeed encyclopaedic, pulling interesting episodes out of the dark of Afghan history, but still, it is partly disappointing, […]

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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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A Five Afghani postage stamp celebrating the ‘Saur Revolution’ of April 1978.

Thematic Dossier XVIII: The PDPA and the Soviet Intervention

AAN Team

40 years ago today, the Saur Revolution, as it was called – although it was in reality never anything more than a military coup d’etat – threw Afghanistan into upheaval and subsequently, decades of conflict. To mark the event, we have put together a dossier of AAN dispatches and papers. They include four new dispatches which […]

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A day after the PDPA took power, soldiers guard the Arg where Nur Muhammad Taraki is the new president (1978). Photo: Cleric77, Wikipedia - Creative Commons 3.0

An April Day that Changed Afghanistan 2: Afghans remember the ‘Saur Revolution’

Kate Clark

It is forty years, today, since the coup d’etat which brought the leftist People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) to power. That event has had far-reaching consequences, plunging the country into a conflict from which it has yet to emerge and changing the course of almost every Afghan’s life. AAN has been speaking to a […]

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Remembering Nancy Hatch Dupree 2: Nancy in the words of others

AAN Team

It is 40 days since the historian, archivist and activist on behalf of Afghans, Nancy Hatch Dupree, died, aged 89. She had spent decades of her life in Afghanistan or, like many Afghans, in exile in neighbouring Pakistan. She was the author of guidebooks on Afghanistan and a publisher of books. Then, first with her […]

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Nancy and Louis dance together in pre-war Kabul. The couple worked till 5 pm each day and then opened their doors to all, as Nancy described: "The 5 o'clock follies were born and became an institution that lasted for many years.”

Remembering Nancy Hatch Dupree 1: Nancy in her own words

AAN Team

It is 40 days since the historian, archivist and activist on behalf of Afghans, Nancy Hatch Dupree, died, aged 89. As a tribute to this remarkable woman, we are publishing two pieces. The first is an interview which Nancy gave in 2007 to Markus Hakansson for a book authored by Nancy and published by the […]

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The expedition after their arrival in Kabul, with Hentig (seated, 2nd from left) and Niedermayer (seated 3rd from l.). Photo from: Niedermayer's book, In der Glutsonne Irans.

Afghanistan in World War I (2): “England must lose India” – Afghanistan as a German bridgehead

Thomas Ruttig

100 years ago and a good year after the outbreak of World War I, a German political-military mission crossed the border into Afghanistan on the night of 19 to the 20 August 1915. Oskar Ritter von Niedermayer and Werner Otto von Hentig, a Bavarian military officer and a Prussian diplomat, both with Persian experience, led the […]

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“But This Gang Of Ministers Could Neither Fly Nor Swim Properly”: Memoirs from 1920s Afghanistan (Book Review)

Jolyon Leslie

In 1927, a tumultuous time for Afghanistan as King Amanullah attempted comprehensive social reforms, an Indian teacher, Syed Mujtaba Ali, came to Kabul. His travelogue, “In A Land Far From Home”, published in India in 1948, very entertainingly reports on Kabul during those days, recalling encounters on the street as well as with the Afghan […]

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Shah Shuja holding a durbar (court) at Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st century

Noah Arjomand

The latest AAN report, a discussion paper named “The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st Century” by guest author, Noah Arjomand, revisits Britain’s attempt at state-building in Afghanistan from 1839-1841. The disastrous British retreat from Kabul in January 1842 and the subsequent British pillage of the Afghan capital […]

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Bala Hissar and city of Caubul with the British cantonments from the 'Ba Maroo' Hill

The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st century

AAN Team

The latest AAN report, “The Folly of Double Government: Lessons from the First Anglo-Afghan War for the 21st Century” by guest author Noah Arjomand, revisits Britain’s attempt at state-building in Afghanistan from 1839-1841. The disastrous British retreat from Kabul in January 1842 and the subsequent British pillage of the Afghan capital are well-known events that […]

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Failings of Inclusivity: The Herat uprising of March 1979

Charlie Gammell

In the spring of 1979, Afghanistan was almost in open rebellion against the government of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA); first uprisings happened around the country. One, that started today 36 years ago in Herat, succeeded in driving out the ‘Khalqi’ government and controlling the city for three days of chaotic independence 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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