Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: History


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 […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghanistan’s first spaceman returns home


BBC, 23 March 2014 The story of Abdul Ahad Momand, the first Afghan cosmonaut who became a deputy aviation minister under President Najibullah. He fled the country when that regime collapsed and turned into an accountant in Germany. Now, he has returned to his country of origin for the first time and found out that […]

Recommended Reads Read more

From Alexander the Great to Ahmad Shah Massud: A social history of the pakol

Fabrizio Foschini

The flat, woollen, rolled-up hat called a pakol is nowadays one of the undisputed symbols of Afghanistan. But how such a humble garment, stemming from the remotest corners of the Hindu Kush mountains, made it to international appreciation on par with lavish silky chapans and majestic four-meter-long lungis, remains somewhat of a mystery. AAN’s Fabrizio […]

Context and Culture Read more

The Nation’s Voice? Afghanistan’s loya jirgas in the historical context

Benjamin Buchholz

On 21 November, another loya jirga (grand assembly) is forthcoming in Afghanistan, convened to represent ‘the nation’s voice’ about the still pending Afghan-US Bilateral Partnership Agreement (BSA), the basis for any post-2014 NATO mission in the country. This will be the fifth such assembly under the Karzai government. On this occasion, our guest author Benjamin Buchholz […]

Context and Culture Read more

The Other Fold of the Turban: Afghanistan’s Hindus and Sikhs

Fabrizio Foschini

Recent efforts to reserve a seat in the Wolesi Jirga (the lower house of the parliament) for the Hindus and Sikhs of Afghanistan have rekindled some interest in this tiny religious minority. Included in the draft of the electoral law, the issue was rejected by the parliament in July, but has been re-enforced on 3 […]

Rights and Freedoms Read more

The Other Side of the Amu Darya: Tajik and Afghans, neighbours apart

Thomas Ruttig

Despite pushes from the West and economic needs, Afghan-Central Asian economic cooperation has not taken off, yet. The people of Tajikistan, for example, are not very interested in or even prejudiced towards their southern neighbours, as they concentrate on their troubles with their former Uzbek brothers. The Tajik government and the other more or less authoritarian […]

Regional Relations Read more

7-9 September 2012: Photo exhibition and conference in Trieste

AAN admin

On the occasion of the photographic exhibition ‘Nur/Luce [Light]. Appunti afgani’ by photographer and writer Monika Bulaj, the municipality of Trieste organises a three-day event with the presence of several international scholars, diplomats, researchers, media and humanitarian workers, focusing on various aspects of Afghanistan’s culture, history and politics. On behalf of AAN, Thomas Ruttig and […]

Events Read more
... and Amanullah the reformer-king, with Queen Soraya.

Afghan Encounters in Europe or: How My Grandma Saw King Amanullah – Part 3

Thomas Ruttig

In the third and final part of a little series, Thomas Ruttig takes you on a journey in G.H. Wells’ time machine, back to Berlin in the year 1928 when Afghan King Amanullah visited the German capital as first head of state after the end of Kaiser Wilhelm’s monarchy. Read how the King drove the […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghan Encounters in Europe or: How My Grandma Saw King Amanullah – Part 2

Thomas Ruttig

Thomas Ruttig takes you on a short trip on Afghan traces in central Europe, this time encountering Afghanistan’s cultural heritage saved from looting and destruction and shown at a museum in Germany’s former capital. II. Bonn on the Rhine One of the major cultural venues in the town that was (West) Germany’s capital for more […]

Context and Culture Read more

Afghan Encounters in Europe or: How My Grandma Saw King Amanullah – Part 1

Thomas Ruttig

Summertime, vacation time. But an Afghan analyst finds it difficult to get away from his chosen subject even then. Sometimes, even pure chance leads him back on track – as on a short trip through Switzerland and Germany. Travel notes from Thomas Ruttig. I. La Gruyère, Switzerland This little town in the Fribourg Alps, known […]

Context and Culture Read more