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Afghanistan’s 2019 Election (11): A first look at how E-Day went

The Independent Election Commission has given its first rough estimation of turnout in Afghanistan’s 2019 Presidential Elections. It was low, with fewer than two million voters out of 9.66 million registered, about a quarter, coming out to vote. The Taleban only managed to conduct one large-scale attack, in Kandahar city, but committed 400 other, mainly […]

Afghanistan’s 2019 Elections (8): Greater insecurity, fewer votes and pre-election politics in Herat

Security has been deteriorating in the western province of Herat with the government and Taleban continuing to hit each other hard, particularly in districts farther from the provincial capital. Insecurity, together with the disillusionment after the previous mismanaged elections, is likely to result in fewer voters going to the polls on 28 September compared to […]

Women and Afghan Peace Talks: ‘Peace consensus’ gathering left Afghan women without reassurance

One of the recurrent themes around the US-Taleban negotiations to end the Afghan war (so far without participation of the Afghan government) is the demand of Afghan women for “meaningfully participation” in the preparations for inclusive peace talks. This expectation also figured at a national consensus gathering (ejma) in Kabul in late February this year. […]

AAN Obituary: Muhammad Sharif Fayez (1944-2019) – a higher education reformer, come too early or maybe too late

With Muhammad Sharif Fayez, another member of the first post-Taleban Afghan cabinet has passed away. In this cabinet, Fayez served as Minister of Higher Education from 2001 to 2004. In 2004, he became the founding president of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), which he chaired until 2006. As president emeritus until his passing, he […]

The Myth of ‘Afghan Black’ (2): The cultural history of hashish consumption in Afghanistan

Hashish or chars is a fairly common substance in Afghanistan. Its use, without ever attaining the levels of mass consumption that characterise other lightly-intoxicating substances in other war-torn countries, like the chewing of qat in Yemen or Somalia, for example, has remained relatively widespread. This does not mean that it is condoned by society: hashish-users, known as […]