Tag: Kabul

Power to the People (2): The TUTAP protests

When protesters interrupted President Ashraf Ghani’s speech in London three times on 13 May 2016, the heated controversy surrounding the route of TUTAP, a main electricity grid initiative, received even international attention. In Afghanistan, the tensions have been simmering since January 2016 when Hazara members of the government started trying to prevent a potential rerouting of […]

The ‘Zabul Seven’ Protests: Who speaks for the victims?

On 11 November 2015, Kabul witnessed probably one of the largest demonstrations in recent history. The trigger was the slaughter of seven Hazara travellers who had been taken hostage in Zabul province about a month ago. The demonstration, which continued well into the night, became an amalgam of emotions and agendas: grief and horror over […]

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

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 […]

The Triple Attack in Kabul: A message? If so, to whom?

Kabul is facing the aftermath of yet another suicide attack, this time at the entrance to the airport where early reports suggested 21 people were killed or injured. People in the capital were already in shock from the bloody events of 7 August: three attacks in 24 hours that killed more than 50 people and […]

Under the Bridge: The drug addicts’ scene in Kabul

Addiction to drugs is an often underestimated phenomenon in Afghanistan. Thousands of people become addicted to drugs every year in a country that is the world’s major producer of opiates, although many of them developed the habit while living abroad as refugees. In Kabul, they concentrate in western areas of the city, living in veritable […]

Bala Hissar, Sherpur fortress and Arg: The architecture of power in Kabul

Throughout the centuries, the seat of power in Kabul has almost always been within the walls of a strong fortress-palace. That will continue, as whatever the outcome of the current election, the new president will continue to live in the Arg. Guest author Bill Woodburn*, retired military engineer and specialist in fortified architecture, traces the […]

Rallies, Debate, Rain and Snow: The 2014 presidential election campaign starts

The Afghan presidential election campaign has kicked off – two months before polling day. Candidates are showing a range of attitudes, from launching big, brash public rallies to a rather desultory ‘we start tomorrow’ attitude. With no evident frontrunner, it seems the campaign will involve a real attempt to win over voters and will be […]