An Interview with Ele Pawelski


Ele Pawelski is a lawyer, former humanitarian worker and the author of The Finest Supermarket in Kabul, published in 2017 by Quattro Books. Many of the works written recently that are set in Afghanistan have been by soldiers who served there, and so I was interested in talking to someone whose experience in the country was … Continue reading An Interview with Ele Pawelski

Review: The Caravan


There has been a lot written in the last twenty years about “global jihad,” although finding good analysis rather than rhetoric can be hard. Thomas Hegghammer does a great service with his latest book, The Caravan, which sheds light on a previously dim corner of the subject. Part of the issue with the general Western … Continue reading Review: The Caravan

An Interview with Khalid Wardak


Afghanistan has a rich and ancient poetic and storytelling tradition, going back over the millennia.” Khalid Wardak Khalid Wardak is an Edmonton-based writer currently working on a memoir about his early life in Afghanistan. Although his work is yet to be published, I’m intensely curious to read it and learn about his experiences. He and … Continue reading An Interview with Khalid Wardak

The Taliban and COVID-19


The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges, as well as opportunities, for the Taliban as they vie for power in Afghanistan. One of the world’s first major outbreaks after China was in Iran, home to a large Afghan diaspora, many of whom fled back into Afghanistan as the crisis in Iran worsened. Predictably, they … Continue reading The Taliban and COVID-19

Afghanistan’s Bandit Tradition


While decades of conflict have created a degree of anarchy and lawlessness across Afghanistan, within Afghan culture there have long been romanticized portrayals of bandits that continue to the present day. Pashtun culture in particular is highly egalitarian, with strongly pronounced streaks of both individualism and justice. The ideal Pashtun male is someone who is … Continue reading Afghanistan’s Bandit Tradition