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

Traces of Alexander the Great


Afghanistan has suffered from many invasions over the millennia, but perhaps the most famous of them all is that of Alexander the Great and his armies. I was familiar with this episode in history before I first visited Afghanistan, though my knowledge grew as I walked the ground. Something I began to wonder, however, was … Continue reading Traces of Alexander the Great