Malalai of Maiwand


Women in Afghanistan are perhaps thought of as meek or downtrodden, hidden beneath their chadors and subjugated by men. These stereotypes ignore the fact that even though Afghanistan remains one of the worst places in the world to be a woman, Afghan women are making headway against gale force cultural winds. Examples of women’s courage … Continue reading Malalai of Maiwand

Review: The Wandering Falcon


Hope does not die like an animal – quick and sudden. It is more like a plant, which slowly withers away. -“The Wandering Falcon,” by Jamil Ahmad There is no other book written in English that captures the spirit of the Pashtun people as well as “The Wandering Falcon” by Jamil Ahmad. Although I have … Continue reading Review: The Wandering Falcon

The Taliban Laheya


In 2006, the Swiss newspaper Die Weltwoche published a fascinating document that they had acquired in Afghanistan – a set of “rules” for the Taliban. Although it is a very loosely organized group, with many claiming membership who don’t necessarily report to the leadership council, this was an interesting development. The Taliban still refer to … Continue reading The Taliban Laheya

The Poetry of the Taliban


At your Christmas, Bagram is alit and bright, On my Eid, even the rays of the sun are dead, Suddenly at midnight, your bombs bring the light, In our houses, even the oil lamps are turned off. On Eid, by Khepulwaak Afghanistan is a country of poets. “The Poetry of the Taliban” would seem to … Continue reading The Poetry of the Taliban

The Deadly Jezail


The military might of the British Empire was not easily challenged in the 19th century, and yet they were soundly defeated during the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842). This is quite remarkable when you consider that Afghanistan at the time had no standing army, and no formal military industry to manufacture firearms. Part of the reason … Continue reading The Deadly Jezail

My Life with the Taliban


The Afghan and U.S. governments have been pursuing talks with the Taliban for several years now, although in 2018 they seem to be gathering momentum, perhaps leading towards full-blown negotiations to end the conflict in Afghanistan. Despite this growing entente, there is still an issue that hampers the efforts of the U.S. government – few … Continue reading My Life with the Taliban