The Taliban Layeha


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 Layeha

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

War Rugs


One of the earliest subjects depicted in art was war. This should be no surprise, as it is a human activity that provokes great emotions. From the stelae of ancient Egypt, to the tapestries of Medieval Europe and the war artists of the 20th century, military art is widespread through human history. In Afghanistan, one … Continue reading War Rugs

Review: Earth & Ashes


Atiq Rahimi is one of several Afghan writers who has become well known in the West. Born in Kabul, he studied at the Lycée Esteqlal where he learned French. After the Soviet invasion, he and his family fled first to Pakistan, and then to Paris where he studied at the Sorbonne. Rahimi first began to … Continue reading Review: Earth & Ashes