Kabul: 12:53 PM      
Welcome to Kabul:Reconstructions. You can follow the information below, which has been gathered from a number of sources by a number of participants (click on the names at left for bios), to reconstruct your own picture of events in Kabul since this site was launched on March 8th, 2003 and, in a sense, since the reconstruction of Afghanistan began somewhere in the winter of 2001-02.

Some of this information has been provided in response to specific questions submitted by visitors like you. Please note that this section of the project is now maintained as an archive and has not been updated since 2005. Click here to ASK A QUESTION.

Mariam Ghani
Zohra Saed
Massoud Hosseini
Nassima Mustafa
Bibigol Ghani
Arian Mouj Sharifi
Soraia Ghani

Site Comments


Kabul City Map
A map of Kabul as of February 2005, from the Afghan Information Mapping Service, a UNDP project.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   June 15th, 2005 3:59 PM

what did the bombs leave behind?
hey, have been meaning to post this tidbit from Utica/Central New York's Citizens in Action and Sonoma State University's media group Project Censored's annual publication Censored 2005 ("a compilation of the year's 25 most significant news stories that were overlooked or under-reported by the country's major national news media"):

High Uranium Levels Found in Troops and Civilians
Civilian populations in (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 11th, 2004 10:24 PM


Video from the Babur Gardens restoration project
This mosque, and the gardens it overlooks, were built by the Persian emperor Babur, who named Kabul his favorite city. The restoration is being spearheaded by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which works on reconstruction in the particular field of Islamic cultural heritage.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 10:04 PM

Update on Kabul housing crisis (dw-world.de)
Note: according to this article, the number of returnees is now up to 2.5 million.

Kabul's Reconstruction Marred by Urban Sprawl
by Karen Fischer
The Afghan capital's population is exploding. Ex-refugees and rural residents are flocking to the city by the thousands, and that's creating major problems for Kabul and the aid organizations rebuilding it. (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 4:03 PM

Post-jirga politicking (Reuters, MMN)
01/28/04 06:43 ET Afghan leader accused of signing changed charter By Sayed Salahuddin, Reuters
KABUL, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai stood accused on Wednesday of signing a constitution into law that had been altered since its adoption this month by a Constitutional Loya Jirga, or Grand Assembly. A group of delegates at the Loya Jirga, which wound up weeks of acrimonious debate (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:33 PM


Round-up of opinion on CLJ - part four
Includes an essay by Tamim Ansary and op-eds from the Afghan press.

Jan 15 2004 TomPaine.com Steps To Statehood Tamim Ansary is author of West of Kabul, East of New York, a bicultural memoir published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2002. Afghanistan has ratified a new constitution, thus completing the third step in a four-step program toward nationhood launched at Bonn two years ago. Step one was (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:26 PM

Round-up of opinion on CLJ - part three
Includes commentary from legal, socialist and religious freedom advocates.

FindLaw.com The New Afghan Constitution Will It Respect Women's Rights? Will Its Mixture of Religion and Democracy Work? By MADHAVI SUNDER Jan. 15, 2004 Last week, headscarves and turbans took the place of powdered wigs as delegates to Afghanistan's Constitutional conventional approved a new Constitution. The (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:34 PM

Round-up of opinion on CLJ - part two
Includes commentary from Ahmed Rashid, Lakhdar Brahimi and Human Rights Watch.

The Loya Jirga has resulted in significant shifts in the ethnic and political make up of the government and other Afghan forces, which sharply contradict many of the assumptions of Pakistan's (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:14 PM

Round-up of opinion on CLJ - part one
Includes commentary from Barney Rubin, Khalilzad, and Mother Jones.

A Brief Look at the Final Negotiations on the Constitution of Afghanistan
By Barnett R. Rubin January 4, 2004
This is a brief analysis of the constitution passed earlier today, based on an unofficial translation.
Form of Government The draft establishes two vice-presidents rather than one. This has been portrayed (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:08 PM


More articles on end of CLJ (Washington Times, AP, IWPR)
The following summarize course of CLJ as well as its conclusion. I have also put a link to the Institute for War & Peace Reporting Afghanistan reports page below; the archives have even more of their articles on the CLJ and other reconstruction-related topics.

January 10, 2004 The Washington Times Afghans write constitution version By Roland Flamini UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL
WASHINGTON, (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:35 PM

CLJ: Last-ditch deal approves draft without vote (AP, WP, IWPR, Mother Jones, RFE/RL)
The Associated Press January 4, 2004 7:55 AM Eastern Time Afghans agree on new constitution, council chairman says By STEPHEN GRAHAM
Afghanistan's constitutional convention agreed on a historic new charter on Sunday, overcoming weeks of division and mistrust to hammer out a compromise meant to bind together the war-ravaged nation's mosaic of ethnic groups. Just a day after warning that the (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   August 12th, 2004 2:16 PM




CLJ: Vote boycott halts approval of amended draft (AfghanTV, IWPR, Amnesty, AFP)
Loya Jerga Day 19: Delegates start voting Afghanistan Television (in Dari) Kabul, Afghanistan January 1, 2003 04:45 gmt
Summary of the morning session in the 19th day of the Constitutional Loya Jerga: 1. 0450 gmt Loya Jerga session opens with recitation of some verses from the Holy Koran. 2. 0455 gmt Mirwais Yasini, deputy chairman of the Loya Jerga, says the delegates will first start to (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:38 PM




CLJ: Debates over final constitution draft (NYT, AP, Dawn, Reuters, RFE/RL)
Hi all, have been working on some other projects but will make an effort now to get the media monitor here a bit more up to date . . . or at least finish up the Loya Jirga coverage from last winter before the presidential elections this fall . . .
I have attached translations of the original draft constitution and the amendments proposed by the CLJ Reconciliation Committee for your reference.

The New (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   August 12th, 2004 1:15 PM

Bomb incident increases security concerns for CLJ (NYT)
The New York Times December 29, 2003 5 Afghan Officers Are Killed In Attack as Assembly Meets By CARLOTTA GALL A man with a bomb killed five Afghan intelligence officers and himself near Kabul's international airport on Sunday afternoon, casting a shadow of concern over the grand assembly meeting in Kabul to approve a new constitution. A senior intelligence official, Jalal, who was responsible for (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   June 16th, 2004 11:52 AM






Transcripts from CLJ speeches (Afghanistan Radio & Television); CLJ quotes from Afghan press
Note: The speaker in the photograph isn't any of the following, but actually Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

Afghan delegate calls on government not to employ Pakistani nationals Afghanistan Television (in Pashto) Kabul, Afghanistan December 23, 2003 12:05 [Sehera] In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. With the permission of Loya Jerga's deputy chairman, with the (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:43 PM

Recent stories on primary education challenges (Netaid, HRAC, AFP, Norway Post, Guardian, CNP)
As Millions Return to School in Afghanistan, Challenges Remain 15 April 2004 Netaid
  Girls attend class in Afghanistan The first day of school in Kabul was nothing less than amazing, says Nina Papadopoulos, who worked in Afghanistan from 2000-2003 with the International Rescue Committee. Based in Peshawar in the North West (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   May 10th, 2004 3:22 PM

Two women's stories (London Times, NPR)
I found these interesting because of their atypical (for Western media) focus on the particular experience of two specific and individual women instead of the general "plight of Afghan women," although the first does try to abstract the general point from the specific story . . . icky headline and all . . . second is much more grounded and features yet another Malalai.
The Times (London) December 26, (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   March 27th, 2004 3:02 PM






The CLJ debate gets down to constitutional points (IWPR, IRIN)
Jihadi Groups Win Key Constitutional Points By Danish Karokhel in Kabul (ARR No. 93, 26-Dec-03) Institute for War & Peace Reporting Jihadi groups appear to have won significant changes in the draft constitution of Afghanistan that would increase the authority of Islam in the government, according to key Loya Jirga delegates. They also have made a deal with President Hamid Karzai to decrease the (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:47 PM

Pessimism about security clouds reception of CLJ (CNN, Reuters, AWSJ, Eqtedare Melli, Chicago Trib)
CNN INTERNATIONAL--SHOW: Q&A December 22, 2003 11:30 AM EST Afghanistan on the Brink DALJIT DHALIWAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR (voice-over): The warning from the United Nation secretary-general that Afghanistan is on the verge of being lost just as delegates to the loya jirga plan the country's future. KOFI ANNAN, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: We need to deal with the security issue, and if (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   June 16th, 2004 11:24 AM

CLJ: path to presidential system (Scotland Sunday, CSM, Reuters, AP)
Scotland on Sunday Sun 28 Dec 2003 Karzai earmarks key roles for Afghan hardliners DAN MORRISON AFGHAN President Hamid Karzai has secured backing for his plans to concentrate power on himself from the grand assembly of tribal leaders. A majority of the 502 delegates of the loya jirga, the country's constitutional convention, are now in favour of a strong presidential system. However, (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   June 16th, 2004 11:50 AM

More articles on CLJ from IWPR
Hi all, have been occupied with other projects for a little while but am now going to backtrack and update the media monitor section of the site with some choice articles from the past few months, starting with continued coverage of the Constitutional Loya Jirga in December/January.
Every Word Has a Special Significance; The inclusion of the word `resistance' in the preamble of the proposed (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   June 16th, 2004 11:21 AM

Where Does Afghanistan Stand? By: Arian Sharifi

Introduction During the dark years of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, most Afghans were pushing their lives on a day-to-day basis, inspiring themselves with the expression that “every dark night will end in a bright day” and hoping that one day the barbaric domination of fundamentalism would come to an end and the country would be librated. Having in mind (more . . . )
Posted By: Arian   March 21st, 2004 11:57 AM


Analysis of roles of state & Islam in Afghan constitution (Legal Times, Reuters)
The photo shows one of the prayer breaks which punctuated each day of the Constitutional Loya Jirga. -- mariam

Legal Times December 22, 2003 In the Name of God; The proposed Afghan constitution speaks of religion but leaves the state in charge By Mohammad H. Fadel After more than 25 years of foreign invasion and civil war -- and two years after the U.S. military campaign there began -- Afghanistan (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:50 PM

Meanwhile, in the tent cities near Peshawar (Independent, Afghan Islamic Press)
The Independent (London) December 22, 2003, Monday CHRISTMAS APPEAL: PASHTUN EXILES STRANDED IN TENT CITY AS BANDITS AND WARLORDS KEEP A GRIP ON THEIR HOMELAND By JAN MCGIRK IN PESHAWAR JALOZAI CAMP was supposed to be temporary, a no-frills sanctuary of DIY mud huts where Afghan families could take refuge while war convulsed their own country next door. But nearly a quarter of a century after (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   January 17th, 2004 3:47 PM

News from week 2 of CLJ (Knight-Ridder, NPR, WP, CSM, AFP)
Knight Ridder Washington December 22, 2003, Monday Afghanistan's first Grand Assembly progressing slowly By Andrea Gerlin KABUL, Afghanistan _ Afghanistan's Loya Jirga, or Grand Assembly, lurched toward progress Sunday as several groups of delegates working on a new national constitution completed deliberations that could give U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai the strong presidency that he (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   January 17th, 2004 4:04 PM

Articles from IWPR Loya Jirga reporting project
Concern that Jihad Chieftains Will Set Political Agenda By Rahimullah Samander and Rahim Gul Sarwan in Kabul (ARR No. 88, 18-Dec-03) Institute for War & Peace Reporting Former mujahedin leaders are set to heavily influence Afghanistan's future constitution after they were chosen to head five out of the ten working groups at the Loya Jirga that will now debate the constitution in detail. The dominant (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   January 17th, 2004 3:58 PM

Comments on role of women at CLJ (IWPR, NPR, AFP, Women's eNews, Boston Globe)
Women Still Silenced By Hasina Sulaiman and Hasina Rasuli (ARR No. 88, 18-Dec-03) Institute for War & Peace Reporting Although women have gained a higher proportion of delegate seats in the current Loya Jirga compared to the previous one, they still feel that their voice is not being heard. Several female delegates said they feel silenced by the atmosphere in the assembly, where conservatives have (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   January 17th, 2004 4:01 PM




More press on Constitutional Loya Jirga week 1 (IBangkok Post, Reuters, Economist, FEER, The Hindu)
Hi all, sorry for the delay in posting more press on the Constitutional Loya Jirga, but I was actually there for two weeks and didn't have time to read through everything. Then when I did was kind of shocked at the disparity between most of what I read and what I had seen on the ground myself. Am posting some of the more interesting articles as a record of this, will follow up with some of my own footage later -- (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2004 3:58 PM


IMF paper on hawalas
For the person who asked the question about financial systems in Kabul.
Posted By: mariam   August 12th, 2004 1:35 PM

Brahimi: UN agencies will pull out of Afghanistan if security does not improve (Observer)
UN agencies threaten to quit war-torn Afghanistan James Astill in Islamabad Sunday December 14, 2003 The Observer The UN yesterday warned that its agencies will pull out of Afghanistan if American and other Western troops cannot stem a tide of violence that has recently seen 15 aid workers murdered by resurgent Taliban fighters, and most foreign aid workers withdrawn to Kabul. US military officials in (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   December 18th, 2003 8:16 AM

Loya jirga continues with Malalai Joya - mujahedin uproar (Afghan TV, AP, AFP, NYT, IWPR, Amnesty)
Note: within a week of this incident the woman delegate who started the uproar, Malalai Joya, had her own website on geocities as well as a RAWA campaign on her behalf - I've put a link to the former below.

Text of Remarks by Malalai Joya, Sayyaf, and Mojadidi Processed by Samir Popalzai December 17, 2003 Loya Jirga Meeting Kabul, (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   January 15th, 2004 3:38 PM

Rebuilt Kabul to Kandahar highway opens (CBC, AP)
Kabul to Kandahar highway reopens Last Updated Tue, 16 Dec 2003 21:10:09 KABUL - Several lanes on the road to recovery opened up in Afghanistan on Tuesday in the form of a rebuilt highway between Kabul and Kandahar. Between Kabul and Kandahar The 482-kilometre road destroyed by decades of war was declared open by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Four Afghans were killed during the reconstruction of (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   December 17th, 2003 12:22 PM

Constitutional Loya Jirga begins with ceremony & controversy (IWPR, NYT, Gazette, AFP)
Ex-King Opens Historic Assembly By Rahimullah Samander in Kabul (ARR No. 86, 16-Dec-03) Institute for War & Peace Reporting After twice being delayed, the Constitutional Loya Jirga finally began on Sunday with an emotional ceremony. The former king, Zahir Shah, now known as the Father of the Nation, opened proceedings, wearing as he usually does a suit and necktie. He called the delegates' (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   January 15th, 2004 3:59 PM

more on constitution, Loya Jirga (Radio Afghanistan, H. Sadat, M.J. Hanifi)
KARZAI STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN NEW > CONSTITUTION > Radio Afghanistan (in Pashto & Dari) > Kabul, Afghanistan > December 10, 2003 14:50 gmt > > > (Announcer, in Dari) The 55th anniversary of > Universal Declaration of > Human Rights was marked in Kabul University's > auditorium today. The > head of the Transitional Islamic State of > Afghanistan, esteemed Hamed > Karzai and cabinet (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:46 PM

AP, AFP, BBC and CommonDreams.org on the U.S. military accidental killing of 15 Afghan children
After weeks of no news from U.S. military operations in the southeast, revelations that 15 Afghan children were accidentally killed in 2 separate raids; the U.S. warns that it "will not be deterred by civilian casualties"

International News U.S., Afghan forces begin new anti-terror operation in Afghanistan By JONATHAN FOWLER The Associated Press 11/10/03 2:46 PM KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- American (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:49 PM

Rumsfeld sympathizes with General Dostum's reluctance to give up his personal militia (AP)
Dostum retains some weapons . The Associated Press Col.Dickie Davis, the British commander of a "provincial reconstruction team" that is attempting to use both civilian and military tools to improve security and quell factional rivalries, told Rumsfeld that Dostum was "dragging his feet." Dostum has given up the military units he trusts least, while maintaining most of his heavy artillery and armor, (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:23 PM

Z Magazine op-ed on underlying aims of US policy shift in Afghanistan
> >Z Magazine >December 2003 >Volume 16 Number 12 > >Buying Hearts & Minds in Afghanistan: >U.S. efforts to maintain imperial credibility > >By James Ingalls > >The Christian Science Monitor (September 8, 2003) calls it "Nation >Building, Redoubled." A desperate new push by the Bush administration >to bring positive attention to its campaign in Afghanistan features >approximately $12.2 billion in (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:21 PM

Canadian peacekeepers and the (mostly toy-)gun-toting kids of Kabul: pen for gun exchange establishe
Afghan kids with realistic replica guns a serious concern for Canadian Forces The Canadian Press 12/01/2003 KABUL - Master Cpl. Ronnie Cheverie knew what hit him the moment he was shot in the face last week while on a routine patrol through the streets of Kabul. "I knew what it was," said the Canadian Forces soldier on Sunday, recalling the stinging sensation he felt just below the eye on his left (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:18 PM

Another artifact rebuilt: the tomb of Ahmad Zahir, the "Afghan Elvis" (The Guardian)
Avid fans keep memory of the `Afghan Elvis' alive THE GUARDIAN Sunday, Nov 30, 2003,Page 5 They come in small groups, old men and young couples, streaming into the cemetery, 5km outside Kabul. The pilgrims hush and head for a concrete mausoleum among the cluttered graves. Its design is unremarkable: six concrete arches reaching up to a 4m marble-tiled dome. Yet, to Afghan music lovers, this is (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:15 PM

Kabul women elect their constitutional loya jirga delegates (Xinhua)
Women in Kabul elect delegates for constitutional assembly Sunday November 30, 2003 (1411 PST) Xinhua (China) KABUL, December 01 (Online): Women in the Afghan capital city Kabul Saturday elected their delegates for the forthcoming constitutional assembly, which will discuss and ratify the country's first Constitution in nearly three decades, officials said. Over 200 women who work in the woman affairs (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:13 PM

Voter registration begins (BBC, ABC Radio)
Afghan voter registration drive Monday, December 1st, 2003 BBC - Voter registration centres have opened across Afghanistan as the country prepares for its first democratic national elections in nearly 40 years. The United Nations, which is running the process, estimates over 10 million people will be eligible to vote in the poll, which is due to be held in June. Many analysts believe the poll is critical (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:12 PM

Predictions and stirrings re upcoming elections (Reuters, Paktribune, IWPR)
My note: AREU analysis (as reported by Reuters) seems unusually prescient if the Paktribune reports are true. Also, while Herat's economy may be "on the road to progress" thanks to Ismail Khan cf. Paktribune (of course this is also because Khan refuses to pay customs duties to the central government), the situation of women there is worse than it's ever been . . .

Elections could destabilize (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 17th, 2003 12:23 PM

Meanwhile in Quetta (BBC, Reuters)
Saturday, November 29th BBC Online Former Taleban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar was seen in the Pakistani border town of Quetta last week, according to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Mr Karzai told The Times newspaper he had received information that Mullah Omar was spotted praying in a mosque. There have been no confirmed sightings of him since the Afghan war ended. Mullah Omar is one of the three (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 6:59 PM

An alternative plan to reconstruct the Buddhas of Bamiyan (Al Jazeera/Reuters)
Afghan Buddhas may be rebuilt Wednesday 12 November 2003, 22:21 Makka Time, 19:21 GMT The giant Buddhas of Bamiya could make a dramatic return, despite being blown up in 2001 by Taliban forces. Afghanistan's world-famous carvings were completely shattered, but one Swiss expert told journalists on Wednesday that it is possible to rebuild them in concrete. Professor Armin Gruen has spent two years (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 6:50 PM

Rocket explodes outside Intercontinental Hotel (AP)
(A lot of Western journalists stay in this particular hotel . . .) Sunday November 23, 2003 3:01 AM By THOMAS WAGNER Associated Press Writer KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A powerful rocket exploded near one of Kabul's few upscale hotels on Saturday night, knocking some guests from their restaurant chairs and shattering windows across the lobby and in many bedrooms. No injuries were reported. There was no (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 6:46 PM

Protests following sackings in defense ministry apparently lead to one death (Reuters)
My note: Reuters doesn't spell this out, but these protesters were probably the same people recently fired from the defense ministry in the Karzai administration's effort to clean up the image of this ministry, which has been perceived as a stronghold of warlords and a site of widespread corruption.

One dead as Afghan soldiers fire on protesters KABUL, Afghanistan, 11/23/2003 (Reuters) :: At least one (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 6:43 PM

WP video essay
Click here to link to the Washington Post video essay on Afghanistan at the crossroads. (It wouldn't fit in the link box)
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 6:36 PM

Civil servants moonlighting in second jobs may be making interim gov't less effective (IWPR)
Moonlighting in Kabul Dire pay forces civil servants to take second jobs, making government less effective. By Farida Nekzad and Danish Karokhel in Kabul (ARR No. 77, 08-Oct-03) Efforts to get Afghanistan's state institutions back on their feet are being hampered by absenteeism, as civil servants skip work to moonlight in better-paid jobs. The pay offered in government posts is rarely enough to feed a (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 6:32 PM

Connections between poppy harvest and rise in violence? (AP, AFP)
The first article is a few months old, but it makes an interesting connection that I haven't seen elsewhere, while the second was recently forwarded to me but is from 2001 and details Northern Alliance links to the opium trade. Third gives an IMF perspective on the current business of the drug trade in Afghanistan.

Drug Trade Blamed for Afghan Violence Saturday, October 4th, 2003 By MARK FRITZ, (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   December 16th, 2003 7:51 PM


War carpets from Eddo Stern's collection
Carpets made during the 80s in Afghanistan, which show images of Soviet tanks, missiles and mujahadeen battles, from the collection of Israeli artist Eddo Stern, as displayed at Postmasters Gallery in New York in the 2000 exhibition "Warcraft."
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 25th, 2003 7:17 PM

UNHCR scales back returnee assistance operations after employee is murdered
Considering the statistics they have been accumulating about the flood of returnees and the dire situation that many of them are in (see last article in block), this is a disappointing decision.

UNHCR suspends activities after staff member killed in eastern Afghanistan --------- KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov 17 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency has suspended its activities in an eastern Afghan province following the (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 22nd, 2003 1:57 AM




New report from Human Rights Research & Advocacy Consortium
Attached you will find the PDFs of "Speaking Out: Afghan Opinions on Rights and Responsibilities." This report is the product of the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium, whose members include: Afghan Development Association; Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission; Agency for Rehabilitation and Energy-conservation in Afghanistan; Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit; CARE International; (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 20th, 2003 2:56 PM

Law banning wives in the classroom is being enforced again (IWPR)
One of the most disturbing things I've heard in a while.

Wives Face School Ban; Enforcement of old law banning married women from the classroom sets back female education cause. By IWPR contributors in Kabul (ARR No. 80, 05-Nov-03) Institute for War & Peace Reporting Thousands of young Afghan women have been expelled from school simply because they are married. It's a big blow for female (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 20th, 2003 2:49 PM

Foreign advisers of Constitution commission resign in protest (Payam-e-Mojahed)
Constitution commission resigned in protest Payam-e Mojahed (in Dari) Kabul, Afghanistan November 13, 2003 Aqrab 22 (13 November), three of the foreign advisors to the constitution commission resigned in protest to the draft of the new constitution. An informed source told Payam-e Mojahed that the three advisors, namely the American Barnett Rubin (as published), the French Kahkesan (as published) (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 20th, 2003 2:48 PM

Conspiracy theory alert: new documents come to light on Massoud assassination (Independent, CNN)
How to infiltrate an embassy: first, try removing your MI5 name badge By Kim Sengupta 06 November 2003 The Independent (London) The top secret operation was meant to be a great triumph in the war on terrorism, a cunning plan to extract vital intelligence. It ended in a shambles, with an embarrassing diplomatic incident between Britain and a key Commonwealth ally. In the immediate aftermath of 11 (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 19th, 2003 6:36 PM

What is the real security situation in Afghanistan? Risks, threats, and actions (NYT, WP, AP)
My note to the articles below: when the NYT and WP talk about the "alarming" resurgence of Taliban in the south of Afghanistan, are they using the term Taliban in the same sense that they did when they reported on the US forces releasing "moderate" Taliban ex-Minister Muttawakil last month and the U.S.-backed provisional administration holding talks with "moderate" Taliban a few weeks ago?

A Scary Afghan (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 19th, 2003 6:30 PM

Student protests at Kabul University over constitution draft (AFP)
Agence France Presse Nov 17, 2003 6:56 AM Eastern Time Afghan students protest against proposed presidential system Hundreds of students from Kabul University protested Monday against the heavily presidential system of government advocated in the draft of Afghanistan's first post-Taliban constitution. "We want a strong parliament with a prime minister which represents the whole Afghan nation, not a (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 19th, 2003 6:14 PM

Scenes from Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah's recent US visit (NPR, CEIP)
National Public Radio (NPR)- SHOW: All Things Considered November 13, 2003 (9:00 PM ET) Abdullah Abdullah discusses Afghanistan's draft constitution and steps it is taking toward democracy MELISSA BLOCK, host: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block. MICHELE NORRIS, host: And I'm Michele Norris. As the United States tries to speed up the transfer of power in Iraq, (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 19th, 2003 6:12 PM

Proposed constitution amendments from Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission
Below is their summary; the full text, which addresses key articles of the constitution point-by-point, is at the link.

One of the basic obligations of the states is to protect the rights and freedom of the citizens, the draft formulated regardless of the two decades of civil war and internal crises by ignored the responsibilities and obligations of the state in protection and securing the rights and (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 19th, 2003 5:14 PM

Women's rights still under threat (Knight-Ridder, Gulf News)
The debate over the draft constitution has refocused attention on the continued threats to women's rights in Afghanistan, chief among which is the issue of security. Two articles on this subject below:

Nov. 10, 2003 Taliban has fallen, but Afghan women still aren't free By Masuda Sultan KNIGHT RIDDER TRIBUNE President Bush proclaimed in his 2002 State of the Union address that with the Taliban (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 19th, 2003 5:07 PM

More reactions to draft constitution (Eurasianet, NYTimes, Boston Globe, Voice of Afghan Women, CSM)
The following articles react to the draft constitution for the most part as regards its construction of the rights of women.

Eurasianet.org Human Rights: AFGHAN DRAFT CONSTITUTION WORRIES CIVIL-SOCIETY ADVOCATES 11/14/03 The draft constitution of Afghanistan seeks stability in an ethnically diverse country whose infrastructure barely survived 22 years of constant war. It outlines a central (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 19th, 2003 5:00 PM

ADB grant for electrical power project (BigNewsNetwork)
Wednesday 8th October, 2003 Afghanistan Readies To Rebuild Power Transmission Infrastructure -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Big News Network.com Wednesday 8th October, 2003 The Asian Development Bank is preparing a power transmission and distribution project, for Afghanistan's major cities through a technical assistance (TA) grant of (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 19th, 2003 4:44 PM

New World Bank reconstruction project agreements (Paktribune)
World Bank signs three projects in Afghanistan Paktribune August 14, 2003 WASHINGTON, August 14 (Online): At the request of the Government of Afghanistan, the World Bank, as the administrator of the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), signed agreements last week for three new projects designed to help improve the country's telecommunications system; repair its roads and drainage systems, (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 13th, 2003 8:28 PM

Report on Afghanistan submitted by Peter Tomsen to House Committe on Internat'l Relations
Committee on International Relations U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515-0128

Submitted to the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS By PETER TOMSEN Former United States Special Envoy and Ambassador on Afghanistan, 1989 - 1992 Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, 1995 - 1998

The stunning American-led military victory in Afghanistan which ousted the (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 13th, 2003 8:14 PM

Kabul power struggle continues with Defense Ministry reforms (WP)
he Washington Post October 24, 2003 Obstacles to Afghan Defense Reforms Persist Pamela Constable

In a gold-encrusted salon at the presidential palace last week, 22 new senior Afghan military officials were silently presented to the press while Defense Minister Mohammed Fahim announced that his ministry was a "vanguard of reform" and would now be run by an ethnically balanced corps of military (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 13th, 2003 8:17 PM

Afghan women react to the draft constitution (AFP)
Agence France Presse November 12, 2003 Afghan women call for equality two years after fall of Taliban By WAHEEDULLAH MASSOUD

Two years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghan women are calling for the country's new constitution to enshrine equal rights and greater participation in political life, denied to them under the old regime.

The draft constitution released last week says all Afghans are (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 13th, 2003 8:18 PM

The Miss Afghanistan debate (Miami Herald, Newsday, Newsweek, AP)
Miami Herald Posted on Wed, Nov. 05, 2003 Afghan beauty queen makes freedom statement

Everything I know about diversity, I learned from Captain Kirk. Well, that's not quite true. There's also Captain Picard. My point is that I've always taken what might be called the ''Star Trek'' approach to multiculturalism. It says in a nutshell that you should, whenever possible, avoid judging a foreign culture (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 13th, 2003 8:20 PM

Reactions to draft constitution (IRIN, Economist, RFE/RL, Nat'l Review, Arab News, ABP)
AFGHANISTAN: Debate on draft constitution kicks off November 6, 2003 IRINnews.org KABUL - Following Monday's unveiling of Afghanistan's draft constitution; Afghan observers said the historic document had positive and negative sides. "It [the new constitution] has some very good and promising aspects while there are some negative aspects as well," Professor Abdul Kabir Ranjbar the president of lawyers (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 10th, 2003 12:04 PM

New constitution - final draft
You can read the full text of the final draft of the proposed constitution in Dari, Pashto, or English at the link below. The rest of the site (www.afghanistangov.com), has a number of other documents related to the interim government's reconstruction efforts, copies of speeches given by interim government officials, legislation and policy documents, and links to specific ministries and government agencies.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 5th, 2003 2:35 PM

Islamists & constitution (Guardian)
The Guardian (London) November 3, 2003 Afghanistan's constitution to be unveiled: Warning that Islamist militants may 'hijack' blueprint for strong central government as UN envoys fly in to support Karzai's government By Jonathan Steele and AP in Kabul Afghanistan's tortuous effort to write a constitution that will give the country stability, rebuild a strong central government and reduce the power (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 4th, 2003 2:26 PM

Backing deposed king to replace Karzai? (CSM)
Byline: Scott Baldauf Staff writer The Christian Science Monitor 10/31/2003 (KABUL, AFGHANISTAN)From his spacious but sparse home in Kabul, Homayoun Assefy is engineering the unimaginable: an Afghanistan without Hamid Karzai as president. Mr. Assefy's methods are democratic. Through his new royalist party, the National Unity Movement of Afghanistan, Assefy is gathering multiethnic support to (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 4th, 2003 2:23 PM

UN Mission to bolster Karzai regime (Independent)
The Independent (London) November 3, 2003, Monday UN SENDS MISSION TO PREVENT COLLAPSE OF KARZAI REGIME KATHERINE BUTLER Hamid Karzai: Warlords are undermining him THE UN Security Council sent a high-ranking delegation to Afghanistan yesterday to bolster the country's leader, Hamid Karzai, amid signs that his authority is steadily slipping to powerful warlords and warnings that an opium boom (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 4th, 2003 2:20 PM

Stories of return journeys from Queens to Kabul (NYTimes)
Back to Kabul, With a Queens Accent By ROBERT F. WORTH Published: November 3, 2003 ikria Nazamy lost almost everything when he fled Afghanistan. Born into a wealthy family with houses in Kabul, Logar, and Kunduz, he left at age 9 with his parents and seven siblings, and spent his adolescent years working the checkout counter in a supermarket in Flushing, Queens. But recently Mr. Nazamy — known as Jack in (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 3rd, 2003 11:32 AM

Transcript of Senate nomination hearing for Zalmay Khalilzad to be ambassador to Afghanistan
Federal News Service October 29, 2003 CAPITOL HILL HEARING; PART I OF A HEARING OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE SEN. LUGAR: This hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is called to order. Today, the Foreign Relations Committee meets to consider three important nominations. First, we will take up the nomination of Ambassador Margaret Tutwiler to be undersecretary of State for (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 3rd, 2003 11:16 AM

Meanwhile in northern Afghanistan "the US backs all sides in a continuing civil war" (Guardian)
The Guardian (London) October 30, 2003 Our friends, the warlords: In northern Afghanistan the US backs all sides in a continuing civil war By Jonathan Steele in Mazar-i-Sharif Karim Khan stands disconsolately outside the local government headquarters in the remote village of Tuksar. He used to run the neighbouring village, but was bundled out by a rival militia one night recently, leaving his wife (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 3rd, 2003 11:06 AM

US senators question stability of Afghan state (Reuters)
10/29/03 15:29 ET U.S. senators worried Afghanistan falling apart By Jonathan Wright, Reuters WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Two influential U.S. senators questioned the stability of the Afghan government on Wednesday and warned the U.S. envoy and ambassador-designate to Kabul that the country may fall apart on his watch. "We are in jeopardy of losing Afghanistan to become a failed state again," Sen. (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 3rd, 2003 11:04 AM

Rebuilding the Kabul museum & hunting for Bactrian gold (Sunday Times)
Sunday Times (London) October 26, 2003, Sunday Lost door key adds twist to Afghan treasure hunt Christina Lamb UNLOCKING the riddle of the missing Bactrian gold seemed a rare stroke of good fortune in a country that has known nothing but war and destruction for the past 24 years. Often compared with the treasures of Tutankhamen's tomb, Afghanistan's legendary 2,000-year-old gold collection had long (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 3rd, 2003 11:02 AM

Taliban extends jihad to demining aid workers (CSM)
Christian Science Monitor October 28, 2003, Tuesday Aid groups in Afghanistan weigh good deeds vs. safety By Scott Baldauf By most standards, Mohammad Sharif and his Belgian shepherd dog Brenda would be considered heroes. Day after day, the man-and-dog team work to detect land mines lurking beneath the soil along Afghanistan's busiest highway, the Kabul to Kandahar road. But in recent months, Mr. (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 3rd, 2003 10:57 AM

Opportunity to comment on Asian Development Bank's poverty reduction strategy in Afghanistan
See note and link below: Colleagues, I'd like to let you know that the Asian Development Bank is currently reviewing its Poverty Reduction Strategy approved in 1999, which covers its work in Afghanistan and other member countries. The Progress Report of the review (see link below) has identified a number of issues, for consideration. As part of the review, ADB is soliciting the views of a wide range (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   November 3rd, 2003 10:54 AM

Afghan Chamber of Commerce October Newsletter
Afghanistan allowing foreign banks to open - Kabul hopes to lure expatriate wealth KABUL President Hamid Karzai has approved a law allowing foreign banks to set up in Afghanistan, a move designed to persuade Afghans to bring back billions of dollars from abroad to aid the country's reconstruction after 20 years of war. Officials said three banks would get operating licenses Thursday: (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   November 3rd, 2003 10:50 AM


More on returnees & Kabul housing crisis (WP)
The Washington Post October 26, 2003 Swallowed by Kabul's Cracks; Afghan Returnees Find The Living's Not Easy By Pamela Constable They live in tents and storefronts and abandoned ruins, cooking and bathing on patches of dirt. The men haunt traffic circles, hoping to be picked up for a day's construction work. The women knock on doors asking for clothes to wash. The children forage for firewood and (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 28th, 2003 1:30 PM

Feminist Majority on what portion of appropriations fund for Afghanistan will go to women
>Thank Women in Congress for Urging More Funds for Afghan Women > >Nazoo Anna Education Center provides education for Afghan girls. >To secure more funds for Afghanistan's reconstruction overall and particularly for Afghan women, women members of the House and Senate last week pressed for several amendments to the emergency supplemental appropriations bill for Afghanistan and Iraq. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 27th, 2003 12:44 PM

Demonstration by dismissed army officers (IRIN)
Dismissed officers demonstrate in Kabul KABUL, Afghanistan, 10/20/2003 (IRIN) :: While the Afghan government has yet to meet the challenge of reintegrating thousands of former combatants, about 1,000 former officers of the Afghan army on Monday held a protest in the capital, Kabul, against their dismissal - the fourth demonstration this month. They are demanding reinstatement and payment of wage (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 26th, 2003 5:29 PM

Updates on new constitution & look at earlier constitutions (Baltimore Sun)
Afghan constitution evolves Oct 15, 2003 Kathy Lally Baltimore Sun Today, Afghanistan begins electing representatives to a grand assembly - a Loya Jirga - that will meet in December to adopt a new constitution. The Loya Jirga will have 500 members, 450 elected by voters and 50 selected by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The president plans to publish a draft of the new constitution, which will be (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   October 26th, 2003 5:27 PM


Tribal elders criticise Karzai gov't on non-fulfillment of Bonn accords
--Attached is a PDF of the Bonn accords for your reference. Agence France Presse July 4, 2003 Friday 5:01 AM Eastern Time Afghan tribal elders slam Karzai over lack of progress on Bonn promises Afghan tribal elders have criticised President Hamid Karzai over a lack of progress on disarming militias and bringing peace and security to the war-ravaged country. Hundreds of representatives of the loya (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 29th, 2003 3:50 PM

US explores its Afghanistan exit options? (Asia Times op-ed)
US explores its Afghanistan exit options By Syed Saleem Shahzad October 15, 2003 Asia Times Online KARACHI - With Afghanistan daily slipping into more anarchy and chaos, United States authorities, aware that they are unlikely to ever bring stability to the country by military means, continue to explore political avenues that ultimately could pave the way for them to withdraw from the country. (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 26th, 2003 5:24 PM

Why the US needs the Taliban (Asia Times op-ed)
Why the US needs the Taliban By Ramtanu Maitra July 30, 2003 Asia Times Online Since Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf made his much- acclaimed visit to Camp David and met US President George W Bush on June 24, new elements have begun to emerge in the Afghan theater. US troops in Afghanistan are now encountering more enemy attacks than ever before, and clashes between Pakistani and (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 26th, 2003 4:19 PM

Ex-Taliban minister released from US custody (BBC)
BBC NEWS 2003/10/21 08:30:54 GMT Ex-Taleban minister is free A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan has confirmed that former Taleban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakil has been released from US custody at Bagram, north of Kabul. Mr Mutawakil was the most senior Taleban in custody, and - according to the spokesman - is among a number of Taleban who have made proposals of (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 26th, 2003 4:08 PM

Kabul holds talks with Taliban "moderates" (Financial Times)
Kabul holds talks with Taliban 'moderates' By Victoria Burnett in Kabul October 19 2003 20:51 FinancialTimes (London) The Afghan government is in talks with prominent "moderates" from the former Taliban regime in an attempt to turn the tide of anti- government and anti-US sentiment in southern Afghanistan, a senior Afghan official said. Mohammed Umer Daudzai, chief of staff to President Hamid (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 22nd, 2003 4:20 PM

Unlikely allies fundamental to reconstruction effort (Chatelaine)
Rebuild the way forward Reconstructing Afghanistan may take unlikely allies -- including warlords, Islamic scholars and us, says human-rights activist SALLY ARMSTRONG By SALLY ARMSTRONG UPDATED AT 10:37 PM EDT  Thursday, Oct. 16, 2003 Rebuilding Afghanistan depends on three things -- soldiers, road builders and Islamic scholars.             Soldiers, because security -- the No. 1 issue raised at the (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 28th, 2003 1:29 PM

The brewing political power struggle in Kabul (AP/SANA, AFP, CSM, RN)
REGION: Karzai faces split in coalition government * Northern Alliance leaders meet to discuss withdrawal of support for the president, consider alternate candidate * Former president Burhanuddin Rabbani might be a candidate * Karzai reacts angrily * Says members in break-away talks represent coalition minority KABUL: Hamid Karzai, the interim Afghan leader who announced his candidacy for president (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 20th, 2003 6:36 PM

New law will ban warlords from elected office (AP)
The Associated Press October 12, 2003 1:43 PM Eastern Time New Afghan election law bans political parties from having private armies By DANIEL COONEY The Afghan government banned warlords Sunday from taking part in politics, a move that would prevent some of the country's top leaders from participating in next year's pivotal elections. The new law is seen as crucial to helping the country become a (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 20th, 2003 6:31 PM

More security perspectives (The Standard)
Mon, October 13, 2003 Witnessing punishments on Sharia law still haunts Afghan teen By STEPHEN THORNE http://www.canoe.ca KABUL (CP) - Eighteen-year-old Sohrab Shaheed still has nightmares about Friday afternoons under the Taliban. After prayers on the Muslim holy day, Shaheed and his friends would head down to the national stadium to watch punishments meted out under Sharia law in the form of (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   October 20th, 2003 6:30 PM

Foreign Policy in Focus analysis of current security situation
Very thorough paper analyzing current security situation in Afghanistan available at link below. Good background to the recent decision by NATO to approve expanding the ISAF coalition forces beyond Kabul.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   October 20th, 2003 6:26 PM

AIDS comes to Kabul on the heels of "miniglobalization" (Christian Science Monitor)
Christian Science Monitor October 17, 2003, Friday AIDS follows Afghanistan's 'miniglobalization' By Scott Baldauf For nine long years, Laila has walked the streets of Kabul in a sky-blue burqa veil, eking out a living as a prostitute. It is an occupation with many risks in a traditional Islamic society like Afghanistan, and a profession that was especially dangerous under the Taliban government, (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 20th, 2003 6:15 PM

Ahmed Rashid on persistence of opium trade (Far Eastern Economic Review)
Far Eastern Economic Review October 16, 2003 Afghanistan: Drugs Are Good for War; Income from opium is on the rise, fuelling the Taliban resurgence, helping fund Al Qaeda and keeping Afghan warlord armies in the field By Ahmed Rashid/Lashkargah In early October, Sher Mohammed Akhunzada, governor of Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, called an urgent meeting. With thousands of Helmand's (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 20th, 2003 6:11 PM

Barney Rubin on potential opium replacement crops
Institutional Framework for Flower/Fragrance Production in Afghanistan Or, Who Put the R in DDR? Barnett R. Rubin Kabul, October 13, 2003 This note will deal with conditions for the production, primary processing, and global marketing of fragrance products from Afghanistan; their potential for opium substitution, in conjunction, of course, with law enforcement; and the evaluation of risks. We also note (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 20th, 2003 6:10 PM

More on freedom of the press in Kabul - Aftab update (IWPR) & shutdown of Arman-i-Mili (AFP, Xinhua)
Aftab Editor "Destabilising Afghanistan" Prominent journalist says free speech cannot justify blasphemous articles. By Danish Karokhel in Kabul (ARR No. 77, 08-Oct-03) Institute for War & Peace Reporting Controversial journalist Mir Hosain Mahdavi's writings are dangerous because they are not only blasphemous but they also destabilise Afghanistan, claims a prominent ex-mujahedin journalist. Hafiz (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 20th, 2003 5:58 PM

Heavy weapons still a strong presence in Kabul (Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press Heavy weapons threaten peace in Afghan capital, says Canadian general 05:33 PM EDT Sep 24 STEPHEN THORNE KABUL (CP) - More than 300 illegal heavy weapons systems are threatening the peace in Afghanistan's capital and it's time they were removed, the deputy commander of the NATO peacekeeping force said Wednesday. The artillery pieces, rocket launchers, large missiles, tanks and (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 5th, 2003 1:57 PM

Contention over constitutional Loya Jirga delegations (IWPR)
After a week of rumours and denials, President Hamed Karzai has finally announced the worst-kept secret in town - approval of Afghanistan's new constitution is to be set back two months. A Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, will be convened to discuss and pass the constitution in December, not October as originally scheduled. The mechanism for choosing delegates for the gathering has only just been made (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2003 1:59 PM

New constitution must strike delicate balance (AP)
Afghan constitution to be unveiled By DANIEL COONEY The Associated Press KABUL, Afghanistan — A new constitution to be put forward soon for ratification declares Afghanistan a Muslim state but stops short of imposing Islamic Shariah law, a contentious issue in this conservative nation, an Afghan official said Sunday. As they draw up a constitution aimed at unifying the fragmented nation, conservatives (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2003 1:58 PM

Suspected militants burn down girls' school, hand out "night letters" calling for jihad (AP)
2003-09-29 / Associated Press / Afghan girls walk along a road on their way to school in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday. Girls are being educated again after the collapse of the Taliban regime which banned woman from studying.(associated press) Suspected Islamic insurgents burned down a girls school in eastern Afghanistan because they oppose education for women, a government official said yesterday. No (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2003 1:57 PM






Stories from the women of my family
The women making aushak in these video stills are my great-aunt Simin and my cousin Lamia, the only two women of my family who remained in Afghanistan throughout the civil war period -- and not coincidentally, the only two women of my family who have ever worn the burka. Throughout this time, Simin took over the management of all the family land in Surkhau (in the mountains south of Kabul), maintaining the clan's (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2003 12:23 AM

two perspectives on women's rights & the constitution (NY Times/Negar)
Women Gather in Afghanistan to Compose a Bill of Rights By CARLOTTA GALL NY TIMES Sep 27, 2003 KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A few Afghan women and girls were released from jail for a day to attend a recent conference on women's rights in the new Afghan constitution, and their stories brought home the need for change in a country where 95 percent of women are illiterate. One of them, Eqlima, 16, said she had (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2003 12:03 AM

"melancholy" Afghan donor conference in Dubai during IMF/World Bank summit (Economist)
The Economist September 27, 2003 Where opium is half of GDP THE gathering of donors to Afghanistan in Dubai last week was a melancholy affair. A few successes were tentatively noted. The Afghan government is extending its reach, said the American delegation--yet gory evidence in the south of the country points to the contrary. Afghan officials said invisible mechanisms had been set up, particularly (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 30th, 2003 12:00 AM

Karzai's NYC visit (UN address; ISAF expansion; constitution draft)
Statement by His Excellency Hamid KARZAI, President of Afghanistan, at the 58th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, New York, USA, 23 September 2003 Mr President, Your Excellency the Secretary General, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, There is no reality more oppressive than the silence of a nation. For too long, Afghanistan was a silenced nation, a country (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 29th, 2003 11:57 PM

HRW open letter to Karzai on constitutional process

(link)  Posted By: mariam   September 29th, 2003 11:49 PM

HRW open letter to Bush on withdrawing support to warlords
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH For Immediate Release: Afghanistan: Bush Should End Support to Warlords, Work to Expand ISAF Karzai Should Insist on Equality, Stand Up for Rights (New York, September 23, 2003) -- When U.S. President George W. Bush meets with President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Tuesday, he should commit the United States to withdrawing financial support and arms deliveries to regional warlords (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   September 29th, 2003 11:48 PM

Wolfowitz protegé nominated as ambassador to Afghanistan
The Associated Press September 22, 2003 11:15 AM Eastern Time Bush picks Khalilzad as ambassador to Afghanistan President Bush has decided to name his special envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, as ambassador to the country. If approved by the Senate, Khalilzad would succeed Ambassador Robert Finn, who was the first ambassador to Afghanistan in more than two decades. Adolph Dubs was killed in 1979 (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   October 22nd, 2003 4:18 PM




a housing project from Kabul's Soviet past
The recent land grab scandal has drawn attention to the acute housing crisis in Kabul, which has been precipitated by the current flood of returnees. One of the solutions now being proposed to this crisis is the construction of new housing projects, bloc-style apartment buildings of the type familiar to students of post-war architecture all over the world. One massive housing project of this type, the Macro (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 29th, 2003 11:41 PM

New CARE/CIC policy brief
Following is link to a new policy brief released this week by CARE and the Center on International Cooperation at NYU, which highlights the continuing security and funding challenges confronting Afghan reconstruction.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   September 22nd, 2003 12:50 PM

summary of HRW report on US-backed warlords' abuses of power (RFE/RL)
7/29/03 RFE/RL Afghanistan: Human Rights Watch Documents Afghan Police, Military Abuses By Jeremy Bransten Human Rights Watch has issued a report documenting what it says are widespread abuses being committed by Afghanistan's police, military, and intelligence officials. The alleged perpetrators are backed by factional leaders who came to power following the United Stated-led overthrow of the (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 22nd, 2003 12:10 PM

Ahmed Rashid on current state of Taliban threat, reconstruction effort
Far Eastern Economic Review September 11, 2003 NO DEMOCRACY Not yet. And between battles and bureaucracy, the June date for elections will be hard to meet By Ahmed Rashid The last time that United States Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld visited Kabul, in early May, he proudly announced the end of major combat operations there against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. At the same time, the government of (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 18th, 2003 3:54 PM

More on land grab scandal (RFE/RL and WP)
Afghanistan: Land-Grab Scandal In Kabul Rocks The Government 16 September 2003 (RFE/RL) By Ron Synovitz A United Nations housing expert is calling for the removal of Afghan Defense Minister Mohammad Qasim Fahim and other senior Afghan officials implicated in a scandal over the seizure of real estate in Kabul. But some of the accused officials say they have not done anything illegal. Prague, 16 (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 18th, 2003 3:52 PM

"Land Mafia" (AFP)
Agence France Presse September 13, 2003 8:57 AM Eastern Time Property violations top Afghan rights probe Property violations accounted for nearly half the rights cases recently investigated, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission said Saturday as a UN-appointed housing rapporteur called for action against the "land mafia." The commission had investigated 634 rights violations since (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 15th, 2003 11:30 AM

Outcry over housing project for returnees (IWPR)
Housing Project Outcry The authorities in Kabul have provoked a storm over plans to build new homes for returning refugees. By Ahmad Zubair Mumand, Wahidullah Amani and Danish Karokhel in Kabul. (ARR No. 67, 15-Jul-03) Institute for War & Peace Reporting Kabul municipality's attempts to provide housing for thousands of newcomers have led to protests by squatters and landowners. The city has taken (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 15th, 2003 11:28 AM

Housing disputes flood courts (IWPR)
Courts Struggle to Resolve Housing Disputes By Rahim Gul Sarwan in Kabul April 24, 2003 Institute for War and Peace Reporting People whose homes were seized during the years of war and strife are finding it hard to retrieve them. Hundreds of Kabul residents who lost homes in the chaos of the past six years are struggling to get them back because the courts seemingly can't cope with the volume of (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 15th, 2003 11:27 AM

Housing shortage reaching critical levels (IRIN)
IRIN News September 13, 2003 AFGHANISTAN: Interview with UN Special Rapporteur on Housing Miloon Kothari the UN Special Rapportuer on Housing KABUL, 12 Sep 2003 (IRIN) - Lack of adequate housing is becoming critical in both rural and urban parts of Afghanistan. Two decades of conflict have left hundreds of thousands of Afghans homeless with an equal number living in temporary or sub-standard accomodation. (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 15th, 2003 11:25 AM

Evictions in Kabul (Indepent, BBC, Irin)
The Independent (London) September 12, 2003 MINISTER CRITICISED OVER KABUL EVICTIONS AFGHANISTAN: A UN official has criticised the Defence Minister over the eviction of poor families from some of the most valuable land in the capital, Kabul, to make way for "rich and well-connected" government officials. Miloon Kothari said Mohammed Fahim was among ministers who had benefited from the practice. Karzai (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 15th, 2003 11:22 AM

Questions of press freedom - the case of Aftab (LA Weekly)
SEPTEMBER 12 - 18, 2003 LA Weekly Ban the Sun; The strange case of two Afghanistan editors and their now-closed critical paper by Ben Ehrenreich Nearly a year has passed since the Bush administration began bombing Afghanistan, claiming to be motivated not only by vengeance but by a sincere desire to free the Afghan people from the barbarity of the fundamentalist Taliban regime. The Taliban fled Kabul, (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 15th, 2003 11:19 AM

What about the warlords? - AP
Afghans See U.S.-Backed Warlords As Enemy 09/07/03 23:54 EDT By KATHY GANNON .c The Associated Press KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - Along a potholed road in eastern Afghanistan, Mohammed Jan points through a cloud of dust at a line of mansions that seem out of place in such poverty-stricken surroundings. ``This is where the new, beautiful houses begin. They belong to the commanders. Their money is from (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 10th, 2003 11:37 AM

Reconstructing the past, piece by piece
Piecing Together the Past; Local and international specialists are working to rebuild Afghanistan's priceless history. By Homa Safi Institute for War & Peace Reporting (ARR No. 74, 02-Sep-03) Putting together ancient sculptures destroyed by the Taleban is like assembling a giant three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle, with many of the pieces missing. It is a painfully slow process, but a satisfying one for (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 9th, 2003 11:40 AM

Meanwhile, on the road - WP
The Washington Post September 06, 2003 Attacks Slowing Key Afghan Road; Deadly Nighttime Assault at Police Post Seen as Evidence of Resurgent Taliban By Pamela Constable Even on a good day, progress along the 300-mile highway between Kabul and Kandahar, Afghanistan's two major cities, is painfully slow. In a few spots, massive machines inch along under the hot sun, laying a coat of asphalt that extends (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 9th, 2003 11:37 AM

Two years after the fall - NPR
National Public Radio (NPR) SHOW: All Things Considered September 2, 2003 (9:00 PM ET) Situation in Afghanistan two years after the fall of the Taliban ROBERT SIEGEL, host: From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. MELISSA BLOCK, host: And I'm Melissa Block. US forces and their allies in Afghanistan are engaged in Operation Mountain Viper, the latest offensive against the (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   September 9th, 2003 11:28 AM

U.S. reshuffles its appointees in Afghanistan
Calling In the Heavyweights How the Bush administration plans to reshuffle the group responsible for rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq NEWSWEEK Aug. 12 - The White House is beefing up its senior team handling reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq. President George W. Bush plans to name Robert Blackwill, the former U.S. ambassador to India, to lead his National Security Council office (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   August 14th, 2003 11:47 AM




CESR reports on Afghan reconstruction
PDFs of executive summary and full report produced in May by the Center for Economic and Social Rights on Human Rights and Reconstruction in Afghanistan. Link to CESR's website below.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   August 13th, 2003 1:20 PM

Outside Kabul, Outbreaks of Violence
NATO took over the ISAF international peacekeeping force in Afghanistan on Monday. Their role remains limited to maintaining security in Kabul, despite the latest outbreaks of violence in the provinces, about which a Reuters report follows. Afghan Violence Erupts, Killing at Least 61 Wed August 13, 2003 12:56 PM ET By Sayed Salahuddin and Mohammad Ismail Sameen KABUL/NADI ALI, Afghanistan (Reuters) - (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   August 13th, 2003 1:15 PM






Pics from Kabul - August 2003
Tarek is back in Kabul for the summer, researching his thesis (on the reconstruction effort) and emailed these pictures that I'm posting on his behalf. The man on the left is our great-uncle, Dr. Ludin, one of the only members of our family who stayed in Afghanistan throughout the civil war period. (Mariam)
Posted By: tarek   August 11th, 2003 4:17 PM

Countdown to the End of Bonn Agreement
Financial Times (London) June 21, 2003 Afghans' path to democracy strewn with danger: Kabul has just a year left under the Bonn peace agreement to reinvent an entire political system. Can it do it? By VICTORIA BURNETT It's an ambitious To Do list: write a new constitution, register 10m voters, design a new government and hold elections - all by next June. The roster of tasks for establishing (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   August 11th, 2003 4:11 PM

Ahmed Rashid on the man behind the new constitution
AFGHANISTAN A Strong Constitution; The man behind the draft of Afghanistan's new constitution must wring consensus from many factions to succeed in paving the way for democracy By Ahmed Rashid August 14, 2003 Far Eastern Economic Review AFGHANISTAN IS EMBARKING on what could be its most critical political experiment of the past 40 years: drafting a new constitution that  unites its various ethnic and (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   August 11th, 2003 4:03 PM






Border Histories
Interesting RFE/RL report on the recent Afghanistan/Pakistan border conflicts, detailing some of the thorny history of the Durand Line border. Each PDF is one page of the report.
Posted By: mariam   August 11th, 2003 3:58 PM

What price U.S. aid?
The Bush administration has finally approved an aid package for Afghanistan -- two years later -- but one of the conditions may be the creation of a network of U.S. advisers to key ministries in the (so far relatively independent) Afghan government. Article from Reuters follows. Reuters Sunday, August 3, 2003; 4:22 AM By David Brunnstrom KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan and the United States are discussing (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   August 5th, 2003 12:37 PM

Kabul Goes Postal for Web Access
While Internet cafes do exist in Kabul, most Afghans can't afford the service. Instead, they are lining up for free computer training and a cheap Internet service recently unveiled at post offices in Afghanistan's capital city. Article by Elisa Batista for Wired at link below.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   August 5th, 2003 12:29 PM

draft of new constitution - Dari
Farda magazine has posted the complete draft of the new Afghan constitution in Dari (as published in Omaid Weekly) on their website at the link below.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   August 5th, 2003 12:23 PM

recent Amnesty International reports on Afghanistan

(link)  Posted By: mariam   August 5th, 2003 12:17 PM

Human Rights Watch Report on Afghanistan - 7/03

(link)  Posted By: mariam   August 5th, 2003 12:16 PM

BBC Dari interview
Check the link below for an article and RealAudio interview with me & Yassaman Ameri (both in Dari) about the Kabul:Reconstructions project, which aired on the BBC World Service in Iran, Afghanistan & the region a few weeks ago.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   June 10th, 2003 2:07 PM

Mariam jan, Thank you for posting Masuda jan's writings. They were beautiful and it is so important for her voice to be published in something like the WP.
Posted By: zohra   June 6th, 2003 8:04 PM

Mariam jan, Thank you for posting Masuda jan's writings. They were beautiful and it is so important for her voice to be published in something like the WP.
Posted By: zohra   June 6th, 2003 8:04 PM




Reconstruction in the balance
When I spoke about the delicate balance of reconstruction - these recent articles from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times take a look at the darker side of the process and the divides that threaten the new Afghanistan.
Posted By: mariam   May 31st, 2003 4:13 PM






Masuda's Diary, Part 1
When I read both of the entries that Zohra jan posted recently, I thought about an Afghan-American woman I met briefly in Kabul when I was shooting the video in December. Her name is Masuda Anna Mohamadi, and like me her father decided after the fall of the Taliban to go back to Afghanistan (after years in the U.S.) and become a part of the interim government trying to reconstruct the country. Unlike me, however, (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   May 30th, 2003 6:06 PM






Masuda's Diary, Part 2
The next 3 pages of Masuda's story.
Posted By: mariam   May 30th, 2003 5:53 PM




Masuda's Diary, Part 3
The last 2 pages of Masuda's story.
Posted By: mariam   May 30th, 2003 5:53 PM

Farhad Ahad
Salam -- To continue the last post I sent a few minutes ago. Here is a bio I wrote with his sisters. Farhad Ahad (Jan 31, 1970 - Feb 24, 2003) Farhad Ahad was born to Abdul Ahad and Alia Ahad in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1970. He was a bright child and was an exceptional student especially when he attended Lycee Amani (Amani High School). He often considered his Amani years as the best of his life and (more . . . )
Posted By: zohra   May 30th, 2003 1:58 AM

Farhad Ahad
Salaam -- I wanted to add this article about my late friend Farhad jan Ahad. I have been writing a lot about him and trying to keep his memory alive through writing. He was a beautiful person and was very dedicated to Afghanistan. There are some Afghan Americans in Virginia who are trying to raise money to build a school in Kabul honoring his name. He was very precious not only to his friends and family, but to (more . . . )
Posted By: zohra   May 30th, 2003 1:50 AM






The installation at Exit Art
For our friends at AINA in Kabul - a short video showing you the installation I set up at Exit Art, a nonprofit art center in New York. It's a sort of mock UNHCR-issue refugee tent where visitors to the exhibition can watch the video and see what you've posted to the website. And on Saturday afternoons I come in and serve tea along with those World Food Programme biscuits that you're all quite familiar with. If (more . . . )
(link)  Posted By: mariam   May 27th, 2003 11:09 AM

What can I offer?
I keep dreaming of Afghanistan. Each year, I dream a segment of a longer letter from Afghanistan. It began when I was 21 and I dreamt of watching a narrow street in Kabul from a rooftop from old Kabul. The dream has no action, no message, no movement. It is only me perched on the edge of a rooftop, watching the narrow path. There are no people in this dream. There is only yellow dust and an ancient feeling to (more . . . )
Posted By: zohra   May 11th, 2003 2:36 AM

reconstruction 004
An afghan boy works at the brick market.Kabul-2003
Posted By: massoud   April 27th, 2003 11:15 AM


reconstruction 003
A man buys bricks at a brick market in Kabul.
Posted By: massoud   April 27th, 2003 11:07 AM





A man uses his shovel to dig a basement of a building in West Kabul.
Posted By: massoud   April 22nd, 2003 12:15 PM






A Malalai Maternity Hospital
Malalai Maternity hospital is situated in the centre of Kabul. It is really necessary for the women living in Kabul. When the hospital was built, the population in Kabul was less large than today. Due to this the hospital has not enough capacity to take care of the patients any more. There is a lack of electricity, medicines, space etc, and because of the poor general conditions it is hard to maintain the hygiene. (more . . . )
Posted By: nassima   May 17th, 2003 3:10 AM

Emerging Challenges: Closing Gaps in the Protection of Women and Girls
This report summarizes findings from the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children's (Women's Commission) mission to Islamabad and Peshawar, Pakistan, Kabul and Herat, Afghanistan, and includes recommendations for action.
(link)  Posted By: mariam   April 16th, 2003 10:20 AM

International Crisis Group Report on Women & Reconstruction
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 02:25:49 -0000 From: "Rasul Mobin" Subject: International Crisis Group Report: Women and Reconstruction International Crisis Group Report: Women and Reconstruction EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS The establishment of an Interim Administration for Afghanistan during the Bonn talks in December 2001 was heralded as offering Afghan women a chance to (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   April 15th, 2003 12:11 PM


Street Children
Youth in Kabul just as winter arrives, awaiting donated clothing from the United States.
Posted By: tarek   March 29th, 2003 9:30 PM


National Development Framework (summary)
A brief, essential introduction to the Karzai Administration's reconstruction effort. A full version is available for download from: http://www.afghanaca.org/
Posted By: tarek   March 29th, 2003 9:08 PM






Kabul: Reconstructions
I shot this video in Kabul in December 2002. It's made up of five kinds of footage: 1) carpenters from Nuristan using traditional methods to design and carve a wooden cabinet; 2) an evening at the Macroiana, a housing project built during the Soviet era, and inhabited even though it was never finished; 3) my cousin Lamia and great-aunt Simin making the Afghan dish aushak; 4) various constructions sites around (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   May 27th, 2003 11:15 AM


Library of Congress top links to Afghanistan Info+
A good starting off point for information on Afghanistan. Picked by library of congress editors.
(link)  Posted By: ejp   March 30th, 2003 3:44 AM

CBS News dispatch from Afghanistan - transcript
CBS News Sunday Morning (9:00 AM ET) - CBS March 23, 2003 Sunday Dispatch from Afghanistan; still much work to be done in Afghanistan; some fear Iraq will distract US CHARLES OSGOOD, host: The fact that so much of our attention is focused on the war in Iraq does not mean that other challenges elsewhere have gone away by any means. We have Dispatches now from Elizabeth Palmer on Afghanistan and then (more . . . )
Posted By: mariam   March 30th, 2003 4:14 AM


Interim government plan for reconstruction
An interview with Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani. Audio only.
Posted By: mariam   March 29th, 2003 5:33 PM






Construction Stills
Images from construction sites around Kabul - December 2002.
Posted By: mariam   March 28th, 2003 9:26 AM

Kabul: Partial Reconstructions is an installation and public dialogue project that explores the multiple meanings and resonances of the idea of reconstruction -- as both process and metaphor -- in the context of present-day Kabul.

www.kabul-reconstructions.net is an online discussion forum, information resource, and medium for the communication of questions and answers about the reconstruction between people inside and outside the city of Kabul itself.