Kabul: 12:56 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

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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 sector, including government staff workers, activists from different woman organizations and school teachers, will elect two delegates from themselves for the constitutional Loya Jirga, or grand assembly, scheduled for next month, according to an organizer. "Every agency could send two persons to take part in today's election, while all the 14 are educated and have knowledge about law," Sayed Sadat Hofiani from the Constitution Commission told Xinhua on Saturday. "In principle, every female Afghan citizen could candidate herself, but at least she must know something about the Constitution," the official said. Women in Afghanistan were prohibited from working outside their home and were denied access to education during the six-year rule by the extremist Taliban since 1996. The one-day election was held amid tight security in a large tent set up inside the city's main stadium, near the presidential palace. Soldiers of the peacekeeping International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the fledgling Afghan National Army patrolled on streets around the stadium, where over 500 delegates from across the country will register in next week for the constitutional Loya Jirga scheduled from Dec. 10. Elections of women delegates for the Loya Jirga had earlier completed in most of the 32 provinces in the country, with every province having two women delegates at the assembly, said Hofiani. In addition, President Hamid Karzai will appoint 25 special woman delegates as delegates for the Loya Jirga, he said. Loya Jirga is a traditional gathering in Afghanistan often attended by tribal elders from different ethnic groups to settle on state affairs in the ethnically diversified country. The Loya Jirga is expected to pave the way for the general elections in mid-2004. Afghanistan's transitional government, led by President Karzai, rules the country with a revised version of the 1964 Constitution promulgated by former King Zahir Shah, who came back to the country in 2002 after nearly 30 years of exile in Italy. Canadian and German peacekeepers are beefing up their security efforts around Kabul after intelligence reports said that terrorist groups, including the Taliban and its al-Qaeda ally, were planning attacks in the capital city to sabotage the assembly. Media and People comments on draft constitution The Afghan draft constitution is still a topic for debates in newspapers and magazines. The independent magazine Khanjar has supported the presidential regime and the powerful central government in its 26 Aqrab (17 November) edition. It said that under present conditions and unstable situation, when there are gunmen, it is better to have a government where power rests in one pair of hands. This will enable the ruler to act decisively in accordance with his legal powers. Voice of Liberty radio reported that the Herat Council of Professionals discussed the Afghan draft constitution at a one-day conference. According to this report Mohammad Rafiq Shahir, the head of the Herat Council of Professionals, highlighted the benefits of the presidential system. He said the powers entrusted to the president by the constitution were appropriate. He said a president directly elected by the people should have those powers. He said those who are concerned about this system have nothing to worry about. The draft (constitution) does not present the president as an absolute ruler. There is a separation of powers and there should be no concerns. The Herat Council of Professionals also criticized Article No 2, 20 and 64 of the constitution. The participants feel that all Afghan ethnic groups should be mentioned in the national anthem. People have also commented on the constitution. The principal of Rabia Balkhi High School told Bakhtar Information Agency that after a period of violence and lawlessness, the country was entering a period of peace and the rule of law. In my view, she said, intellectuals who have taken into account the views of the public have compiled the draft constitution. I have read the draft constitution and I consider it a document of peace and prosperity for Afghanistan. Prof Dr Mohammad Munir Mosamim told a Bakhtar Information Agency correspondent that the constitution had not underscored patriotism. The constitution should explicitly state that corruption should be prevented. The assets of the president and his relatives should be registered. The president's deputy should take an oath when he acts as president. The constitution does not mention to whom the president will give an oath (as received).
Posted By: mariam   December 16th 2003, 2003 7:13 PM

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.