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The Shalamar festival

The Shalamar festival

Afghanistan is a place of different cultural festivals and their celebration without doubt helps to bring communities together as they recognize a shared heritage, culture, and traditions. A resident of Kandahar Abdul Hamid Wolasmal explains: “Shalamar (or green garden in Indian Kashmiri dialect) is a popular festival in Kandahar province, and gives us the opportunity .. read more

15
Apr
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Season of blossom

Season of blossom

As the city is filled with the fragrance of sour orange blossoms, hundreds of Afghans come together on March 31 to celebrate the Narenj Gul festival in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province. Narenj Gul is an annual poetry festival when poets from all over Afghanistan are invited to recite their poems at the .. read more

11
Apr
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We are all Afghans – Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs

We are all Afghans – Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs

Early each morning, dozens of Hindus and Sikhs who live in Jalalabad city of Nangarhar province head to the Daramsala (Sikh temple) to worship. Their prayers end with a wish for goodwill, peace and prosperity for all people. Dilip Sengh, a member of the Sikh community, explains: “‘Nanek nam chardi kala tere pari sarbat de .. read more

07
Apr
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Community interaction in Nangarhar

Community interaction in Nangarhar

To mark the start of the Persian new year and arrival of spring, people from different communities in  Khewa and Kama districts, in the north and northeast of Nangarhar province, came together to get to know each other better and foster trust. They visited each other’s areas and planted saplings to enhance the natural environment. .. read more

01
Apr
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Challenging traditions with respect

Challenging traditions with respect

As in many other countries, the traditions that govern the lives of many communities in Afghanistan are discriminatory. Most traditional practices and beliefs are based on deeply-held views that merit re-examination to reflect the ideas and values of the new generation of Afghans. Fazila Noori, a 22-year-old from Herat province explains: “Discrimination is a negative .. read more

25
Mar
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Nowruz; celebrating togetherness

Nowruz; celebrating togetherness

On Sunday millions of Afghans and others in the region marked Nowruz – literally, a ‘new day’- that heralds the advent of the new Solar Hijri year 1400, and the arrival of spring. The festival evokes a sense of hope for the year ahead. Atifa, aged 20 and from Herat says: “Nowruz is an opportunity .. read more

25
Mar
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Team sports: an example for Afghan nation-building?

Team sports: an example for Afghan nation-building?

Abolfazl Gholami, 16, is passionate about football that he’s been playing for many years. For him, it’s not just about physical wellbeing. “It gives meaning to my life, through the valuable friendships that I’ve made through playing football” he explains. Over the past two decades, there has been a surge in interest in sports, with .. read more

14
Mar
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Our cultural heritage can unite us

Our cultural heritage can unite us

Afghan society has a rich diversity of cultures and traditions. Some reflect a tribal structure, while others are based on ethnicity. The region in the west, north and centre of the country are influenced by neighboring Central Asian and Persian culture, which is distinct from the clan-based tradition seen in the south and east, where .. read more

14
Mar
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Afghan women deserve a peaceful future

Afghan women deserve a peaceful future

International Women’s Day was celebrated across the world on Monday 8th March with events held across Afghanistan that focused on empowering women and girls in all walks of life. People in Kabul and other parts of the country marked the day by donating blood, planting saplings and attending events that called for an end to .. read more

09
Mar
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Naan-o-Namak: sharing bread and salt

Naan-o-Namak: sharing bread and salt

Naan-o-namak shodan (literally in Persian, to share bread & salt) is an expression used by Afghans to describe having a meal. It is commonly used when strangers get to know each other by spending time together and sharing food. The value of befriending each other is evident in the experience of Karim, who around 20 .. read more

03
Mar
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