Stories

Nomads: a changing way of life

Nomads: a changing way of life

Many Afghan “Kochyan” (nomads) inhabit tents made of bands woven from the wool of goats and sheep by women from these communities, who move every season between lowlands to high mountain pastures (or “Elbandans”) in search of fresh fodder for their flocks. To this day, it is common to see clusters of black tents across .. read more

09
May
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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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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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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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Throwing wood – a tradition of early engagement among Afghans

Throwing wood – a tradition of early engagement among Afghans

In Badakhshan province, when a girl in one family and a boy in another family are born on the same day, the boy-child’s relatives might throw a log of wood into the compound of the house where the girl was born. The log represents a message of the girl’s family that the boys’ relatives wish .. read more

25
Feb
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Are interethnic marriages still a taboo for Afghans?

Are interethnic marriages still a taboo for Afghans?

Every morning she wakes up with her favorite Pashto good-morning greeting “sahar pakhair” and I respond in Dari “sobh bakhair” explains Said Noor Ahmad, who is 25 and a Pashtun from Herat province. Two years ago while a student, he met the love of his life Zahra, who is a Hazara. Afghanistan is a mosaic .. read more

18
Feb
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Nine cows and a new man

Nine cows and a new man

‘Nine cows and a new man’ (noh gaow wa mard naw in Persian) is a traditional expression for a newborn baby among families in Bamiyan Province, Afghanistan, where it is believed that a girl-child is worth nine cows. The birth of a boy-child (mard naw), on the other hand, is believed to be a guarantee .. read more

16
Feb
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‘Eid Bowl (akhtarisa kassa)

‘Eid Bowl (akhtarisa kassa)

‘Eid bowl (or akhtarisa kassa in Pashtu) is a long-standing cultural tradition practiced by rural communities belonging to different ethnic groups in Kandahar province. On the first day of the ‘Eid festival, members of many rural households will embrace each other and prepare food at home that they bring in an Eid bowl to be .. read more

08
Feb
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