The attack that has so far claimed the lives of 12 UN aid workers and guards, Afghan and foreign, in the northern city of Mazar begs the question of who can be held accountable for the killings beside the criminals who committed the act? The Florida pastor who swore to burn the Koran finally did on March 21, the day …Read More
The American media has moved on from the news in Japan but across the ocean in California, we’re still listening and watching. As the rain pours with flood warnings, on most minds is “What if this happened here? Are we prepared?” The paranoid Californians are taking pills to alleviate radiation exposure. Most people I know are not paranoid but frightened. …Read More
I’m watching the jubilation on Al Jazeera Television on the laptop as they celebrate Hosni Mubarak’s resignation from the presidency, the end of three decades of a dictatorship that has left the majority of Egyptians disenfranchised. All I can think as I see the crowds in Tahrir Square lighting firecrackers and cheering in unison is I wish I was there …Read More
The revolution in Egypt is exciting to watch because it invokes the idealist in all of us. But what lies ahead for the Egyptian people? Will they become casualties of a more brutal government like Afghans and Iranians did after their revolutions in the 1970s?Read More
Since the Taliban were ousted, 86 mass graves have been uncovered in Afghanistan — their occupants the victims of torture and murder. Fariba Nawa went in search of her uncle — a professor who dared to teachRead More
At a clandestine music school sponsored in part by a San Francisco resident, male students come and go through the front door while their female counterparts enter through a dark hallway.Read More
She ran from an arranged marriage into a Western household.Read More
Katrin Fakiri’s office is a constant rush of phone calls, e-mail messages, and people entering and leaving. On a wall, a framed picture of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with Fakiri and several other women hangs crookedly.Read More
With the fall of the Taliban in 2001, many Afghans believed that, after 23 years of war, their country would be at peace again. Although recent increases in violence have dampened that spirit, there is nonetheless a small population of urban twenty-somethings who are resolutely —albeit not always successfully—working to build an Afghanistan where culture, art and entrepreneurship can flourish.
These young men and women have worked hard over six years, and it’s their spirit that has paved the way for new television stations, sports clubs, art galleries, music schools and countless businesses to open and thrive, mainly in such urban centers as Kabul and Herat. Indeed, those at the forefront say that, since 2004, there’s been a small cultural renaissance under way in Afghanistan. Here are five people who are making a difference.