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    Afghanistan’s Nuristan Region in Strategic and Ethnographic Context

    -A Lecture by: Richard Strand and David Katz, Boston University GSU, Room 310- The region called Nuristan is one in a chain of ethnic refuge areas that line the mountains of the Indian Plate collision zone from Afghanistan to Southeast Asia. Nuristan lies in the Hindu Kush mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, spanning the basins of […]

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    The Durand Line: History, Consequences and Future

    -Istanbul, Turkey- The demarcation of the frontier between British India and Afghanistan was made explicit by the Durand Agreement of 1893. Imposed over Afghan objections it divided the Pashtun tribes and gave the British control of those in what would become the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). From the very beginning the line caused controversy by […]

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    Afghanistan and Central Asia: Conflict and Peace

    -A Lecture by Dr. Shahrbanou Tadzbakhsh- Dr. Shahrbanou Tadzbakhsh — Iranian-born, US-educated, and currently French-employed — delivered a novel and provocative Center lecture on November 16. Entitled “Afghanistan and Central Asia: Conflict and Peace,” the talk drew parallels and distinctions between post-Taliban Afghanistan and the newly independent “Stans” to the north. Tadzbakhsh noted that, while […]

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    Faiz Mohammed Katib and the Writing of Afghan History

    -A Lecture by Robert McChesney- Former AIAS President Robert McChesney spoke at the Kabul Center on November 13. His topic “Faiz Mohammed Katib and the Writing of Afghan History” attracted an audience of local scholars and intellectuals. Two — anthropologists Sayed Akbar Mousavi and Whitney Azoy — had already delivered lectures at the Center this […]

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    Lecture on Buzkashi

    -By Whitney Azoy- On November 9, AIAS Center director Whitney Azoy presented his annual start-of-season lecture on buzkashi, Afghanistan’s signature game. Photographs spanned the past 30 years of Azoy’s involvement with buzkashi and depicted how the politics of image management has remained a constant element. Following the AIAS lecture, Azoy was invited to make a […]

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    Afghanistan towards a new Jihad? Interpretations of the Current Insurgency

    -A Lecture by Dr. Antonio Giustozzi- Four years ago Afghanistan was mostly at peace, and people in Kabul spoke confidently of “Reconstruction.” Now much of the South is at war, other areas are disturbed, and the prognosis has turned negative. What drives the current insurgency? Is it best understood as political or religious or ethnic […]

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    Lessons from the Places in Between

    -An Illustrated Presentation by Rory Stewart- Born in Hong Kong and educated at Eton and Balliol College Oxford, Rory Stewart figures in the grand British Empire tradition of stirring endeavour. At 33, he has been an officer in the Black Watch, a diplomat in Indonesia and the Balkans, a Coalition Deputy Governor in Iraq, and […]

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    Western Journalists of the Afghan Jihad

    -Featuring Peter Jouvenal, Richard Mackenzie, and John Jennings- AIAS exists to further the study of Afghanistan. In recent decades much of this study has been conducted not as pure scholarship per se but in the service of diplomacy or development or – especially – journalism. Journalists have gone where scholars feared to tread, and they have written with […]

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    Afghanistan and the Crisis of National Identity

    -A Presentation by Sayed Askar Mousavi- What is it to identify with one’s nation-state? This question, essentially simple in most Western countries, continues to bedevil Afghanistan. In a nutshell, the word “Afghan” may mean different things to different citizens. As the country strives to regain stability, the issue of national identity is vitally important… and […]

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    New Perspectives on Nuristan: Culture, History, Politics, and Economy

    Argelaguer, Spain Nestled in wooded valleys of the Hindu Kush, Nuristan – “the Land of Light” – is Afghanistan’s newest and most remote province. It combines special history (the last pre-Muslim enclave in Central Asia, converted only in 1896) and current significance (a sometime hideout of militant Islamists, perhaps including Osama bin Laden). Between July […]

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