Dialogue and Sustainable Peace: Processes and Structures

The American Institute of Afghanistan studies and National Center for Dialogue and Progress arranged a Kabul Talks program at the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University on the 2nd October 2019.

The guest speakers for the program were Dr. William Maley Professor of Diplomacy at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, where he served as Foundation Director from 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2014 and one of the academics and researchers who has written various articles and books about Afghanistan and Dr. Sirinjoy Bose, a Lecturer / Assistant Professor in Politics and International Relations, Dr Bose’s research topics include critical peace/security studies including, political order and violence, international intervention, state formation and conflict.

Dr William Maley started the program by addressing three significant elements in a peace process. The design of a peace process, the execution and implementation of the process and the timeliness of the process. Dr Maley pointed out that any peace process should be designed in a way that would include all the appropriate parties. In the Afghan peace process, the absence of the Afghan government said to a wide audience that the government is not a significant player which might affect the inclusiveness of the process and the result of it. Moreover, Dr. Maley emphasized on the execution of the process and gave the example of the Afghan peace process, a rush in the process may end up with an undesired result from the process, and this should be remembered that not all the peace processes end up with the desired result, even a well-designed process can be executed poorly, that is where the importance of the process execution comes up. In the Afghan peace process, the presence of Khalilzad as the envoy of the American government that is originally from Afghanistan created controversies that he might have a personal or political agenda towards this process and some news say that this has been one of the reasons that the process did not finish sooner or even has been cancelled.

Dr Bose started his talk with emphasizing on three policy recommendations. First of all, the need and requirement of an Afghan-owned and led peace process and he pointed out that the exclusiveness of the Afghan government from the process gives a legitimacy to Taliban and underlines the Afghan government.

Second, the tradeoffs in the peace process, what the Afghan people are willing to give to Taliban in the process and are ready to sacrifice for the peace and are the Taliban willing to share the power with the Afghan people, Dr. Bose gave the example of Kundoz, when the Taliban captured the city how they behaved with the people.

Third, the regional dimension in the process. Dr. Bose emphasized on the importance of the regional players in the process and how their presence can have positive affect on the process.

The program was concluded with a Q&A session and sharing of ideas among the audience and guest speakers.

The Afghan Peace Process: The Way Forward

The American Institute of Afghanistan studies and the state ministry for peace held a program titled The Afghan peace process: The way forward at the American University of Afghanistan on 26th of September, 2019.

The State Ministry for Peace with the American Institute of Afghanistan studies arranged the program to provide a platform through which a broad range of ideas and perspectives about national processes could be reflected.

The program had four panellists and the program was moderated by Mr David Sedney, president of the American University of Afghanistan. The panelists were Professor William Maley, Professor of Diplomacy at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, where he served as Foundation Director from 1 July 2003 to 31 December 2014 and one of the academics and researchers who has written various articles and books about Afghanistan, Dr. Habiba Sarabi, the Deputy Chair of the High Peace Council and the Senior Advisor on Women Affairs to the Chief Executive, Sami Mahdi, a well-known journalist who serves as the Afghanistan Bureau Chief for the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The panelists presented their perspectives about the Afghan peace process, the way it has been taken on, the cancelation of it and the outcomes it might have on the current situation of Afghanistan. The panelists pointed out that the only way to make the Afghan peace process successful is a peace process between the Afghan people and the Taliban movement and the most significant factors that should be taken in to account in the peace process are inclusion of the Afghan government, women, and civil society members in the peace process with the Taliban movement, which could make a team that could represent the whole Afghan people. The discussion was concluded with a question and answer session.

The Second Afghanistan Studies Conference: Independence, More Independence, and Beyond Independence

The American Institute of Afghanistan Studies (AIAS) with Afghanistan center at Kabul University (ACKU) organized the second Afghanistan studies conference from August 17-18, 2019 at Kabul.

The second-year Afghanistan studies conference brought together 60 local and global scholars, along with 10 disciplinary and interdisciplinary panels, a Keynote Address, and an Afghanistan Studies Book Lecture.

The first day of the conference started with the welcoming and opening remarks by Dr Omar Sharifi the AIAS director and Waheed Wafa the director of the ACKU, followed by the first session of the day which was titled as Text, Perspective, and Culture: The Problem of Agency in Afghanistan’s Scholarship’. The first panel of the session one included presentations and discussions about the people’s culture and people’s knowledge. Two distinguished scholars presented their research papers in this panel, Dr Ali Abdi PhD, Anthropology, Yale University (Dancing Bachas, Shakhs, and Gay Men: The Culture of Same-Sex Desire in Kabul ) and Jalal Atai, lecturer, Breda University of Applied sciences (The Destruction of Buddhas: Dissonant Heritage, Islamic or Political Iconoclasm). Presented papers were discussed by Dr Sayed Askar Musawi. PhD, Anthropologist of Afghanistan and Dr Omar Sharifi, PhD, Anthropology, Boston University.

The second panel of the day discussed the Afghans’ Minds and Afghans’ Bodies.  The papers presented in the second panel were by Dr Farid Tookhy, PhD, Political science, Georgetown University (From State-Building, Secularism and Contestation: Afghanistan Under Amanullah and Beyond)  and MS Maryam Hannun, PhD candidate, Islamic studies, Georgetown University (Tracing the Role of Afghan Women in the Wake of Independence). The discussant in this panel was Faiz Ahmed, PhD, History, Brown University.

In the third panel of the day, one local scholar from Ghor province of Afghanistan and one Female University student from Herat city of Afghanistan presented their papers. Mr. Nabi Saqee from Ghor university presented the paper (The importance of local and indigenous research) this paper was the first research paper from A local researcher from Ghor province of Afghanistan and his paper was discussed by Dr Mahiuddin Mahdi, PhD, Literary critic, Afghanistan. The second presenter was MS Maryam Jami, a University student from Herat University and her paper was titled as Independent Afghanistan in the Path of History: Rethinking Afghanistan’s Independence in Post-1919 Context. Her paper was discussed by Dr Jawanshir Rasekh, PhD, South Asia Studies, from the University of Pennsylvania.

The Keynote Address was given by Dr Margaret Mills Professor Emerita (The Ohio State University) and her talk was given the title of The Traditional and the National: Some Documentary History and Problematic.

The second and afternoon session of the first day was titled as ‘Enduring Economics, Culture, and Relations: Afghanistan Inside-Out.

The first panel of the second session ((Un)-Producing in Afghanistan’s Economy, and Politics,) had three presenters. The first paper was presented by Mr. Kambaiz Rafi, MPhil/PhD. Candidate, University College London with the title of Production during Times of Instability and his paper was discussed by Kaweh Kerami, PhD. Candidate. SOAS-London. The second paper was presented by Mr. Vibhav Pradhan, MPhil candidate from South Asian University and his paper was titled as War and Economy Nexus: Afghanistan’s Perpetual Opium Trade and his paper was discussed by Mr. Kambaiz Rafi. The third presenter of the panel was Dr Nazif M. Shahrani, PhD., Anthropology, Indiana University Bloomington and the title of his paper was: Afghanistan’s Century of Independence Marred by Dependence, More Dependence and Self-Deceptions and the disciplinary discussant for this paper was Dipali Mukhopadhyay, PhD., Political Science from Columbia University.

The papers presented in the second panel of the second session discussed Afghanistan in South Asia’s Political Imagination. Mr. Raghav Sharma, PhD., Political Science, O.P Jindal Global University was the first presenter of the panel and his paper was titled as Deciphering India’s North-West Engagement. His paper was discussed by Ellinor Zeino, PhD, Political Science from the University of Hamburg.  The second presenter of the panel was Dr Alka, PhD., Center for Inner Asian Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, her paper was about India’s Soft Power: Case of Indo-Afghan Development Partnership disciplinary discussant for this paper was Sharif Hozoori, PhD. Candidate. Center for International Politics, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The third presenter was from china, Mr. Bao Deleng, PhD. Candidate, School of Foreign Languages, Department of Asian and African Languages and Literatures, Peking University. He presented his paper (Translation, Memoirs and Collecting in and out of Afghanistan Since 1963: A Study on Writings of a Chinese Diplomat) and it was discussed by Dr Omar Sharifi.

The first day of the conference was concluded with a dinner reception from ACKU.

The second day of the Afghanistan studies conference was held on the 18th, August 2019.

The second day of the conference (‘Sovereignty, Peace Process, and Afghanistan’s Foreign Relations’) started with the first panel discussing governing new Afghanistan. The first paper was presented by Dipali Mukhopadhyay, PhD. Political Science, Columbia University with the title of State-Building in the Shadow of Counterterrorism: The Palace Politics of ‘Precarious Sovereignty. Dr Mukhopadhyay’s paper was discussed by Arian Sharifi, PhD. Political Science, Tufts University. The second paper of the panel was presented by an Australian scholar William Maley, PhD. Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy from the Australian National University. Dr Maley’s paper was titled Shared Sovereignty: Some Lessons from and for Afghanistan. The paper was discussed by Dr Nazif M. Shahrani.

The second panel of the day was about Locating war and peace in Afghanistan. Three distinguished scholars presented their research papers in the panel.

The first presenter of the panel was Mr. Arian Sharifi, a PhD degree holder in Political Science from Tufts University and his paper was about Explaining the Strategic Choice of Violence in Islamist Groups: A Social Movement Theory Approach. Mr. Sharifi’s paper was discussed by Dr Omar Sadr. The second paper was presented by MS. Farkhondeh Akbari, PhD. Candidate. Asia Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University. The paper was titled as Peace Settlements: Lessons from Cambodia for Afghanistan and it was discussed by Dr Sayed Parto, PhD. Human Geography, University of Waterloo. The third paper of the panel was about democratization in Afghanistan and it was presented by Mr. Wahid Watanyar, PhD. Candidate. Political Science, University of Heidelberg. Mr. Watanyar’s paper was discussed by Ahmadiullah Archiwal, Political Science from Rutgers University, New Jersey.

The third panel’s topic was Afghanistan’s developing foreign relations. The first presented of the panel was Mr Wahidullah Qaderi a law and political science student from Takhar University and his paper was about Amani’s foreign politics and the paper was discussed by Mr. Amir Ramin.

The second presenter of the panel was Nasir Ahmad Taraki, MPhil, Defense & Strategic Studies from University of Pune. His paper was about Afghanistan in transformation decade 2014-2024 and its role in the Asian Century: A post-American Scenario and the disciplinary discussant for this paper was Mr. Wahid Watanyar.

The third panel was followed by Afghanistan book lecture and the lecture was given by Mr. Farukh Hussain, an independent scholar from London, UK and author of the book Afghanistan in the age of empires. This book has a primary focus on the struggle for power of Shah Shuja Ul Mulk paving the way for the first Afghan war. The book charts the rise and fall of Durrani rule in Afghanistan and what is now Pakistan.

The fourth and last session of the conference started with the panel discussion about Reading India-Afghanistan in the Past and Present.

The first presenter of the panel was Mr. Mohammad Reyaz, a PhD scholar of International Studies from Jamia Millia Islamia and his paper was titled as Afghans in Indian Films: From Kabuliwala to Kesari. Mr. Reyaz’s paper was discussed by Sahraa Karimi, PhD, Film and Television Faculty, Fine Arts University, Bratislava, Slovakia and director of Afghan film. The second paper was from Mr. Gowhar Farooq, PhD. Candidate. Mass Communication from Jamia Millia Islamia University. This paper was about Connecting with Homeland: Media Consumption of Afghan Diaspora in India. The paper was discussed by Dr. Victoria Fontan from the American University of Afghanistan.  The last paper of the panel was presented by Furquan Ameen an Independent Scholar, Special Correspondent from The Telegraph-India. The paper was titled as Afghanistan in Indian Press: A Case Study of a Leading English Daily and it was discussed by Abdullah Azada Khenjani, Editor-in-Chief, 1 Television Network, Afghanistan.

The last panel of the conference was about local Afghans ethnographies, policy scholarship.

Two presenters presented their papers in the panel. The first presenter was MS. Marzia Azizi a Political Science and Public Administration student from the American University of Afghanistan and her paper was about Afghan Women Coalitions in the Parliament. Her paper was discussed by Marya Hannun, PhD. Candidate. Islamic Studies from Georgetown University. The last presenter of the Afghanistan studies conference was Mr. Sayed Baqir Hussaini, Journalism lecturer from Kabul University. Mr. Hussaini presented a very interesting paper to the audience titled as, from masculinity to escape: A study of factors of escape from home for the purpose of marriage. His paper was discussed by Humaira Qadery, PhD., Persian Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The concluding remarks of the program was given by Dr. Dipali Mukhopadhyay, PhD., Political Science from Columbia University.

The two-day conference on Afghanistan studies ended with a dinner reception by the American Institute of Afghanistan studies.

Role of the Public Administration in Development of Substantial Peace and Good Governance in Afghanistan

AIAS and National center for dialogue and progress jointly arranged a Kabul Talks program at the Rana University on the 4th of July, 2019.

The program was started with the welcoming remarks by the vice-chancellor of Rana University Mr Mustafa Saedi. Mr Saedi briefly discussed the role of public administration in government system and good governance and its importance in achieving a substantial peace.

The guest speaker for the program was Dr Ghulam Sakhi Mohammady, a PhD in public administration. Dr Mohammady began with a brief introduction of Public administration and its importance in having good governance in a country. Dr Mohammady introduced public administration as the bridge between the public and government and the executive part of the government in which the public can take part in forming the government and its policies. Lack of public participation in forming the government through public administration is the main reason for conflict in a country.

Furthermore, Dr.Mohammady discussed the importance of public administration in decreasing the conflict in a government system especially government system of Afghanistan.

The major roles public administration can play in decreasing the conflict in a government system discussed by Dr. Mohammady were:

  1. Developing public policy through public participation
  2. Political participation of public through public administration in order to achieve public interests.
  3. Decentralization of government system through public participation in administration of government

Governance is a qualitative phenomenon which emphasizes on transparency, providing services to the public through a good administration. A centralized governance system can never provide the mentioned services to the public and it leads to a conflict in a system in a country, only a decentralized government system with public participation through public administration in it can lead to a prosperous nation.

At the end of the session, Dr Mohammady took a few questions from the audience.  

AFG-PAK partnership summit pre-orientation meeting

AIAS hosted the pre-orientation meeting for the third Afg-Pak partnership summit on the 29th of November, 2018.

An introduction and overview of the program goals, procedures, and participants introduction, as well as an Introduction of the American Institute of Afghanistan studies and Hollings center, was given to the participants by the AIAS director Dr. Rohullah Amin at the beginning of the meeting.

Dr. Amin gave an overview on Afghanistan and Pakistan relations, barriers, opportunities to overcome these barriers and the way this dialogue can be an initiative in finding ways to solve the issues and to overcome the barriers between two countries.

During the introduction, Dr. Amin briefly discussed the agenda of the summit among the participants, shared the experiences of the two summits between two countries that gave an idea to the participants about how these summits are arranged and how these summits have opened ways for creating relations between the participants of the summits which is one of the main aims of these programs.

Meanwhile, participants were asked to briefly introduce themselves and share their experiences of Pakistan or any similar events or programs that if they have attended.

Session 1

The discussion in the first session started by discussions among the participants about the barriers to cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, during the discussion various perspectives were shared by the participants. These perspectives from the participants varied regarding their experiences from Pakistan and according to that, participants pointed a number of the barriers that exist to cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan and shared their ideas on how these barriers can be overcome.

The barriers like Durand- line case, the perceive treat that Pakistan feels from the existence of India in Afghanistan, strategic barriers, Pakistan’s interference in internal issues of Afghanistan were discussed in details among the participants.

Besides discussing the barriers, participants mentioned the fact that Pakistan is an important neighbor of Afghanistan and without building a friendly relations and cooperation between two countries, not only Afghanistan but Pakistan will not be able to create stable situation for its citizens, as it is a generally accepted fact that the conflicts between two countries during these years has affected both countries economically and politically.

Participants emphasized the role of civil society, media, cultural activities, and economic activities on overcoming these barriers. The similarities and what both countries have in common can be one of the major points in removing the barriers.

Session 2

In the second session of the meeting, participants discussed the possible opportunities to overcome the barriers that exist between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Two of the participants gave presentations about the opportunities of cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan and shared their experiences with other participants.

Mr. Samsor discussed the importance of educational programs in creating a cooperation between two countries and suggested that educational exchange programs, conferences for the students and youth, Forums, and seminars are significant in creating relations among the younger generation of the countries. Also, he suggested the involvement of countries like China and India in these programs can be a good initiative for a better tomorrow.

Ms. Rada Akbar, who recently attended an event in Pakistan shared her experience of who these events and programs can be useful for bringing both countries together.

Participants who are involved in private sector activities, agreed on the point that both countries and their people can be very helpful for each other and listed the economic activities like having economical agreements, creating Joint economical markets of both countries and focusing on economical part as a significant reason to increase the level of cooperation between two countries, as opportunities to cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Role of Media in conflict management and in influencing the mindset and perspectives of the people in both countries by giving them the idea that having cooperation between both countries will be beneficial for all will be a great opportunity that can be used in both countries.

At the end of the second session of the meeting, participants were asked to break into small groups to discuss the recommendations and outcomes from the meeting. Participants were divided into three groups.

Session 3

In the third session of the meeting, all groups presented their recommendations to the participants. Participants were divided into three groups sharing their recommendations in the aspects of the strategic, security, political, cultural, and economic cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some of the recommendations from the groups can be listed as below:

  • Cooperation between the two governments in all aspects.
  • Discussing the strategies of both countries for each other in the summit.
  • Having a joint mechanism for investigating the blames from both countries
  • Abstaining from any action that would provoke any of the two countries to take an action against each other.
  • Creating a visa-free system for the citizens of the two countries.
  • Documenting all the discussions, summits, and forums that take place about the cooperations of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Increasing the numbers of the meetings, contacts, and communications among the political and groups form the civil societies of both countries.
  • Having cultural exchange programs like exhibitions, festivals, sports
  • Having a joint Afg-Pak chamber of commerce
  • Transboundary water dialogue between two countries
  • Taking the initiative of the Sister cities concept between Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • An increase in relations of the media of both countries
  • Making Pakistan believe that India cannot use for Afghanistan against Pakistan.

Al Beruni’s Anthropology in the Fi Tahqiq Malil-Hind in Three Settings: An Assessment

AIAS arranged a talk for Dr. Nazif Shahrani on October 3, 2018. Dr. Shahrani presented his recent research paper on Al-Biruni the greatest scholar of his era, his presentation was titled as:

Al Beruni’s Anthropology in the Fi Tahqiq Malil-Hind in Three Settings: An Assessment

Al Beruni’s Fi Tahqiq malil Hind (dating to 1030 AD) is described in at least one recent (2016) book title as The Birth of Indology as an Islamic Science.  This groundbreaking work of the Muslim polymath is also the much earlier precursor to the birth of modern discipline of anthropology, sometimes called the “bastard child” of Western colonialism.  In this presentation Dr. Shahrani attempted to assess the significance of Al-Beruni’s rendition of Hindu India in three important settings:

1) the novelty of its production one thousand years ago, in the age of “Empires of Faith”, in this case, the Ghaznavid Muslim empire; it was the era of dominance by the empires of religion and this book was produced under those circumstances. Besides this, the number of Al-Beruni’s books was 114, told by himself to a friend of him, a remarkable number of books ever written by a scholar. Meanwhile, Al-Biruni had researched and wrote in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences. 2) its discovery, study and use during the Western colonial “Empires of Conquest”, especially by the nineteenth century scholars supported by the British Raj; and 3) the freshness of its conceptual, methodological and analytical rigor and relevance to modern social sciences in general and post-colonial native Muslim anthropology in particular within the era of the “Empires by Invitation/Empires of “Trust.” Al-Biruni has distinguished himself as a historian, chronologist, and linguist.

Why study folklore? Women’s captivity narratives as an area of ordinary people’s imagination and real concern.

AIAS arranged a program for Dr. Margaret Mills on 11the September 2018 at the American university of Afghanistan. Dr. Mills talk started with a few words about the importance and value of forms of folklore (everyday knowledge) as a social data set and as an aesthetic experience, then went on to discuss how people use everyday forms of folk narrative – sacred legends, afsana (fictional folk tales), oral history and personal experience narratives of their own or their family in their daily lives, Dr. Mills pointed out that how three or four different kinds of narratives are used to think about a common human problem: The danger to women in situation of insecurity-captivity danger. 

The examples in the talk, all taken from Persian-language sources from Afghanistan and Iran, presented these different kinds of narratives on the theme of women’s and girls’ experiences of threat,  abduction, captivity and escape, and how different kinds of  narratives help people cope with this very real set of concerns. Dr. Mills gave the example of one of the most famous types of folklore, afsana or folktales that are fiction, fantasy tales told for the entertainment, also two of the most commonly told stories in the peacetime in Afghanistan are the afghan version of Cinderella (called Gaw-e-zard or Mah-peshani) and the story of the beauty and the beast (called shah mar-e-sabze-khazina). Both these stories and many others in Afghanistan are part of international intangible heritage, many folklores are international but every language group and local population has its own versions, its own cultural flavor and details.

Dr. Mills discussed how these Afsanas and other narratives solve or don’t solve the threats to women in danger of captivity. Some stories concern Muslim women and girls in Iran and Afghanistan who are also taken into the earth or turned to stone, when they pray to escape the capture by enemies.

The discussion was joined by a number of students and lecturers and they shared their ideas, stories and experiences of these folklores.


The mental health awareness campaign “Invisible wounds of violence”

AIAS and ACKU hosted an event at the ACKU on 08 August 2018 to discuss the mental health and its link with the violence in Afghanistan.

At the beginning of the program, a welcoming note and introduction of the program were given by Mr. Asef Mehry.

Four of the professionals that are working for the mental health in Afghanistan were the speakers of the program.

Mr. Siddiqi dean of the psychology faculty of the Kabul University was the first speaker of the program. Mr. Siddiqi gave an introduction to the psychology faculty of the Kabul University and the role of the psychology in academia. Mr. Siddiqi pointed out a number of activities that have been done in the Psychology faculty of the Kabul University and its impacts on the society.

Mr. Siddiqi discussed and emphasized on the importance of having professional psychologists and psychiatrists in the country and giving the opportunities to these professionals to serve in the field of mental health care and mental health awareness.

Ms. Lyla lynn Schwartz, gave a presentation on the mental health awareness initiative by the AIAS and ACKU, discussing the aims and objectives of the program and how this program was initiated by a number of psychologists with the purpose of giving mental health awareness to the people of Afghanistan by organizing events and conferences and to work among mental health providers, psycho-social help providers to enrich the idea of providing this awareness for the people.

The main objectives of the program are to share tools, menus, technics, and training created by the NGOs and consultants. To collectively develop policies and strategies to improve mental health awareness in Afghanistan and to raise awareness about mental health and psychological needs in Afghanistan. These objectives can be achieved by creating a collaboration among the NGOs and consultant groups.

Mr. Bashir Ahmad sarwari the director of the mental health at the ministry of public health was invited to discuss the policy of government regarding the mental health in Afghanistan.

Mr. Sarwari discussed the importance of having a system for the mental health. Afghanistan’s mental health system has been launched as a new system in last few years and ministry of public health has started providing mental health services from the village’s level and has increased providing these services in the whole country.

Ministry of public health has made its mental health system according to the system provided by the world health organization that describes the mental health care system in different levels and with this system government is trying to provide mental health services to all the people despite the obstacles and the time taking process of making a services provider system to a country level.

Mr. Sajad a psychology lecturer at the university discussed the role of capacity building in the field of psychology and having professionals in the field by using the universities and creating more recourses in giving awareness about the mental health and mental health needs.

Dr. Rohullah Amin a psychologist, besides discussing the importance of mental health awareness, emphasized on taking steps in focusing on quality of the work and on taking the responsibility of mental health by everyone, not only government or psychologists as the self-care is the first step in mental health care.

Book launch and literary analysis of the book: “let me write for you”

AIAS and ACKU hosted an event for unveiling a novel written by Nahid Mehrgan on 11th July 2018.

The program was launched with the introduction of the book and speakers of the program, Dr. Rohullah Amin, and Dr. Yaman Hekmat, and in order to analyze and interpret the content of the book, speakers were requested to discuss the Novel.

In the beginning, Dr.Rohullah Amin analyzed the content of the book from the perspective of psychology. Dr. Amin began discussing stories, writing stories and explained the importance of the story in conveying the concepts of a message, experience, and a lesson.

The book tells the story of a girl from Herat who was born and raised in Herat and goes to Germany after marriage. The book highlights the bitterness and the good and bad experiences of a person who experiences different faces of life in different settings in Afghanistan and in Germany.

Dr. Amin pointed out the impact of these bad experiences on a person’s life that has been told in the story in the book.

One of the issues discussed psychologically was the issue of taboos that have been discussed in the book fearlessly and is not widely discussed among the people in general life.

Dr. Hekmat interpreted the story as one of the stories that tell the bitter truths of a society that most of the people living in a similar environment and society have experienced.

One of the characteristics of the book which was praised by the guests was the way the writer presents the characters of the story and the way these characters convey a message to the reader.

The program was ended with a series of questions from the audience and discussions by the guest speakers


AIAS, The Hollings Center for international dialogue, and the US embassy in Kabul arranged a per-orientation meeting for the second  Afghanistan-Pakistan partnership summit on 11 January, 2018.

This meeting included discussion about:

How can barriers to cooperation be overcome?  What are some major barriers to cooperation with Pakistan?

How have these barriers affected dynamics between Afghanistan and Pakistan? What governance issues exist?  What strategies, policies and measures role can government, businesses and civil society play to overcome barriers?

There are many opportunities that exist for cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  What is happening on the cooperation side?  What is working?  What are some local opportunities?  What larger regional integration opportunities could result from increased cooperation with Pakistan?  How can these opportunities be realized in the current environment? What national and international policy reforms are needed to enhance  synergies?

As a conclusion all the participants gave their recommendations and specified the outcome of the meeting.