Dossier: Afghanistan

The hand of a dead person peeps out from beneath a sheet (photo: Christoph Bangert)

Book review: Christoph Bangert's "War Porn"

We must not look away

The simple, unassuming cover of this book belies its explosive content: in his latest photobook, "War Porn", photojournalist Christoph Bangert shows the true, ugly face of conflict in all its horror. He presents the reader with an unfiltered selection of images from his photographic archive, documenting the brutality of war, predominantly in the Arab world. By Felix KoltermannMore

Christoph Bangert (photo: private)

Interview with war photographer Christoph Bangert

The naked brutality of war

The photographer and journalist Christoph Bangert has published a book of photographs that his editors refused to use. All of them highlight the horror of war. His book, "War Porn", is an appeal not to look away from the brutality of armed conflict. Monika Griebeler spoke to him about his work and his bookMore

Simin Tander (photo: simintander.com)

The German-Afghan jazz singer Simin Tander

An unknown homeland

Simin Tander has undertaken a musical journey to her roots and to herself. The means of transport are varied: poems in Pashto, English and French, a jazz quartet and a finely nuanced, expressive alto voice. The destination is an exceptional album that transcends the boundaries between jazz, singer-songwriting and world music. Simin Tander's new album impresses listeners with its deep sensitivity and disarming honesty. By Stefan FranzenMore

Quraishi (photo: Evergreene Music)

Album review: "Mountain Melodies" by Quraishi

Keeping the voice of Afghanistan alive

Despite the beauty of Afghan rubab music, it is not well known outside the country and, according to Richard Marcus, infrequently heard inside Afghanistan too. On his new album, "Mountain Melodies", the Afghan-born rubab player Quraishi shares the austere beauty and intricacy of this music and demonstrates his virtuosityMore

A street in Kabul (photo: DW)

Afghanistan after Hamid Karzai

Facing an uncertain future

In Afghanistan, people look with nostalgia upon outgoing President Hamid Karzai. But at the same time, they fear the uncertain future that his successor might very well bring. By Emran FerozMore

The self-styled "caliph", Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photo: YouTube

ISIS leader in Iraq

The new face of jihad?

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has been active in Syria for two years now. It currently has around 5,000 fighters there – and the numbers are growing. Aron Lund, who has written studies on Syria's fighter landscape for the Swedish Institute for International Affairs, explains the terrorist organisation's strategies to Mona SarkisMore

Afghan workers in Iran (photo: Murtzeza Musawi/DW)

Afghan refugees in Iran

Treated like second-class citizens

Iran constantly draws attention to the plight of other peoples and minorities – whether it is the Palestinians in Gaza or the Shia in Saudi Arabia. Yet at the same time, the government in Tehran takes a hard line against minorities living in Iran. According to Emran Feroz, the largest group to suffer as a result of this policy is the Afghan refugeesMore

Jubilant mujahideen on a captured Russian armoured personnel carrier during the war between Afghanistan and the USSR (photo: Getty Images)

Book review: Fadia Faqir's "Willow Trees Don't Weep"

Abandoned for the sake of jihad

Since the 9/11 attacks in the USA, many novels have been written about aspects of Islamist radicalism and the "war on terror". The Jordanian–British writer Fadia Faqir brings fresh perspectives to the subject in her fourth novel "Willow Trees Don't Weep". Susannah Tarbush read the bookMore

Women in Kabul (photo: DW/H. Sirat)

Abortion in Afghanistan

Trying to break a major societal taboo

Birth control is a taboo topic in Afghanistan, the country with the highest birth rate in Asia. Many women resort to having illegal abortions in order to avoid social exclusion and to prevent undesired additions to their family. By Waslat Hasrat-NazimiMore

The British-Pakistani author Nadeem Aslam at lit.cologne in Cologne (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Interview with Nadeem Aslam

Shadows of the past

"The Blind Man's Garden" is the fourth novel to be published by the British–Pakistani author Nadeem Aslam. In this book, he returns to the days, weeks and months immediately following 9/11 and relates them from the perspective of a Pakistani family that is subsequently drawn into the ensuing war in Afghanistan. Claudia Kramatschek spoke to Aslam about his new novelMore

An election helper empties a ballot box after the Afghan presidential election (photo: Reuters)

Presidential election in Afghanistan

Defying the Taliban

Last Saturday, around 12 million Afghans were called upon to vote for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Although the Taliban warned that numerous attacks would take place on voting day, large numbers of Afghans refused to be deterred. Details from Emran Feroz in KabulMore

An election poster in Afghanistan (photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with Afghanistan expert Thomas Ruttig

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"The violence threshold is low"

Having already served two terms, Afghan President Hamid Karzai cannot run for president in the election in early April. The end of his twelve years in office marks the end of an era for the country. Ulrich von Schwerin spoke to Thomas Ruttig of the "Afghanistan Analysts Network" about the political situation in Afghanistan after over a decade of KarzaiMore

Women in the Afghan parliament in 2013 (photo: picture alliance/dpa)

Women's rights in Afghanistan

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New Afghan law curtails women's rights

A new law in Afghanistan makes it virtually impossible to prosecute domestic violence against women. Human rights organisations have criticised the law as a massive blow to women's rights in the country. By Waslat Hasrat-NazimiMore

A Persian "Haft Sin" table featuring seven foods and objects all beginning with the letter "s" (photo: Imago/UPI Photo)

Nowruz: one of the world's oldest festivals

"My paleness is yours, your colour is mine!"

The Iranian New Year celebration "Nowruz" has been a feature of Persian culture for more than 2,500 years. The roots of this festival lie in the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Today, more than 300 million people all over the world celebrate Nowruz. Shohreh Karimian looks back at the history of this new year celebration and explains some of its customsMore

Imran Khan attends the unveiling of his party's manifesto for the 2013 general election, Islamabad, 9 April 2013 (photo: Aamir QureshiAFP/Getty Images)

Portrait of Pakistani politician Imran Khan

Flirting with the Taliban

For several years now, support for cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has been growing in Pakistan. Nevertheless, opinion about one of the country's greatest sporting heroes is still divided. His supporters point to the progress made in the province ruled by his Movement for Justice Party, while liberal Pakistanis have criticised his opposition to military operations against the Taliban. By Shamil ShamsMore

Studentinnen der Universität Kabul in der Uni-Bibliothek; Foto:DW

Higher Education in Afghanistan

Education for Progress in Afghanistan

The Afghan higher education system has undergone considerable improvement since the end of the Taliban regime in 2001. German scholarships aim to promote and continue this development. Background information from Waslat Hasrat-NazimiMore

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