My latest article has been published by Your Middle East and examines the implications of the Iran nuclear deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for the region of Central Asia. I argue in favor of the deal finding that its implementation has the added benefit of salvaging US strategy in Afghanistan. http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/opinion/the-iran-deal-from-an-afghanamerican-perspective_34574
Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” I was witnessed to the truth of this statement this past weekend at the very first Afghan-American Conference at UC Berkeley. While I don’t know what changes we’ll see in the future, I am certain that something has started.
The death of Farkhunda was a shock to all of us. The international community and Afghans were horrified by what happened to her. The question of why it happened and what this means for Afghanistan is something that I tackle in my latest article. It’s been published by the History News Network. Give it a read and hopefully a conversation will begin to ensure no more Farkhundas happen. http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/159025
Two of my latest articles have been published. The first is on ISIS and whether calling it medieval or not was accurate. It was published at openDemocracy. You can check it out here.
The second article looks at Afghanistan’s new First Lady, Rula Ghani, and the history of Afghanistan’s courageous women that she has to live up to. It was published at the History News Network. You can check it out here.
Keep your eyes pealed for more upcoming publications!
Tuesday November 4th, Professor Arezou Azad of the University of Birmingham and the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford will be presenting a talk on sacred landscape in Afghanistan. The talk is sponsored by the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies at the University of California Irvine. Professor Azad is also the author of a book by the same name and her work focuses on Central Asia, Afghanistan, and Iran where she researches urban spaces and religion. Her book takes a close look at the famed city of Balkh, a cultural epicenter of poetry, religion, and beauty, not to mention the home city of Rumi. Her talk at UCI is not one to miss! It’s open to the public so come by.
Afghans defied threats of violence and all odds to cast their ballots for president in April. Though initially, results favored candidate Abdullah Abdullah, a former Foreign Minister, it was not enough to avoid a runoff. The runoff began in June with early reports favoring candidate Ashraf Ghani, the former Finance Minister. That was when it all fell apart. Both camps began to accuse one another of fraud and there were demands for a recount and even the threat of forming separate governments. The situation has been in deadlock until this past week.
The History News Network has published my latest article analyzing the ongoing presidential elections in Afghanistan. I examine the parallels between the current political climate in Afghanistan alongside its previous attempt at democracy under Daoud Khan. The article examines the fundamental structural problems that any newly elected president will face in Afghanistan while exploring the difficulties and ruptures in political power and sovereignty. Be sure to check it out: http://hnn.us/article/155183
Back in May, Kofi Annan presented at the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership at UCLA. The format involved 30 minutes of speech followed by 30 minutes of questions moderated by journalist Laura Ling, herself a UCLA alumni. The lecture was informative, interesting, and highlighted his experience at the United Nations and his hopes for the future.
The United Afghan Club of UCLA is throwing their annual Rebuilding Afghanistan Banquet tonight. Dedicated to helping fund humanitarian projects aimed at rebuilding the infrastructure of Afghanistan and aiding the most vulnerable in society, the UAC works closely with non-profit charitable organizations to help raise money for those in need. Their past endeavors have included the building of wells, the funding of schools, and other noble acts.