The BBC country profiles provide information on a country's
history, politics and economic background. The Afghanistan
profile contains a brief account of the country's recent
history -- its role during the Cold War, the rise and
fall of the Taliban, and the recent war. Visitors will
find useful links, including one to a historic timeline
that covers from 1919 to the present and another to a
BBC profile of the country's current leader, Hamid Karzai.
The CIA World Factbook is updated annually but contains
selected information added throughout the year. The Afghanistan
page contains detailed geographic and demographic information
on the country.
The library of the University of Texas at Austin provides
an assortment of maps of Afghanistan, its regions and
its cities. Particularly useful are the thematic maps,
both the library's and the sites reached by links. The
thematic maps show the country's ethnic structure geographically,
areas of land mines, the location of refugee camps and
opium poppy fields, and more.
This site offers a brief chronological history of Afghanistan,
from the Persian conquest in 500 b.c. to the December
2001 inauguration of Karzai's cabinet.
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Chayes on Now with Bill Moyers
Sarah Chayes was featured on Now
with Bill Moyers on October 24. She spoke with co-host
David Brancacci about the current situation in Afghanistan
and the remaining challenges for Afghan women. The site
contains the interview transcript and a brief biography
of Sarah Chayes.
Chayes and Afghan Independent Radio"
This is Sarah Chayes's account of how she established
Afghan Independent Radio, the country's first indigenous
nonprofit radio station. Despite difficulty logging on
to the Internet, Chayes continues to update this site
with the latest developments at the radio station and
beautiful photos from the field. Readers can post questions
or comments and engage in a forum-style conversation with
This photo gallery of life in Afghanistan was produced
by WBUR in Boston. It includes photos taken by Sarah Chayes
of her home in Kandahar, photos of scenes from Akokalacha,
the village in the film that her organization is helping
rebuild, and many more.
for Civil Society
Founded by Qayum Karzai, the brother of President Hamid
Karzai, Afghans for Civil Society aims at fostering "a
society based on the rule of law, where participation
by ordinary citizens, including women, can have an effect."
Current projects include rebuilding war-damaged houses
and historical sites and developing sister-school projects
between Afghan and American schools. Sarah Chayes is the
organization's Kandahar field director.
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A Return to Warlordism?"
This 2002 report from the Center for Defense Information's
Terrorism Project identifies the various factions and
warlords that control different parts of Afghanistan,
with maps marking their spheres of power.
Business in Afghanistan: Warlordism, Reconstruction and
This report by the United States Institute of Peace, a
nonpartisan federal think tank, concludes that a complex
ethnic structure, a weak central government, fading international
attention and U.S. policies on Afghanistan, past and present,
contribute to the continued chaotic scrambles between
You Is a Very Easy Thing for Us: Human Rights Abuses in
This July 2003 Human Rights Watch publication reports
that warlords and political strongmen supported by the
United States and other countries are committing human
rights abuses throughout Afghanistan, especially in the
southeast. According to the report, army, police and armed
factional forces resort to kidnapping, extortion, robbery,
sexual assaults against women and girls, and political
intimidation. A brief summary of the report can be found
Other Human Rights Watch documents on Afghanistan are
Risks the Return of Warlord Rule"
New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall writes in
June 2003 that "for Afghanistan, one key to establishing
order is the disarmament of factional armies around the
country." The country, says Gall, runs a high risk of
sliding back into the quagmire of warlordism. (Registration required)
Warlordism Proliferates, Threatening Security and Reconstruction"
This report by Ron Synovitz appeared in the July 25, 2002,
issue of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Inc.'s Afghanistan
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Afghan Media and News
Note: Probably as a result of years
of armed conflicts, poor infrastructure and repressive
rule, indigenous Afghan online news providers are extremely
rare. The news sites given below are mostly based overseas
and run by Afghan exiles or foreigners.
This site is run by a group of Afghan students based in
the Netherlands. It includes up-to-date news reports about
Afghanistan by major news agencies.
This nonprofit Internet radio station based in Toronto
declares itself to be neutral on political, religious
and ideological issues and focuses instead on traditional
The Afghanistan channel of the international online news
News Network offers breaking news.
This is an Afghan-related news site run by a group of
Belgium-based students, mostly Afghan and French. The
site also has French- and German-language versions.
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