MISSION AFGHANISTAN | A Documentary about Sikhs in Afghanistan.
A young adventurous Afghan Sikh, Pritpal Singh, who had left Afghanistan 2 decades ago, set out from the UK to document the suffering of fellow Afghan Sikhs and Hindus communities in Afghanistan. The film “MISSION AFGHANISTAN” portrays the life and hardships of minorities in War-torn Afghanistan.”
Afghan traditional songs:
Sorry for the late reply. I searched but could not find proper links to traditional songs, so i did not have enough to time upload before. I’ve uploaded some of the songs i had to my soundcloud account. You can download aswell.
These are some of my favorite traditional Attan songs. I hope everyone gives them a try; they are beautiful, makes you want to perform Attan.
Shin Ghoti Lawango
De Paktiawalo Attan
Rawali Janan me
Sherena yara dar jagameka
Zaar La mashomtoba
Tora da Jilkay
Ethnic Groups of Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a loosily knit conglomeration of number of ethnic groups, chief of whom are Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras. These ehtnic groups have obvious dissimilarity, despite collectively residing in the region for hundreds of years. These ethnic groups of Afghanistan have their own way of living, defined by unwritten code.
Ethnic Groups Population Ratio
Pashtun 42-60%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%
Mainstream Ethnic Groups
Pashtuns or Pakhtuns or Pathans or Afghans are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. They constitute about two-fifth of Afghan population. Pashtoons can be further segregated into tribes, most famous among whom are Durrani and Ghilzai. Other major tribes are Wardak, Jaji, Tani, Jadran, Mangal, Khugiani, Safi, Mohmand and Shinwari etc. They can be easily recognised from other Afghan ethnic groups, due to their Pashto language and peculiar way of living, called Pashtunwali.
Homeland of Pashtuns lies south of the Hindu Kush, but Pashtun groups are scattered all over the country. Most Pashtuns work in farmlands to earn their livelihood. Many of them live nomadic lifestyle too. These nomads live in tents made of black goat hair.
Tajiks or Tadzhiks constitute the second largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. Populating around 4.5 million in early 1995, by the early 21st century they constituted about 1/5 of the population. They live in the Panjsher Valley north of Kabul and in the northern and northeastern provinces of Parwan, Takhar, Badakhshan, and also Baghlan and Samangan. Few Tajik people extend into the central mountains. Most Tajiks speak Dari Persian language.
Tajik community is not divided into tribes. In Afghanistan, the Tajiks do not organize themselves by tribes like Pashtuns instead they refer to themselves by the region, province, city, town, or village they are from; such as Badakhshi, Baghlani, Mazari, Panjsheri, Kabuli, Herati, Kohistani etc. For earning livelihood, Tajiks do sedentary mountain farming and sheep/goat herding. Tajiks grow variety of fine fruits and nuts.
Central regions of Afghanistan, known as Hazarat, are inhabited by the Hazaras. Good number of Hazaras also dwell in Badakhshan. Most of them are farmers and shepherds. Most Hazaras are the followers of the Shia sect of Islam. The Hazaras have their ancestors in Xinjiang region of north-western China. For a long time, the Hazaras were a neglected lot. However, they are now trying to get rid of their inferior status. Hazaras living in Afghanistan were estimated in 1995 at about one million and now Their population is estimated to be 1.5 to 3 million.
Uzbeks living in Afghanistan were estimated in the 1990s at approximately 1.3 million but are now believed to be 2 million. They live all across the northern areas of Afghanistan, mixed with Tajik population. The Uzbeks are the followers of Sunni sect of Islam and speak central Turkic dialects like Uzbeki. Most Uzbeks earn livelihood by farming and herding. However, several Uzbeks have become successful businessmen and skilled artisans. Uzbek social structure is patriarchal and leaders having the title beg, arbab or khan enjoy considerable power. The Uzbeks have no hesitation marrying with Uzbek and Tajik, but are averse to nuptial relations with Pushtuns.
Turkmens dwell along the southern side of Amu Darya. Most Turkmens are nomadic poeple who herd yaks. Turkmens speak both archaic form of Turkish and Persian. Many nomadic Turkmens still live in dome-shaped tents based on wooden frames. Men wear coats with long sleeves, while women also wear long dresses to cover their hands in cold weather.
The Nuristanis live in eastern Afghanistan bordering Pakistan. The region is so densily forested and rugged that it can be reached only by foot. They speak various dialects of Nuristani and Dardic. Usually, the Nuristanis are farmers, mountain herders and farmers. However, many of them have earned respectable place in the social order by getting into the army.
Baluchs in Afghanistan live in thinly populated deserts and semi-deserts of Helmand Province. Few Baluch enclaves can also be found in Faryab province. Number of Baluchs in Afghanistan is estimated around 100,000 in 90’s. Most people of Baluch ethnicity live in Pakistan and Iran. Most Baluchis can speak and understand Baluchi, Dari and Pashto. Chiefs of Baluch society are called sardars.
Other Ethnic Groups
Aimaqs live among nontribal people in the western regions of Badghis, Ghor and Herat provinces. They are Sunni Muslims and speak dialects resembling Dari. Several Arab enclaves can also be found in north-western Afghanistan. They are pastoralists who rear sheep and grow cotton and wheat. They speak not Arabic but Dari and Uzbeki. The Qizilbash are scattered all over Afghanistan. Traditionally, they have been holding administrative and professional positions. Sunni Brahui is a group living in the desert regions of south-western Afghanistan. Low in social heirarchy, they work as tenant farmers and hired herders for Baluch or Pashtun chieftains. The Wakhis live in small, remote hamlets in lower areas of Wakhan corridor and upper Badakhshan. The Farsiwans live near the Iran border or in some districts of Kandahar, Herat and Ghazni provinces. They are Dari-speaking agriculturalists.
Hindu-Sikh population in Afghanistan in 1990 was approximate 30,000. Under the reigns of Taliban, the Hindus were forced to wear yellow badges to identify themselves. Continuous violence caused rapid decline in Hindu-Sikh population.
Here is a link to a good BBC key map, it furthur illustrates the geographical locations of the ethnicities.
Afghan men Portraits.
Glimps of Afghan’s daily life.
Funds for Afghan children School & winter supplies.
Please donate for Afghan children in need. Afghanistan’s population of 31 million consist of more than 50% of children under the age of 15. For almost 30 years Afghan children have been affected by conflict. Only half of children are in school today, many work in the streets or in fields and homes to support their families. Children in Afghanistan face one of the worst chances of survival of anywhere in the world. Most of the families are displaced to more safer places because of the war in their regions, so they live in tents which can not keep them warm in winters resulting in family members dieing in, specially the young children and the elderly. One in four children dies before their fifth birthday, most of them from preventable diseases and malnutrition.
Me and my team travel to Afghanistan every year for 3 to 4 months. I will personally make sure your donations reach the children of Afghanistan in form of Winter clothing from blankets to coats and shoes to keep them warm. As simple this might seam to you, The lack of these simple things such as blankets and coats or shoes are often the cause of death for more than 20 afghan children annually. The donations will also be used to provide them with school supplies to help give chances of better education to afghan children.
Most of the schools are free, Afghan children thus have a chance to go to school but a lot of Afghan children come from poor families, barely able to put food on the table 2 times a day. Buying school supplies is therefore not considered necessity as they cant even provide proper food for their children. The lack of Books, pens, bags and notebooks causes discouragement even if the education was free. Providing these to the Afghan children will help children study better with more enthusiasm and therefore be more successful. These young children are the future of this country. You can help build it even if you are far away. There is an afghan proverb that says, drop and drops forms a river.
The goal is to collect 5000$ to cover more than one city from Ghazni to Qarabagh so on. Basic School and Winter necessities will be bought and distributed to Children only.
School supplies include >
- Back packs and pencil box to keep their books and notebooks and stationery in.
- Necessary pen, pencils and colors, rubbers, sharpeners etc.
Winter supplies include >
- Sweaters jackets
- Shoes for girls and boys
- Socks and hand warmers
Even if you help just one child that is a great accomplishment.
So please click through the picture to donate, or click this link. Share and spread the news in your tumblrs, facebooks, twitters. This is also a form of help by letting people know about this.
Please help this great cause if you can. It is not getting as much attention as it deserves. If you can’t donate, please reblog or share with your friends so others that may be able to will see.
AFGHANS UNITE FOR THE GAME OF SOCCER.
For the first time ever, soccer fans had the opportunity to watch a final match of the Afghan Premier League (APL). Two teams from different regions of the country met at Kabul’s Ghazi Stadium on Friday, October 19, to have it out on the pitch. The excitement grew as players from undefeated Toofan Harirod from the western city of Herat trotted out onto the pitch for their standoff with opponents Simorgh Alborz from northern Mazar-i-Sharif.
A large number of women were in the stands to cheer on their teams. Under the Taliban, Ghazi Stadium was only used as an execution grounds. Now, men and women can watch sporting events there together. Over 5,000 fans turned up at the stadium in kabul; so many, in fact, that the gates had to be closed. For better part of the audience, The game was a much needed distraction from the drabness of everyday life.
Despite the fact that the fans were from all over Afghanistan, all were united in the spirit of soccer. They all rooted for one team: Afghanistan.
Author: Waslat Hasrat-Nazimi / sb | Editor : Gregg Benzow
Kabul October 20, 2012 - Currency exchanger near the Old City
TEDx Tries To Bring Digital Age To Kabul
Looking to bring the modern age of ideas to Afghanistan, TED has come to Kabul.
TED, short for Technology, Entertainment, Design, is a nonprofit organization that has devoted itself to fostering “Ideas Worth Spreading.” It does so through conventional conferences, and “conversations” live-streamed via the Internet.
On October 11, in the Afghan capital, TEDxKabul undertook the ambitious task of hosting one of the interactive, digitally supported events in Kabul.
The one-day event, meant to highlight unreported stories of successful Afghan entrepreneurs and innovators, was marred from the onset by technical failures and fears over security. As a result of a weak Internet connection, the live-stream of the event was abandoned. And the security concerns led to confusion as to who, exactly, would participate, with organizers naming the speakers only as the event began.
But in the end, the show went on. Some 15 speakers, many of them Afghans, gave talks, performances, launched products, and held exhibitions. The speakers included internationally famous and little-known human rights advocates, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, educators, frontline medical workers, teachers, athletes, and journalists.
Abuse in the classroom.
When you interview university students in Afghanistan, you can hardly find anyone who denies sexual harassment in the universities there. Professors teaching at the university are largely responsible for this abuse. You could get full marks or no marks in your exams; it simply depends on how you behave with them. Beautiful and stylish young girls are easy prey.
Women are not completely safe from sexual harassment anywhere in the world, but in Afghanistan, this subject almost never appears in the media. I have interviewed a number of graduate students in Afghan universities- they had different opinions about this matter, but all of them accepted it and related their experiences about the situations they faced.
Fari has bad memories of sexual harassment at the university. She told me, “It is 100% accurate; I myself faced it when I was in the first year of university. I failed in a subject where the teacher put forward some unreasonable demands.”
Sharif Aria, another student says, “We do not like this behavior from our teachers, but all of them are not like that. Some teachers are like spiritual fathers. We live in a society where such treatment is part of the culture and when they get a position of authority, they start abusing it. Since the law is not enforced by the government, we can hardly find a way to stop these people.”
At the same time, the conservative tradition does not allow the girls to talk openly about such issues. For instance, a girl studying at a university in Kabul spoke about how her professor was harassing and teasing her, but she had to leave the university because people made her the subject of their gossip. The professor continues to teach and probably harass other girls.
Haris Jebaran, a university graduate, says,” When I was a university student, some professors even discriminated while they were teaching and tried to favour the girls, expressing a false kindness. But I want to be honest and say that some girls welcome such attitude.” Bunyadullah Mushakhas, another student says he has seen a lot of cases, but doesn’t want to expose anyone, “A number of girls came to me and asked for help. I defended them as much as I could. We are her to struggle.”
A university is a place to learn and it is very shameful for those teachers who still do not know how to treat with their students and how to create a friendly atmosphere where learning takes place.
Author: Marina Zaffari