Category Archives: Afghanistan

Personal Reflections on Kunduz and the Bombing of the MSF Hospital

When I heard Kunduz, a major city in the north of Afghanistan, had been overtaken by the Taliban, I was shocked. The shock did not stem from surprise, or a disbelief that Talib fighters might be capable of such a victory, despite the psychological impact, the possible loss of morale, that the takeover led to. Kunduz had long been the most problematic city in the north of the country. A mix of ethnicities, interwoven with vying political factions, meant that the Taliban were able to take advantage while the city was essentially mismanaged. Continue reading Personal Reflections on Kunduz and the Bombing of the MSF Hospital

Mother of Cities: The Oxford Balkh History Project

As we fully enter the conference season, many will be reminded that a “panel” implies varying degrees of cohesion between the different speakers.  Conference-goers who attended “Balkh: Transformation of a Sacred City in the Early Islamic Era” at the recent ASPS conference in Sarajevo from September 1-6 witnessed a panel in which all of the speakers had been working together for over two years using entirely different sources in different languages to address a common set of research problems related to the city of Balkh in northern Afghanistan.  Continue reading Mother of Cities: The Oxford Balkh History Project