I left Kabul mid December for an extended vacation back home in the United States. In between catching up with old friends, adding someone new and wonderful to my life, hugging my little sisters until they begged for mercy, attending an aidbloggers party in Washington, DC and a Balkan music festival in Brooklyn, giving a talk at my old school and working on a report for my job in Kabul, I’ve also tried to be a better blogger for UN Dispatch, my unfailingly patient and understanding second employer. That is to say, I’ve tried to be a blogger who doesn’t go weeks or even months between posts.
Two of my recent pieces (also linked in my RSS feed to the right):
A Taliban Reversal on Girls’ Education? Not So Fast.
Afghan education minister Farooq Wardak’s announcement that the Taliban no longer oppose girls’ education has been met with cheers internationally. Grouchy kill-joy than I am, I give a few reasons why these celebrations are premature, and perhaps even ill-advised.
In this long-than-usual analysis piece, I examine some of the challenges and dilemmas any future talks with the Taliban will pose, and argue for greater inclusion of Afghan civil society in peacemaking efforts.