Feb 24, 2008

imagine art after: afghanistan dialogue

Imagine art after was a project uniting artists who originate from the same country but who are now geographically and politically separated. The project brought together seven artists who left home and now live in London, and seven who remained in the country of their birth: the artist who left, and the artist who stayed. The aim of the project is to open lines of communication where they would otherwise not exist, enabling artists to exchange ideas and work, and also to discuss their experiences in a online forum.

The artists taking part come from countries whose people, according to the Home Office, make an unusually high number of applications for asylum in the UK, among them Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Serbia and Nigeria. As well as their work being exhibited online, each artist will take part in a dialogue with their partner for six weeks.

By communicating about their experience in two very different societies, it's hoped that the artists' conversations with each other will lend insight into how life and art interrelate, and how identity is shaped by notions of belonging.


Feb 17, 2008

journalist fine is linked to the culturolanguage debate

Three Afghan journalists working for government-owned media have been fined for using words not approved by cultural policy. A reporter and two of his superiors were fined for using three words from Persian, as used in Iran, instead of their local equivalent derived from Pashtu -- the language of the Afghan majority. Afghanistan's official languages are Dari-Farsi and Pashtu, both members of indo-persian languages, a subclass of indo-european languages. Pashtu has dominated Dari in the last two centuries in Afghanistan. The Pashtun rulers and Kings pursued a cultural policy of Pashtuization, changing names of location, people and objects into Pashto from Dari.

The reporter fined used three words for "university", "students" and "certificate", in a report from Persian spoken in Iran. Many Dari scholars in Afghanistan would argue that reference should be made to language history and indeed the original Persian words are not used in Afghanistan because of Pashtu influence. The governments in the past only introduced a Pashtu word for the above three and promoted its use in Dari too. The influence of Pashtu on Dari is tremendous and vice versa. there are many Dari words in Afghan Pashtu while they have an English or Hindi equivalent in Pakistani Pashtu. The two languages of Afghanistan are very close to each other and the government policy has been to identify both particular to Afghanistan and set some peculiarities to separate them from the same languages spoken in the region. The origin of Dari debate has heated up lately, new media outlets have mushroomed across the country and each pursue different language policy over which the government has no control. Popular stations like Tolo uses the Dari as it is spoken in Iran and it seem to enjoy a lot of popularity. Government officials have not spoken against this because they don’t have a policy guidelines. However, unofficially they have condemned the new approach Dari. In an unofficial gathering Jabar Sabit, Afghan General Attorney, was arguing that the Dari language in Afghanistan is not only similar in words with the one spoken in Iran but there are structural differences. This is clearly a prove of General Attorney’s ignorance but it does show that senior officials in Karzai government pursue the old policy and Karzai seem to appoint more of them and tacitly support the implicit policy. more...

Feb 14, 2008

The first Afghan Penlog blogging workshop in Kabul

The Afghan Penlog will launch its first blogging workshop in Kabul very soon.
Cultural developments and increasing digital media are the goals of this workshop. The first blogging workshop will take place for students and bloggers in Kabul. Afghan Penlog also decided to launch its workshops to other provinces like Jalalabad, Kandahar, Heart, Ghazni and other parts of the country will be the next steps.

Afghan Pen Log is calling all cultural activists and friends for making donations to reach the goal of blogs development because this Afghan Penlog does not get any financial support from anywhere. We are calling our friends in abroad or in Afghanistan to join us for this important matter with making their donations.
Pen Blog will publish the donor's names on its website and will give them the whole details of its activities and costs.

Buying a generator and paying the cost of Internet is the most prominent need for us now.
We don't have money to pay the rent of computer lab for this purpose. But we probably will be able to run the workshop in Payam-e-Noor, a private educational centre located in Karte-Chahar Kabul. We still need some money to pay to manager of this organization for this purpose.
We were planning to buy a computer and an Internet line from Afghan Telecom but we could not reach our goal because of not being able to get any donation and our voice broke in our Throat.

Please open the attachment and fill out the form and return to us. You can also read the Dari version of this announcement here if you have problem in opening the attachment you can download the form from this link:

For more information please contact us at:

Nasim Fekrat

Afghan Association Blog Writers
Kabul, Afghanistan

Feb 10, 2008

the Kite runner was banned: it tell us a lot about afghan government

Ministry of information and culture has banned the import and exhibition of The Kite Runner on the fear of social consequences. The film is based on the novel by Khalid Husseini about the troubled friendship of two Afghan boys. The kite runner offers an image of Afghanistan before the wars and has a personal touch of the friendship between Amir, the son of a wealthy Pashtun, and Hassan, the Hazara son of Amir’s father’s servant. although, the kite runner is not much different than most other stories about Afghanistan. It’s about hardship and difficulties, it builds on the foundation that any afghan story could only be told by pain and disaster. But kite runner is different than most other popular stories about Afghanistan, it has a personal touch and it tells the story of fun and joy. more...

kill the journalist to undermine the media

The key justification of western and their military wing, NATO, presence in Afghanistan is bringing democracy. Neither Afghans nor westerners believe in hunting down 9/11 suspects anyore but rather saving Karzai from definite collapse in the hands of Taliban and their alikes nesting inside the regime.

The story of Parvez Kambaskhsh reminds us where Afghanistan is actually standing. Parviz a 23 years old journalist was detained three months ago. The allegations are downloading an article written by an Iranian scholar that allegedly contains Anti Islamic sentiments. the accused was sentenced to death by hanging by primary court of Balkh. more...

Afghan Film Festival in Edinburgh

There is going to be an afghan film festival in Edinburgh toward the end of February, the aim is to show a new face of Afghanistan. One which has not been familiar to UK audience, the idea is to bring creativity and fun from Afghanistan. But I don’t see anything creative when I look at the festival program. It’s the same old boring stuff. Taliban, Osama, Kandahar, misery and various stories of a haunted nation. Why should osama or Kandahar always represent Afghanistan. Even if we try to show another face. It’s because the festival organisers didn’t know how to look behind barmak and Rahimi to find new faces of Afghanistan. more...

Feb 7, 2008

Afghan Journalist Missing Found Safe

Afghan Association Blog Writers was informed by Reporters Without Border by e-mail that Basir Ahang is safe and he is in Italy right now. Afghan Penlog have also contacted people who know Basir, through his friends we found his family who are living in the west part of Kabul. Today we called to his parents and asked them about their son Basir, they assured me that Basir is safe and living in Italy.

Basir Ahang was working as freelance correspondent for a local channel Radio "Farda" and at the same time he was working as freelance journalist with the weekly "Namah" and the La Repubblica.

“Basir was severely depressed and he was always feeling fears when he returned back to his country from Iran. My son was received several threats from unknown addresses” his father said to Afghan Penlog.
"Before he come to work in media he was working with the US special forces in Kandahar in the southern region. He stopped working when his colleagues have been killed by Taliban and he came to continue his studying. In the mean time he started working with local media". His father added.

This a good news for journalists and Afghan Association Blog Writers which was already expressed its deep concerns towards his safety. There is also a good news about Mr. Parwiz Kambakhsh that he will be released soon.