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Max Forte's List: Blogs by Aid Workers, NGO staff, and independent reporters in Afghanistan

    • As a group of fifteen national and international organizations focused on alleviating poverty, addressing humanitarian needs and helping individuals to access their basic rights, we are deeply concerned about the challenges facing many Afghans.
    • While the recent electoral process was deeply flawed, the situation is critical and demands urgent action from the Afghan government and other key stakeholders.

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  • Oct 16, 09


    Rud means river in Dari. The hari rud flows from the Hindu Kush mountains in central Afghanistan westwards through the provinces of Ghor and Herat into the deserts of Turkmenistan. Harry Rud (you see what I did there?) spends much of his time wondering along its banks, contemplating its flow and occasionally drinking from it and getting dysentery.

    For the time being at least I intend to keep this blog anonymous and so am carefully disguising myself underwater. Not that I’ve got anything to hide of course. I am a European migrant worker in Afghanistan, working for a non-governmental organisation. And I like water. I have been in landlocked Afghanistan since July 2007. For the last five months I’ve been keeping a diary but have now, for reasons I can’t quite fathom, decided to go on-line. Let us hope my writing here proves more interesting then my scribbled diary entries.

    If you so wish, and please do feel free, you can email me at: harryrud [at] gmail dot com. Or brighten up my day and leave a comment somewhere around here.

    For the sake of form I should also add that the views expressed here are not those of any organisation I may or may not be associated with in any way, and are the products of my own deranged thoughts alone. Or possibly those of lizards.

  • Oct 16, 09


    Aspiring world traveler and humanitarian aid worker in training. About to embark on an adventure to Central Asia to volunteer with a local Tajik NGO. Excited, terrified and continuously caught off guard by life’s surprises.

  • Oct 16, 09

    Not an aid worker, but rather a PhD researcher. Added here just for the time being.


    My name is Christian Bleuer. I am in the research phase of my PhD. I will write here about various issues in Afghanistan and Central Asia: politics, culture, society, reconstruction and conflict.

    I am a PhD student at The Australian National University’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (The Middle East and Central Asia). I received my MA from Indiana University’s Central Eurasian Studies Department.

    This is my contact info: tenny77 at

    My hometown is Pemberton, British Columbia. It is a small agricultural, forestry and tourist town surrounded by the territory of the Lil’wat Nation and neighboring Xit’olacw. I have not lived in Canada for about ten years now, so don’t ask me about Canadian politics as I am really out of touch.

    My academic work focuses on rural and peripheral social, political and military dynamics in Afghanistan and Southern Central Asia. Of particular interest to me are local solidarity groups, identity and loyalty, especially how these factors affect survival strategies during conflict and competition. At the moment I am finding anthropological writings to be quite useful. But I steal liberally from most of the social sciences and humanities.

    I have studied Uzbek, Kazakh, Tajiki and Russian during my time at Indiana University and I highly recommend their intensive summer language program (which includes Pashto). I am currently studying Farsi.

    I am also the creator/editor of The Afghanistan Analyst, an online research portal for Afghanistan (which has a Facebook page here.)

    You can read my CT Lab articles on Afghanistan here.

    I will never blog about anything based on personal contacts without explicit permission from that person, except for the occasional broad, vague and untraceable anecdote from anonymous Afghan friends (this anecdote, for example). Everything here is open-source information. I will also likely not discuss my case studies here to any serious degree. My views are my

  • Oct 16, 09

    Also not an aid worker blog, just here for the time being.


    Exploring the Heart of Asia was created by three bloggers who dedicate their online writings to Afghanistan: Safrang, Home in Kabul and Afghanistanica. All three of us have increasingly busy lives outside of blogging and it was decided that we should put our time and creative effort into a single project rather than continuing to maintain our three separate blogs. Thus, Exploring the Heart of Asia was born.

    About Home in Kabul

    I was born in Afghanistan but left at a very young age. So young that I speak Dari with a distinct American accent. And yes, you may read the word y’all in my posts. I come by it honestly. Like all good refugee children, I harbored dreams to return to Afghanistan ‘to help fix my country’. I returned for the first time in 23 years in January 2003. That January, it snowed for the first time in five years and the Afghanistan of my imagination became a reality. It was a dustier and less idyllic reality, but much more interesting. I’ve gone back and forth countless times since then and Afghanistan is just as captivating as that first grey winter day when I shakily stepped down off of the Ariana Airplane and onto the Kabul Airport’s cracked & tattered tarmac.

    I used to blog at Home In Kabul, and still do sporadically. If you need to contact me, email homeinkabul at g mail dot com.

    About Safrang

    I was born and brought up in Afghanistan and schooled in 9 different locations stretching from Jaghori to Kentucky. A student until recently, I currently work in development at the same time as scheming about how best to return to the student life.
    Of the triumvirate that rules over the Heart of Asia and that stretches along the spectrum from the Afghan to the hyphenated Afghan-American (home in kabul) in between and finally to the Khareji (afghanistanica), I would be the Afghan.
    I maintain two blogs, ‘Safrang: a blog about Afghanistan and the inexorable march of history’ and ‘Hamesha: an exploration of the dionysian’ -a virtual reposi

  • Oct 16, 09

    Listing of posts from blogs of aid workers everywhere, some in Afghanistan

    • A unique resource for a unique context, The A to Z Guide to Afghanistan Assistance aims to enhance understanding of the dizzying array of actors, structures and government processes related to aid and reconstruction efforts in the country. The 2009 (seventh) edition is now available—in hard copy at the AREU office in Kabul or for download from The A to Z Guide page of this website.


      The A to Z Guide provides an extensive glossary of assist­ance terms, an overview of Afghanistan’s system of government, a series of country and city maps, key primary documents, and an extensive contact directory that includes government agencies, NGOs, donors and international actors.


      The guide, which is AREU’s flagship publication, has been updated annually since its first edition in 2002. It is also published in Dari and Pashto.


      The information presented in the guide relies on the voluntary contribution of agencies and organisations, and the situation in Afghanistan can change rapidly. Users of the guide are encouraged to contact AREU with suggestions for additions, corrections or improvements by emailing   <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript">  <!--  var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to';  var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '=';  var addy74452 = 'publications' + '@';  addy74452 = addy74452 + 'areu' + '.' + 'org' + '.' + 'af';  var addy_text74452 = 'publications' + '@' + 'areu' + '.' + 'org' + '.' + 'af';  document.write( '<a ' + path + '\'' + prefix + ':' + addy74452 + '\'>' );  document.write( addy_text74452 );  document.write( '<\/a>' );  //-->  </script><script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript">  <!--  document.write( '<span style=\'display: none;\'>' );  //-->  </script>This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  <script type="text/javascript" language="JavaScript">  <!--  document.write( '</' );  document.write( 'span>' );  //-->  </script>.

  • Oct 21, 09

    Alex Strick van Linschoten - a war reporter on the road
    Alex Strick van Linschoten is travelling in Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and the north Caucasus over the next 4 years for a book on sufism. He lives in Kandahar, but moves around a lot.

    • Canada’s role in Gadhafi’s fall


      NATO’s bombing of Libya was based on a doctrine championed by Ottawa to protect civilians.

    • By:    Olivia Ward    Foreign Affairs Reporter,      Published on Sat Oct 22 2011

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