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Afghan Authorities Respond to Taliban...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Chinar Media
21 Jun 2015

Afghan security forces and emergency responders secure the area around the Afghan Parliament in Kabul where the Taliban carried out a coordinated attack.

Militants detonated a car bomb outside the gates in order to storm the compound and gain access to one of the administrative buildings beside the chamber. A fierce firefight ensued between police and Taliban fighters.

The Taliban say the planned the attack to coincide with the vote to endorse Afghanistan's new defense minister.

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Italian Troops Patrolling Kabul Outsk...
Moussa District, Kabul
By Martin Jay
02 Apr 2015

Italian troops patrolling Moussa district near Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2008. The Italian military was part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by NATO.

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The Hippie trail 40 years later: Esta...
Kabul
By Lola García-Ajofrín
26 Mar 2015

A woman in niqab carring a bag of oranges crosses a street lightly in the district of Sultanahmet in Istanbul next to tourist in jeans shorts and tank top, at the time people are called to pray. The canticles of the mosques strategically placed rastles a flock of doves. Probably Ka, the protagonist of “Snow” by Pamuk, have already written a poem.

There in Divan Yolu street, where for most of the trip ends today, in the 60s and 70s, the adventure of some long-haired young guys started. The beginning was Lale restaurants, that nobody knew for its name, only for their delicious pudding. So if somebody wanted to see the world should ask for the pudding shop.

 The “world” meant “beyond Europe”. In the Shah's Iran and Afghanistan of miniskirts. That country of “camel caravan”s that “was also a land of elephants” through Silk Road crossed and whose mountains sheltered bandits and smugglers,” describes Spanish writer Ana M. Briongos in her book 'A Winter in Kandahar '. Briongos, now 68, was one of those lon-haired Europeans who in the 60s and 70s visited Iran and Afghanistan. A trip from Europe to Asia, which usually was born in Turkey, passing through Iran and Afghanistan and sometimes even continued by Pakistan and India. They called it the 'Hippie train'.

From that tour the Lonely Planet guides were born. The first one (Across Asia on the Cheap) was published exactly 40 years ago (1975). We wonder how would be the “hippy trail” 40 years later and this is the result. These pictures were talking in three different trips to Istambul in Turkey (2014), Teheran and Isfahan in Iran (2014) and Kabul in Afghanistan (2012).

 

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Children's Circus Flourishes Despite ...
Kabul
By Sergey Ponomarev
10 Nov 2014

Surrounded by mountains and divided into sectors by concrete blast walls, there is a place in Kabul where you can dive into an atmosphere of colors and children’s joy. For the war-torn, landlocked Afghanistan – after more than three decades suffering from multiple invasions and religious conservatism - circus is giving Afghan youth a positive outlet: and they sure put on a show.

Vivid colors and girls singing and juggling still shocks conservative elders, but after a while their smiles give them away. Entering the door to the circus’ main center in Kabul means stepping into a world of fun and colors, where boys and girls practice together and take charge of their own learning.

The Circus was founded in 2002, less than a year after the fall of the Taliban regime, which banned music and dance. While NGOs and government programs focused on building roads, schools and basic education systems, David Mason, who was a former tango dance instructor, and his co-director Berit Muhlhausen, a former journalist, focused on introducing and developing soft values that bring children together and create joyful communities.

The first idea was an orphanage with space for creativity, but they wanted to reach as many kids as possible. A traveling circus proved an excellent opportunity. After all, circus is all about overcoming fear. It's about trust. It's based on non-verbal communication; it represents a multicultural tradition, and its purpose is to make people smile.

For the last 10 years, more than 2.7 million spectators in 25 provinces have enjoyed a performance or participated in one of the hundreds of workshops, despite the reality in Afghanistan that conservative society, especially in rural provinces of Afghanistan, doesn’t accept public arts.

“If we go to remote regions and perform in a very conservative area where mullahs will say ‘no,’ then we adjust our performance,” Berit said. “Maybe we perform without music, less joking, no signing, or we start with the prayer from the holy Quran; and then they relax and see that this is harmless and it’s not dangerous.”

Mohammed Sadat, 13, from Bamiyan dreamt to become a gymnast, and once he found a circus show in one of the schools, he joined them. In the future, he said, he sees himself in two ways: first, becoming a gymnastics coach for young kids, and second, studying and becoming an engineer to help reconstructing his country. For now, he is part of the acrobatic team that builds human pyramids during performances.

In the circus garden in Kabul, girls sing and juggle with clubs and tennis balls, while boys perform backward somersaults and cartwheels and form human pyramids. All together they stage educational performances on the importance of hygiene, school attendance, landmine awareness and malaria prevention. The main goal is to entertain and give joy to an audience of their peers from camps for internally displaced people, schools and orphanages.

Shamsot, 14, is the son of an high ranking officer in the Afghan military who chose to be a circus clown. “I’m really happy to see smiles on the faces of those poor kids,” he said. Berit and David were afraid that Shamsot’s parents wouldn’t be happy with what their son is doing, but after seeing the show they encouraged him to continue training and performing with the circus.

In its centers in Kabul and Bamiyan, and with the help of trained children in other provinces, the circus organizes festivals and joyful events each year, inspiring Afghans as well as internationals to forget the dust and the war for a while - to join the fun and smile a bit.

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Afghanistan's Shia'a Commemorate Ashoura
Kabul
By Maria de la Guardia
01 Nov 2014

Member's of Afghanistan's minority Shia'a community gather in Kabul during Ashoura to commemorate the death of Imam Hussain, a grandchild of the Prophet Mohammed, and 72 other members of the Prophet's family in the battle of Kerbala. The term 'Ashoura' means "tenth" in Arabic. It falls on the 10th day of the month of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.

During Ashoura, thousands gather in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, where they eat in open-air restaurants and take part in Muharram processions. Meanwhile, young men perform 'Zanjeer,' a form of ritual self-flagellation with sharp knives and chains, lamenting the death of Hussein. This practice has been banned in much of the Islamic world: Ali Khamenei banned the practice in Iran and Hezbollah banned it in Lebanon. However, in Iraq, Afghanistan, and parts of Pakistan and India the practice persists.

Security is at high alert as in recent years Ashoura gatherings in Afghanistan have been the target of terrorist attacks. Twin bombings during Ashoura killed 58 people in Kabul and four in Mazar-i-Sharif in 2011, apparently targeting Afghan Shai'a.

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Another Afghanistan
Kabul
By karolinasamborska
27 Sep 2014

There is always a paradox in war; that it shows us how life continues. This is a reflection, a look at Afghanistan, but not the one we already know well from war, the Taliban and women who wear the burqa. It focuses instead on the people who - in the presence of war which offers only uncertainty and violence - have the courage to live, smile and walk calmly in the streets. The photos examine how everyday life is negotiated despite major political dramas, how people manage to find everyday joy, pleasure, beauty, poetry, rap and freedom. Tired of wars, these people try to live in peace. At least they pretend to live in peace. They are born, they die, they love, windows tremble, bombs continue to explode, but children continue to go to school. Life goes on.

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Fighting continues to displaced Afgha...
Kabul
By LK
04 Jul 2014

International combat troops may be preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of the year, but the escalating insurgency continues to drive Afghans from their homes. Helmand Province has been hit hardest by the Taliban insurgency, sending thousands of families fleeing to Kabul for safety. Some find shelter, but little else, at an IDP camp on the outskirts of Kabul. Lucy Kafanov reports. NOTE: THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR SALE BUT FOR SAMPLE PURPOSES ONLY.

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Second Round Voting in the Afghanista...
Kabul, Afganistan
By Chinar Media
14 Jun 2014

June 14, 2014

Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghans head to polling stations to elect a new president in the second round of the Afghan presidential election. Voting moved regardless of the threat of Taliban attacks.
  00:00 wide and medium shots of police checking people before enter the polling station
00:10 wide and medium shots of people stand in line waiting to enter to polling station
00:20 wide medium and close up of people entering the polling station
00:34 people are registering their name to get ballot papers
00:38 Election staff registering the people's names
00:42 man putting his finger into the ink. And writing the person's election card number
00:52 election staff giving out ballot paper
01:06  a man casting his vote in the ballot box
01:09 Interview a Pariwah a female speaks in Dari

"My message to the women of Afghanistan, they have right to vote, and they have right to choose their future. They should not have worries regarding security, and come to cast their and decide the future of their life, their child and their country."

01:33 Ghulam Ahmad Mustafa a man speaks in Dari

"I am happy that I am participating for the 4th time in an election. And my card is the first election card which I have kept until now. This is natural right of Afghan people and hope from all people whether we will be alive or not and they should participate in election. They should decide their legal candidate, in order to reach to our objectives."   02:06 End
 

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Afghan Women's National Cycling Team
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Deni Béchard
18 Apr 2014

Afghan women refuse the cultural taboo against cycling to attain their freedom by being part of the Afghanistan National Women's Cycling Team.

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Attack of Lebanese Restaurant in Afgh...
Kabul
By Masood Momin
04 Feb 2014

Afghan civil society activists denounced the Friday's terrorist attack at Lebanese Restaurant in Kabul city.

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"The Difference Between Lightning and...
By Giovanni Diffidenti
11 Nov 2013

Disability situation in Afghanistan is extremely severe, it calls for the implementation of urgent policies and interventions.
This quotation from Mark Twain, an American author and humorist, refers to the abyss between two different sources of light. The powerful flash of lightning against the faint glow of the firefly.The same analogy can be applied to the very different situations that persons with disabilities face up to in their lifetime and the way they handle them.

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Kabul Police Chief Faces Press At Att...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By johnjournalist
25 May 2013

Kabul Police Chief Mohammed Ayub Salingi faces press at the site of a major battle with the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan. May 2013.

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Wounded Afghan Police Officer Carried...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By johnjournalist
25 May 2013

An Afghan police officer is carried away from the site of a major battle with the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan. May 2013.

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Wounded Afghan Police Officer Carried...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By johnjournalist
25 May 2013

An Afghan police officer is carried away from the site of a major battle with the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan. May 2013.

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The Battle for Kabul
Kabul, Afghanistan
By johnjournalist
25 May 2013

An Afghan Security Forces soldier holds the line between clashes and journalists in Kabul. Taliban members and Afghan forces fought a six hour gun battle in the city center. Kabul, Afghanistan. May 2013.

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The Siege Of Kabul - Afghan Forces vs...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By johnjournalist
25 May 2013

Raw footage from a major battle with the Taliban in Kabul.
Afghan forces fought for 6 hours with up to 8 insurgents after they assaulted and besieged a building in the centre of Kabul.
The insurgent attack was preceded by a very large explosion, believed to be a car bomb, and gunfire.

The battle raged into the night with multiple explosions believed to be rocket propelled grenades fired by both sides.

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Afghan Security Force Soldier With RPG
Kabul, Afghanistan
By johnjournalist
24 May 2013

An Afghan Security Forces officer stands ready with a rocket grenade at the site of a major battle with the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan. May 2013.

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Insurgents battle with Afghan Securit...
Kabul, Afghanistan
By U.S. Editor
24 May 2013

Raw footage and photos from a major battle with the Taliban in Kabul. Afghan forces fought for six hours with insurgents after they assaulted and besieged a building in the centre of Kabul. The insurgent attack was preceded by a very large explosion, believed to be a car bomb, and more intense gunfire. The firefight raged into the night with multiple explosions believed to be rocket propelled grenades fired by both Afghan security forces and insurgents.

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Afghanistan circus 03
Bamiyan, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
18 May 2013

Children from the Sour Khdar school attend a show performed by other children in their school yard, in Bamiyan.

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Afghanistan circus 10
Bamiyan, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
18 May 2013

Members of the circus wait for their turn to perform, watching the performance behind a curtain in their makeshift classroom in Bamiyan.

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Afghanistan circus 20
Bamiyan, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
18 May 2013

Afghan children smile while watching one of the mobile circus' performances in Bamiyan.

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Afghanistan circus 21
Bamiyan
By Sergey Ponomarev
17 May 2013

Mohammed Sadat, 13, practices juggling with his fellow circus performers in Bamiyan.

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Afghanistan circus 12
Bamiyan, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
16 May 2013

The circus bus makes its way through the mountains in Bamiyan province, carrying the mobile circus performers to their next location.

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Afghanistan circus 08
Bamiyan, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
16 May 2013

Young performers practice acrobatics in the circus compound in Bamiyan.

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Afghanistan circus 22
Bamiyan
By Sergey Ponomarev
15 May 2013

Mohammed Sadat, 13, from Bamiyan, dreamt of becoming a gymnast. Once he saw a circus show in one of the schools, he joined it. In the future, he says, he sees himself in two ways: first, becoming a gymnastics coach for young kids, and second, studying and becoming an engineer to help reconstructing his country. For now, he is part of the acrobatic team that builds human pyramids during performances.

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Afghanistan circus 02
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
15 May 2013

Pedestrians watch the circus performance through a gate in Kabul.

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Afghanistan circus 04
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
14 May 2013

A school audience watches a performance in Kabul.

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Afghanistan circus 06
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
14 May 2013

Young circus performers wait in a bus before their performance at an elementary school in Kabul.

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Afghanistan circus 23
Kabul
By Sergey Ponomarev
10 May 2013

Shamsot, 14, is the son of an high ranking officer in the Afghan military who chose to be a circus clown. "I'm really happy to see smiles on the faces of those poor kids," he said. Berit and David were afraid that Shamsot's parents wouldn't be happy with what their son is doing, but after seeing the show they encouraged him to continue training and performing with the circus.

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Afghanistan circus 15
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
01 May 2013

A circus performer looks from the bus window at the girls waiting to see her performance in Kabul.

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Afghanistan circus 13
Kabul, Afghanistan
By Sergey Ponomarev
30 Apr 2013

A circus employee plays football in the circus yard in Kabul.