Afghanistan: From the Taliban to Troop Withdrawal
As Afghanistan’s 18-year conflict continues, with 34 people killed recently in separate attacks on a maternity hospital and funeral, Covid-19 provides another source of despair in a country with a non-functioning healthcare system, widespread poverty and malnutrition. Will desperately needed aid continue to flow and what does the future hold for this war torn country?
Afghanistan, What End in Sight?
It’s coming up to 17 years of British military intervention in Afghanistan, and there seems to be no clear end in sight. As the Western media turns the spotlight on Syria and other conflicts in the Middle East, Afghanistan has become the forgotten war. Our panel discuss what strategy is in place to end the conflict, and the civilian costs of the war.
He Named Me Malala: Education and the Refugee Crisis
“We learn so much from Malala, she tells us that we have a voice in the West but we take it for granted”, Guwali Passarlay.
Screening: He Named Me Malala + Panel Discussion
This screening will be followed by a panel discussion on access to education for refugee girls with the Malala Fund’s Director of Policy and Advocacy Philippa Lei and others, moderated by BBC Radio 4 Today correspondent Sima Kotecha.
He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.
Preview Screening – Mission Critical: Afghanistan + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with reporter Abi Austen, director Will West and producer Shoaib Sharifi.
Abi Austen served for over four years in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as both a British army officer and as a senior advisor to the US army. In February 2015, she returned to Kandahar with Unreported World to discover just what is going wrong with President Obama’s plan. In this remarkable and eye-opening film, Austen discovers on the frontline that the war in Afghanistan is now at a tipping-point. Her film poses a question for the world: will the West’s legacy in Afghanistan survive, and is that struggle still worth fighting for?
Frame by Frame: Photojournalism in Afghanistan
By Anna Speyart On Tuesday 20 November 2015, the Frontline Club hosted a packed screening of the documentary Frame by Frame, followed by a discussion with filmmakers Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli. The film follows four Afghan photojournalists who have the challenging task of helping to establish a free and diverse media landscape after years of repressive Taliban […]
Insight with Gulwali Passarlay: An Afghan Refugee Boy’s Journey of Escape to a New Life in Britain
Gulwali Passarlay was only 12 years old when he left his home and family in Afghanistan. He would be shot at, imprisoned and almost drown before he reached his new home in Britain. We welcome Gulwali Passarlay to the Frontline Club to share his story as documented in his memoir The Lightless Sky, and to offer his personal insight into the current refugee crisis.
Screening: Frame by Frame + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with directors Mo Scarpelli and Alexandria Bombach.
After decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime, four Afghan photojournalists face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own – reframing Afghanistan for the world and for themselves.
Preview Screening: Tell Spring Not to Come This Year + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with directors Saeed Taji Farouky and Michael McEvoy.
When NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan the Afghan National Army (ANA) took control of Helmand Province, an extremely dangerous region where attacks by Taliban fighters are the order of the day. The directors of Tell Spring Not to Come This Year accompanied an ANA company during a year of frontline duty in Helmand.
Preview Screening: The Billion Pound Base – Dismantling Camp Bastion + Q&A
For eight years Camp Bastion was the power-house of the British Army’s military operations in Afghanistan. Britain’s biggest overseas base since World War Two has now closed down for good. A town the size of Reading with a massive infrastructure – airport, hospital, fast food restaurants – is dismantled bolt by bolt and sent back to the UK. Channel 4 was given exclusive access to the men and women whose job it was to pack up this giant jigsaw puzzle. This Channel 4 preview screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Richard Parry, producer Leslie Knott and executive producer Mike Lerner. Chaired by Siobhan Sinnerton, commissioning editor at Channel 4.
In the Picture: Journey to the Roof of the World
This event is organised in partnership with Port Magazine. In late winter in 2012, following in the footsteps of Eric Newby, French photographer Frédéric Lagrange journeyed to the foothills of the Hindu Kush. Lagrange will be joining us in a discussion chaired by the The Independent’s defence correspondent, Kim Sengupta and featuring Rory Stewart MP, whose 32-day solo walk across Afghanistan in early 2002 was the basis for his first book, The Places in Between. Lagrange will present his work and they will discuss the fears and concerns he heard from the Wakhi people about the upcoming Nato withdrawal and an uncertain future.
The Afghanistan Debate
This event is in association with BBC Service for Afghanistan. It will be held at the Shaw Theatre, 100-110 Euston Rd, London, NW1 2AJ.
As the final stage of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan begins, we will be bringing together leading experts to look at the country’s roadmap and the legacy of the past 12 years.
Talking to the Taliban
by Sally Ashley-Cound The Taliban have made steps towards wanting to be seen as a legitimate political force, by setting up an operations office in Qatar on 18 June this year. The First Wednesday discussion chaired by Paddy O’Connell at the Frontline Club on 3 July asked: Is talking to the Taliban a solution? John D McHugh, […]
Pakistan elections: a critical juncture
By Nishat Ahmed As Pakistan gears up for crucial general elections in just over a week, on 1 May the Frontline Club hosted a panel discussion, First Wednesday: Pakistan goes to the polls, to consider the country’s prospects. The panelists on the evening were journalist and author Irfan Husain, Pir Zubair Shah of the Council on Foreign […]
Mission accomplished? Weak police as the allies retreat from Afghanistan
By Alex Glynn Reporter Ben Anderson joined a panel at the Frontline Club on Monday 25 February to discuss his new 30-minute documentary for BBC’s Panorama on the allied troops’ legacy in Afghanistan and the condition of the Afghan police. Will Pike, a former British Army Major in Afghanistan, and Dawood Azami, former BBC World Service Bureau Chief in Kabul, joined Anderson to […]
Voice of Afghanistan: Screening and Q&A with Jawed Taiman
By Jim Treadway “The life we had. The flowers, the trees,” an elder Afghan recalls about the village in which he has lived, and where director Jawed Taiman grew up before his family fled the Soviet invasion in 1979. “Just look at it now,” the man gestures. “It’s completely dry.” This conversation opens Taiman’s latest […]
FULLY BOOKED Insight with Ahmed Rashid – Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
As we approach the one year anniversary of the death of Osama Bin Laden, Ahmed Rashid will be joining senior BBC presenter and special correspondent Lyse Doucet to discuss the future for Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States.
Taliban take questions using online forum
Reuters is reporting that the Taliban have started answering queries submitted to an online forum on their website. Questions have been asked on topics ranging from the Taliban’s negotiations with the United States to their position on educating girls. The Taliban banned girls from schools while they were in power, although there were reports in […]
UK Premiere Screening: Tears of an Afghan warlord
Tears of an Afghan Warlord is the product of an intimate 10 year journey into the life of Mamour Hasan and his desire to maintain peace in his region. After years of hardship and war it becomes increasingly difficult for him to convince others of his ideas, including his eldest son. The film portrays the desperate attempts of man to uphold democratic ideals where democracy has failed and the pressures and arguments Afghani’s have to join the Taliban.
Five links from 2011: ‘Twitter’
I am picking out a few of the more interesting links from my 2011 delicious bookmarks. On Monday, I selected five from my ‘war reporting’ tag. Today, I’ve selected another five from among the bookmarks I labelled ‘Twitter’ in my delicious account. Enjoy! 1. ‘Visualising the New Arab Mind‘ Computational historian Kovas Boguta visualises the Twitter influence […]
Afghanistan: The mistake was not going in, but not knowing why we were there
If you want to take part in further discussion about the impact of the War on Terror on our world today and how it might shape our future, come along to our FIRST WEDNESDAY SPECIAL: Changing world – conflict, culture and terrorism in the 21st century on Wednesday, 7 September. The decision to go into Afghanistan was […]
First Wednesday: Kill/Capture missions in Afghanistan
Following the targeted killing of Osama Bin Laden we will be devoting July’s First Wednesday to the expansion of man hunt missions used in Afghanistan to take out thousands of Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters.
With a panel of experts we will be examining the effects of the kill/capture missions on the ground? How are they are conducted and how is the intelligence obtained? What effect are they having and could they play a definitive role in ending the war?
Defusing Human Bombs
The shouts and laughter of boys playing games fills up the hidden away in a remote valley near Swat Pakistan. With their green and red school uniforms, these boys and seem like any other school children. But there is no other school quite like this in the world, where most of its pupils were expected […]
FULLY BOOKED A safer world? What does Osama bin Laden’s death mean for Pakistan, Afghanistan and the West?
View in iTunes After the tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden by a U.S. special operations team the questions have come thick and fast. At our May First Wednesday we are hoping to throw light on some of them: What impact will the death of Osama bin Laden have on Al Qaeda and […]
Reaction to the closure of Internet cafÃ©s in Kabul
Journalist Abbas Daiyar has an interesting blog post on this month’s decision by the Afghan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to close 17 Internet cafés in the capital. The cafés had been warned not to allow their customers to view pornography or un-Islamic material. Daiyar argues that imposing such bans will not combat "moral corruption": "By shutting […]
Embedded with the Taliban
Discussions around embedded journalism in Afghanistan tend to focus on journalists joining up with NATO or U.S. forces but what about the view we get from an embed with the Taliban? In the video below, Norwegian journalist Paul Refsdal risks his life to film Taliban operations with a commander in Eastern Afghanistan. There’s some intriguing […]
A view of ‘peace building’ in Afghanistan
‘Captain Cat’ has been updating a blog in an attempt to "document some of what goes on under the label of peace building" in Afghanistan. There are plenty of interesting insights in the Captain’s dispatches and the blog is well worth latching on to, if you haven’t already. Here are a couple of recent posts […]
Felix in Kandahar – Eyewitness Account
Please see the previous blogpost for more on this story, but here is Felix Kuehn (my friend and colleague in Kandahar) on CBC Radio talking an hour or two after tonight’s bombing: Just press play on the Houndbite bar above. Felix will be updating his blog and reposting here tomorrow morning when he wakes […]
Kandahar City Bombing
I’m sitting in Dubai at the moment so can’t claim to be the man on the ground for tonight’s bombing in Kandahar City. That dubious honour goes to Felix Kuehn (@felixkuehn on Twitter and www.felixkuehn.com for his blog). I just spoke to him over the phone and he added some details to the mix: – […]
An Afghan fixer in Sweden
Naqeebulla Sherzad is an Afghan fixer. He worked with Ajmal Naskhbandi, the fixer beheaded by the Taliban in 2007, and who inspired the formation of the Frontline Fixer’s Fund – 100% of funds raised are given to the families of fixers killed or injured while working with international media – After being told his name […]