New Internationalist

Articles by Zuhra Bahman

I put a spell on you...

Zuhra Bahman gives the inside story on how male sorcerers are keeping women down in Afghanistan.

  • October 1, 2010
  • 3

Carnage sells — but we aren't cowards

Courageous Kabulis are getting on with democracy – but that’s not likely to grab the foreign media headlines.

  • August 23, 2009
  • 0

Weak, cringe-worthy women hiding behind men

Zuhra Bahman is unimpressed by the two women candidates in Afghanistan’s presidential election.

  • August 17, 2009
  • 1

Inside the tent of an honest man

Zuhra Bahman meets the likeable – and unlikely – man who would be Afghanistan’s next president. He’s considered honest, unpretentious and the country’s Ralph Nader.

  • May 29, 2009
  • 0

Talking to the (ex-)Taliban

Although eight years have passed since the fall of the Taliban, some Afghans are still returning to their country for the first time.

  • December 22, 2008
  • 0

Beyond the burqa

Sex, dating and the struggle for modernity, by Zuhra Bahman.

  • November 1, 2008
  • 0

The Opium Bank

A canny village woman talks to Zuhra Bahman.

  • November 1, 2008
  • 0

Lust, caution - hijab

Adventures in the ‘terror’ zone – and how the hijab does not keep you hidden

  • September 16, 2008
  • 0

A 10-car pile-up and scars to be proud of

I had an accident. (Actually, I want to shout that I almost died!) I was being driven from Mazar e Sharef in Northern Afghanistan to Kabul and we got caught up in a 10-car pile- up. There were three of us in the car: the driver, my brother and me. None of us got too  badly hurt. In our vehicle the main casualties were my laptop, which broke in half, and our mobiles which got nicked as we ran for safety, expecting an eleventh car to smash into ours.

  • August 7, 2008
  • 0

Laughter in Kabul

If I got a pound for every time someone asked me to take care as I talked about visiting Kabul I’d be a millionaire by now. I do promise to take good care of myself, and I mean it, but as soon as I reach my city of birth I feel safer than ever. This safety is not logical, of course, because statistically Kabul is getting more and more dangerous with the rising number of suicide bombings, kidnappings and armed robberies.  Perhaps my feeling of safety comes from sentimentality; pure irrational love and deep sympathy for my city. I love everything about my city, its people, its ever increasing paved roads, its ugly glass buildings, the great kabab, sheer yakh (Afghan ice cream)…

  • August 5, 2008
  • 0

Hatred at first sight – my relationship with 'the perfect politician'

My relationship with Peshawar has been hatred on first sight. I was 6 years old when I visited the city for the first time and confronted the heat, the pollution and the tense environment that compelled women to cover each inch of their body and stay indoors. It was 1989 and I vowed never to return. I have repeated and broken the same vow every year ever since. Peshawar always finds an excuse to pull me back – funerals, weddings, and escape from the Taliban capturing my city in Northern Afghanistan…

  • August 1, 2008
  • 0