Continuing the Conversation: Afghan-US Student Dialogues

With the arrival of the long-awaited year 2014, the outlook for Afghanistan remains tentative.  Security deals wait to be signed, votes are still being counted from the recent election, and the withdrawal of U.S. troops continues without clarity as to how many will remain.  Though Afghans are concerned for the future of their country, many[…]


Uncertainty and Hope in the Afghan Presidential Elections

Uncertainty over the April 5th Afghan presidential elections and the future of the country abounded as Afghans flocked to the polls with a sense of pride and hope.  Concern from Afghans and the international community alike has stemmed from several sources. Given that outgoing president Hamid Karzai was chosen by Afghan leaders to lead the[…]


Campaign 2014: Of Candidates and Conflicts

The spring of 2014 will be yet another in a restive line of transformative periods in the broader Middle East, for better or worse, as the region’s people continue their political overhaul by electing new presidents, parliaments, and constitution-drafting bodies. Eight Middle Eastern countries have elections scheduled in 2014, and most will proceed without external[…]


Afghanistan 2014: Will the U.S. Exit Strategy Work?

SISMEC, in partnership with Civil Vision International, the UA School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, the UA Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the UA Graduate & Professional Student Council  and Ricoh USA, is pleased to announce a symposium on Afghanistan. The event’s purpose is to spur vital dialogue about U.S. policy and what the future[…]


Hearts for Sale! A Buyer’s Guide to Winning in Afghanistan (Excerpt)

A beloved and well-respected Afghan civil society leader, Dr. Mohammad Saeed Niazi once said, “The hearts of the people are for sale—but not for money.” Genuine caring, respect, and service “buy” hearts; and those hearts freely offer the legitimacy governments embroiled in counterinsurgency so crave. Dr. Niazi’s words suggest that neither the secret to earning[…]


Learning from Student Dialogue

Civil Dialogue and Better Ways to Build Afghan-U.S. Trust Earlier this week, Afghan and American university students held a video-dialogue covering a variety of policy issues as well as insight into their daily lives. The tone of the event from the Afghan side was upbeat, and both sides expressed enthusiastic openness and respect.  Many groups[…]