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Modern Afghanistan: Making Meaning in the Aftermath of Conflict   Tags: primary source world  

Last Updated: May 27, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Learn how the Herat Soviet Tank Monument portrays the Soviet-Afghan War.

View a clip from Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War and explore challenges that people in Afghanistan face in their efforts to rebuild their nation in the aftermath of conflict.

Explore how Afghan war rugs represent the impact of war.



For 30 years, Afghanistan has been at the center of armed conflict, from the Soviet-Afghan War beginning in 1979 to the Taliban consolidation of power in the 1990s to the U.S.-led military intervention after September 11, 2001. How have Afghan people and leaders responded to events? The activities presented here provide students with a deeper look at what war has meant for Afghans – how they have lived, represented events, and attempted to rebuild their country. The monument of a tank in Herat with triumphant local soldiers offers a glimpse of both anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban feeling in one region of Afghanistan, and calls upon us to consider what messages monuments send. The trailer from the film Brewing Tea in a Kettle of War examines how the Provincial Reconstruction Team and the National Solidarity Program operated in Afghanistan and how reconstruction efforts are negotiated in the aftermath of conflict. The inclusion of weaponry and war motifs in women's traditional Afghan carpets shows how violence has permeated the society and even gained its own market niche. These sources bring us closer to Afghan perspectives on events than textbooks and news stories tend to do.

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