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Friday 7 November 2014

From AFP Beirut to First Lady of Afghanistan

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, also known as Bibi Gul, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on October 30, 2014 (AFP Photo / Shah Marai) Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, also known as Bibi Gul, at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on October 30, 2014 (AFP Photo / Shah Marai)

(AFP Photo / Shah Marai)


She is one of the key personalities of the new Afghanistan. First lady since September, the former AFP journalist of Lebanese Christian heritage Rula Ghani has already broken some taboos. The AFP correspondent in Kabul Emmanuel Parisse writes about his interview of Mrs Ghani, also known as 'Bibi Gul', in the Afghan presidential palace.

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Wednesday 8 October 2014

An Afghan poem of hope

Family and well wishers hold portraits of Abuzar Ahmad as they await the child's arrival at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 30, 2014 (AFP Photo / Geoff Robins)
Family and well wishers hold portraits of Abuzar Ahmad as they await the child's arrival at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 30, 2014 (AFP Photo / Geoff Robins)

(AFP Photo / Geoff Robins)


Abuzar's eyes were full of joy as he awoke in his family apartment in Toronto last week.

Finally, the big day he had been anticipating for weeks had come. He picked up his small backpack, his bottle and his Spiderman lunchbox, and set off for his first day at nursery after six months of rehabilitative care.

As he played in the middle of a crowd of hyperactive three-year-olds, no one could guess that the presence of the happy little Afghan was a small miracle.

For Abuzar, it was another tiny step toward building a new life more than 10,000 kilometres from his his hometown Kabul, where tragedy had robbed him of his parents, brother and sister eight months earlier.

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Tuesday 19 August 2014

Afghanistan: another man in a man's world

Afghan women ride in the back of a taxi in a street in Kandahar on September 16, 2013. (AFP Photo/Siddiqullah Alizai) Afghan women ride in the back of a taxi in a street in Kandahar on September 16, 2013. (AFP Photo/Siddiqullah Alizai)

(AFP Photo/Siddiqullah Alizai)


Hong Kong-based AFP editor Anuj Chopra recently returned from a reporting mission to Afghanistan. In a heavily male-dominated culture, one of his biggest challenges was trying to find women to talk to for his stories.

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