‘The Storm and the Turban,’ a new book analyzing the Afghan conflict

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“The Storm and the Turban, Afghanistan: a Republic without Victory and an Emirate without Defeat,” is newly-released book by journalist Mohamed Hadi Hanashi offering a fresh view into the hidden aspects of the Afghan conflict.

The book tackles the conflict over the last four decades with touches of the author’s personal experiences. Hanashi discusses the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan until the Taliban movement’s seizure of power in one of the poorest countries in the world.

The book, published by Madarek Publishing House, offers analysis of the conditions that led to Taliban’s emergence onto the Afghani political scene. It also addresses Pakistan’s role in supporting the movement, according to the author.

The book reviews the series of American attempts to negotiate with the Taliban’s leaders from 1994 until 2001, a few weeks before the Taliban lost their foothold in Afghanistan after the U.S. military campaign against it and al-Qaeda.

The book also provides testimonies gathered during the author’s visits to various Afghan cities on different occasions during and after the rule of the Taliban.

Hanashi concludes that the new Republic of Afghanistan, despite major international support, has failed to declare victory over the Taliban, which is still fighting international coalition forces, a decade after the collapse of the movement in Kabul.

Commenting on the book, Saudi writer Abdullah bin Bejad Otaibi writes: “It seems that Afghanistan has distanced itself from major events in the Middle East after the so-called Arab Spring, but it was always at the heart of these events; it distances itself at times only return to it at other times.”

Few Western and Arab journalists have written extensively on Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, according to the author. “Those who went there conducted interviews and wrote brief reports about certain events and then returned home,” he added.

Hanashi said he conducted a field investigation that lasted for more than 10 years as he “was monitoring while writing and writing while monitoring.” He relied on interviews with cultural and political figures whilst researching for the book.

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