Afghan women use them to combat their society’s contradictory views, even if the stakes are high

Soraya Shahidi, a 26-year-old Afghan nail and tattoo artist, puts the finishing touches on a tattoo.

ItIt is a warm August weekend day in the Afghan capital of Kabul, but that doesn’t slow down Soraya Shahidi, a 26-year-old Afghan nail and tattoo artist. Dressed smartly in her ripped blue jeans and long yellow coat, her hair pulled back, and sporting a lip piercing, Shahidi stands out…

Through coups, invasions, and battles, the demand for bread is as strong as ever

With additional reporting by Ajmal Omari

It’s 4 a.m. on a cold November morning and still pitch dark outside. The streets of Kabul are deserted, and the only souls on the street are the few Afghan soldiers patrolling heavily militarized checkpoints nearby. But there is a bustle of activity ongoing…

To say that this year did not go exactly as I planned may be an understatement. But all things considered, for me, 2020 was not as bad and, if I may, an opportunity for learning and growth in an unexpected way.

But most of all, this year, forced me to…

Chainaki is a warming stew for harsh winters and tumultuous times

There is a certain method to having the chainaki, a wholesome meat soup made in a teapot, called “chainak” in the Afghan language of Dari.

First, you take the large naan that comes with every serving and break into tiny pieces; fill your bowl with as many as you like…

India’s queer communities are hoping more representation in the canon will be readily available and accepted

InIn September 2018, India’s LGBTQ movement secured a major victory. The Indian Supreme Court revoked Section 377, a colonial-era law dating back to 1860 that established homosexuality as an offense punishable with a prison sentence of anywhere from 10 years to life.

The day has since gone down in history…

This year was exceptionally good to me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the blessings, relations — old and new, travel and the opportunity to be part of some amazing stories this year.

I started freelancing in late 2015 but I didn’t do it full-time until late 2016 largely…

Ruchi Kumar

Writer. Journalist. Humanist. Based in #Afghanistan. Words @ForeignPolicy @Guardian @AJEnglish @WashingtonPost @Vice Earlier: Web producer @dna @TimesofIndia

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