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Waiting for the Taliban: A Journey Through North Afghanistan

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
57 pages
Published (first published August 31st 2010)
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Gerald Sinstadt
Jul 05, 2013 Gerald Sinstadt rated it it was amazing
Nine years on from a previous visit, the author returns to an area of northern Afghanistan to see if anything has changed. She finds a harsh and uncompromising stretch of territory from which the Taliban had been driven now anticipating its return. Criticism of the occupying western powers is explicit only here and there in this series of articles for a journal in the United States. It is not necessary. Dispatch after dispatch narrows the focus to a village, a family, a way of scraping an ...more
Oct 30, 2010 Dawn rated it really liked it
This was a quick, interesting, enlightening read about how life has changed very little for many Afghans since 9/11. It's not that these poor villagers are anti-American, or pro-Taliban, but there are many factors influencing their loyalties ... top among them is just the basic need for food, shelter, medical care (and jobs would be nice). The Taliban, though vicious, took care of the poor. The current government does not. The Afghanis are not seeing any U.S. aid (or if any donations come ...more
Feb 14, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: school
Journalist Anna Badhken wrote a series of blog posts for Foreign Policy magazine in the summer of 2010 on a 21 day trip across Afghanistan; she intended to revisit the same cities and people she had originally encountered during her time in Afghanistan in late 2001, in the wake of the American invasion. This ebook is the compilation of her blog, which can still, I believe, be found online at, so you can always check it out for free over there.

I picked up this book for context and backgro
Nov 26, 2015 Craig rated it it was amazing
It is an excellent read (though short - 978 Kindle Locations). Pretty much apolitical, it will give you insight as to why simplified Western/American political solutions just don't seem to work in this poor and war-torn country.

Insights are derived from the diverse Afghan people the author visits during her most recent trip to Afghanistan. She tells their stories in a travel-diaryish format. Some of the stories are funny (but mostly not), many are sad (heart-wretchingly "How can God let this hap
Danne Stayskal
Jul 24, 2011 Danne Stayskal rated it really liked it
This is a very personal look at day-to-day life in central Aasia--life under constantly shifting geography and political allegiances. Oddly, it's also mostly a life outside of time: things happen the same way they have for hundreds and thousands of years. Definitely worth a read if you're interested in the culture of rural central Asia. The Pashtun and Uzbek are covered well here, though there are numerous cultural similarities between them and neighboring cultures.
Tommy Estlund
May 26, 2014 Tommy Estlund rated it it was amazing
This was an eye-opening look at life in Northern Afghanistan. The author, Anna Badkhen, has toured this land in 2001 and then revisited her territory in 2010 and writes of the changes that have taken hold. This is a fascinating look at a people largely unknown by myself, and I would wager, most Americans. I definitely recommend this quick, informative, and descriptive account.
Natalie James
Jul 04, 2013 Natalie James rated it really liked it
This is a very thought provoking journey into war torn Afghanistan. I was struck by the extreme poverty experienced by ordinary Afghanis and the distrust of anyone. This is a country with such a complex history that resolution of problems will never be easy due to the divisions in society. The lack of basic human rights is shocking. A very tough but good read.
Mar 12, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok
Light on the details, but I suppose that's expected from the size. I was interested in hearing more from her subjects, or even her driver and translator, rather than her melancholy take on northern Afghanistan's plight. A map would have been nice.
Mar 10, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Nice look into author's trip revisiting Afghanistan in 2010. Well written. Overall, there is nothing new in terms of facts in her reporting, but it's very interesting to read about her experiences from a travel perspective. It's a travel journal with background material to provide context.
Mar 30, 2011 John rated it liked it
A well written three week diary of the author's return trip to Afghanistan after almost a decade. Nothing particularly interesting, or revealing: war not going well, Afghanistan is is rife with corruption, it sucks to be an Afghan in a war zone, refugees have it worse, etc.
Lauren Morris
Jul 27, 2013 Lauren Morris rated it liked it
Painted a good picture of everyday life in Afghanistan and how challenging it is. The author is a journalist who travels back to Afghanistan to describe how much it has changed. Was impressed by the inside perspective of the families that live there and how they view their world.
Sphinx Feathers
Oct 10, 2014 Sphinx Feathers rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
Not bad. My only quibble is that it wasn't nearly long enough. Most of the metaphors were very good and the language was quite stylistic.
Dec 03, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read - highly recommend as another insight to what's going on in Afghanistan, or why it's really not working.
Steven R West
Steven R West rated it liked it
May 29, 2016
Donovan rated it liked it
Dec 14, 2015
Casey Calouette
Casey Calouette rated it really liked it
Aug 13, 2014
Jan 18, 2011 Nancy rated it it was amazing
heartbreaking; good reason to believe Afganistan is a lost cause
Justin rated it it was amazing
Nov 29, 2014
Karin Johnson
Karin Johnson rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2016
Min rated it it was ok
May 15, 2011
Milo Mitchell
Milo Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2013
F.T. Moore
F.T. Moore rated it it was ok
Jun 28, 2013
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Helen Zimmel
Helen Zimmel rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2012
Kat rated it it was amazing
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Nov 21, 2010
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Apr 29, 2015
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