Why Write About Kashmir?

Since the release of my new books on the Kashmir valley, I have been asked repeatedly: Why write about Kashmir? While the answer is obvious to me, it is not so obvious to those who view Kashmir as a distant and distinct conflict. Questions from recent interviews with various podcasts are included below. Kashmir Is Changing Writing about Kashmir now is critical. An entire year of lockdown and the … [Read more...]

Where Are the Women?

Where are the women in conflict? What roles do women play? Are their experiences any different than men? These are the questions that guide my teaching and research. In the classroom, I begin with a simple statement: Kashmir is a gendered war. In fact, most conflicts are gendered. Which means that women's roles and responsibilities in times of war can differ from that of men and other … [Read more...]

When Girls Become Boys, a Study of Bacha Posh in Afghanistan

Bacha posh, translated as “dressed as a boy” in Persian, is a prevalent gendered practice that allows young girls to disguise themselves as boys in the absence of male figures in the home in Afghanistan. This post analyzes the lives of bacha poshs as well as dissect how the practice disproportionately contributes to a potential gender dysphoria movement involving young girls and … [Read more...]

The Killing of Women in the Jeju 4-3 Incident

Guest writer Hyun Soo from South Korea shares a gripping story of the killing of women in the Jeju 4-3 incident.  Background The Jeju 4·3 incident is a massacre that took place from 1948 to 1951 in Jeju island, located at the far south of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The ideological conflict between the communists and the capitalists sparked off the communists’ protests against the US Military … [Read more...]

The Struggle for Female Azadi in Pakistan

This guest post is written by young scholar and human rights activist, Naya Ahmed on the struggle of female azadi in Pakistan.  Brief Background Today, as the 215+ million Pakistanis celebrate 73 years of independence from the British colonials, it is important to remember there are some living under Pakistani administration who do not enjoy full azadi (Persian/Urdu for freedom); they are the … [Read more...]

A Silent Prayer For the Victims

This past week's horrific news is a reminder that people are suffering everywhere. To cope with extreme tragedy, I fasted for two days this week and offered a silent prayer for the victims.  What do you do when a city suddenly erupts in flames in Beirut? Or an extreme lockdown is imposed across Kashmir? And what of the silent sufferers of COVID-19? Needless to say, there is not one news story … [Read more...]

How Many People Have To Die?

In a recent TV interview, I was asked this horrible question: How many people have to die before the world community acts? What is the number of dead that leads to global action? In the past 30 years, at least 100,000 people have died in the Kashmir conflict. In other conflicts around the world, there are often more dead civilians than any  other group, including violent non-state actors (VNSA). … [Read more...]

You Can Not Silence A People Forever

In a recent TV interview, I told the host "You can not silence a people forever," and the day will come when the people of Kashmir will rise up. The chronic social suffering of an entire population--eight million people imprisoned by occupation--is a human rights violation. What makes this situation so intolerable is the ongoing statement by the Indian State that militants are on the rise and … [Read more...]

The Great Lockdown in Kashmir

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zAYaeqA_ooThe lockdown in Kashmir is a new reality for people of this pristine valley. When I updated my first book, Secrets of the Kashmir Valley (2016), the tragedies of war were different. While no less brutal, recent events in Kashmir have changed the way Kashmiris live. The ongoing injustice of militarized occupation make it clear that peace is an … [Read more...]

New Books on Kashmir Reveal A Place of Great Beauty and Tragedy

After 70 plus years of conflict, Kashmir remains a place of great beauty and tragedy. In my new books from the Kashmir collection, I begin the story with what is true: Kashmir is an active conflict. It is unsettling and unpredictable. Every day, someone dies. Someone is detained. Or someone disappears.  These are the lines of the first edition of Secrets of the Kashmir Valley, published by Pharos … [Read more...]

The Forgotten Women of Kashmir

Guest writer Sri Varre writes about the half-widows and widows of Kashmir, the forgotten women of conflict.  Background Growing up in a South Asian household with prominent patriarchal standards, I have been asked on numerous occasions to stay silent. I have been trained to always serve elders and guests first. I have been urged to always say “yes” and ask no questions or protest with my … [Read more...]

Looking Back: Silent Genocide Against the Indigenous Women of Peru

The silent genocide against the indigenous people (mostly women) of Peru is often overlooked and forgotten. Like many political conflicts, the intersectional oppression of women (written as 'womxn' in this post) is a violation of their basic human rights. The events that have led to and resulted in the targeting of indigenous womxn should not be dismissed nor buried in the pages of history.  This … [Read more...]

Hidden Heroes of the Kashmir Valley: The Resilience of Widows and Half-Widows

The hidden heroes of the Kashmir valley are the women, the widows and half-widows, who have struggled to survive in a protracted conflict. For 70-plus years, these women have endured incredible hardship and lived with the tragedies of war, often with no support from their local governments.  Brief Background Since the Kashmiri conflict’s inception, it is estimated that over 70,000 people have … [Read more...]

Letter from Palestine

Guest blogger Sarah Tranquilli travels inside Jerusalem for an inside look at an ongoing conflict and its people. This is her story. What is Palestine? Before moving to Jordan for six months to study Arabic, I made a list of all the countries I wanted to see during my time abroad. My list included many different places, but there was one in particular that I knew I had to go to - … [Read more...]

Ramadan Reflection: The Gift of Life In the Time of a Pandemic

While COVID-19 continues to afflict innocent people around the world, this Ramadan is a reminder of the gift of life and the uncertainty of death. As some members of our community are dying or struggling to fight the virus, the fasting month is a blessed time to reflect on the tests and tribulations of life. For most Muslims, death is a natural part of life and the pious reflect on the Afterlife … [Read more...]

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