The Hazara, In Pictures

by Joshua Foust on 2/5/2008 · 15 comments

National Geographic did a big special on the Hazarajat, which is the big central mountainous region in Afghanistan (its biggest city, strangely enough, is Kabul, 40% of whose 3-4 million inhabitants are Hazara).

The Empty Buddhas of Bamiyan

Needless to say, the photography is spectacular, and deeply human.

As the country struggles to rebuild itself after decades of civil war, many believe that Hazarajat could be a model of what’s possible not just for Hazaras but for all Afghans. But that optimism is tempered by past memories and present frustrations—over roads not built, a resurgent Taliban, and rising tides of Sunni extremism.

But America’s broken promises continue to haunt the land. I wish we would do what we promised, but that is clearly far too much to expect from our elected representatives. But the story is, unfortunately, nothing new—the Hazara are still systematically discriminated against by many holding onto old tribal grudges, too many are shoved into dirty ghettos on the outskirts, and so on.

It is an old story, but it is one that bears repeating, and needs telling, again and again. And again. And again, until something eventually changes.


Subscribe to receive updates from Registan

This post was written by...

– author of 1849 posts on Registan.net.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from Registan.net. His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

For information on reproducing this article, see our Terms of Use

{ 15 comments }

Bilal Nowrozie February 5, 2008 at 8:05 am

Nice article thanks for expressing your feeling towards hazara people.

farhad February 5, 2008 at 9:25 am

the hazaras now have a deal with pashtons to rul the country with out tajiks,they are in good position in goverment, i have a question, (its biggest city, strangely enough, is Kabul, 40% of whose 3-4 million inhabitants are Hazara) where these statestic come from? do you have any sources?

Joshua Foust February 5, 2008 at 10:26 am

Farhad –

The 3-4 million statistic is from multiple news sources. The 40% is directly from the National Geographic piece, though I’ve read similar statistics elsewhere. Judging by the stories about how vast and Hazara-packed the outer ghettos of Kabul are, it seems believable. Do you have any other data?

Ahmadmuslim February 5, 2008 at 11:28 am

Hazara owe awghu berare!!

Mumtaz Changezi February 5, 2008 at 12:42 pm

A wonderful article about Hazaras of Afghanistan. It truly depicts their place in the Afghan society, the discrimination they face, their dreams and hopes for equality and their forward looking attitude towards life, especially their desire for knowledge and education, more so for women. They need the attention of the world. Hazarajat has the potential to become a role model for the rest of Afghanistan.

Taqi Bakhtyari February 6, 2008 at 12:05 am

Thanks Joshua.

For the first time not just in this big special (National Geographic)
1.Hazaras are mentioned without connecting to Iran
2.The most secure area in the whole country, however deep Islamic attitude but never fundamentalism.
3.Hazarajat can be a role model for the rest of Afghanistan.
But:
Lets add “ If the West is going to succeed, it is much more possible through Hazaras”

RAHMAT ULLAH February 6, 2008 at 3:48 am

well, whether it is bamyan or whole Hazara jaat, is the safest place not only for foriegnors but for all afghans. we are being kept backward only and only because we are the people who are really hardworkers and patriotic.

Barat Ali Batoor February 7, 2008 at 7:27 am

It is a really very nice article on Hazaras and Hazara Jat I have ever seen in any international and national publications. The things seem changing towards Hazaras. I hope that the international media will keep continue focusing the turth about Hazaras.

Maina February 7, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Thx for bringing this article about Hazaras.

“It is an old story, but it is one that bears repeating, and needs telling, again and again. And again. And again, until something eventually changes. ”

I couldn’t agree more. I wish there were place for diversity in Afghanistan But UNFORTUNALLY Not!

simone February 8, 2008 at 2:49 pm

The article shows true picture of hazaras. Unfortunatly on only the afghan government forget the hazaras and Hazarajat but also the international community.

There has been very few reconstruction project in hazarjat compare to other part of the country. I hope that international community and donours relize it and do not discriminate hazaras as the afghan government. They have the right to get the equal opportunity and help as the other afghans..

simon Svensson

Michael Hancock February 8, 2008 at 3:02 pm

I enjoyed the piece in National Geographic, a magazine I really need to resubscribe to. Thanks for the link – and I guess Registan.net can add the Hazara community to its list of friends! I remember someone complaining that Registan was “far too friendly with the deadly Uzbeks.” Anyway, living in and studying Central Asia teaches a person a lot about ethnic diversity, tolerance, and intolerance. I hope that Tajiks, Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Turkmen, and others in Afghanistan can live in peace. Forgive and Forget works both ways, but only with some kind of trust.

Baser Nader February 12, 2008 at 4:21 am

Thanks for the lovely picture in the website.

Hamid Hamraaz February 26, 2008 at 10:00 am

Bisyar maloomat mosbat wa khob dar barai Hazara wa Hazarajat, dowa mekonoom, k watan ma Afghanistan wa kol mardoom afghanistan ba arami, dosti wa baradari zindagi khod ra sipari konand.

Musakhan Hazara(Norway) February 26, 2008 at 7:08 pm

Wooow thanks Joshua! What a wonderful article about The Hazaras and Hazarajat. It is a really very nice, i have ever seen in any international and national publications. The things seem changing towards Hazaras. I hope that the international media will keep continue focusing the turth about The Hazaras. Just keep it up Joshua, im really very impressed of you nice shot:)

With best Regards
Manji

Natasha May 26, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I would like to say many thanks for the writter of this article, The writter brought a good picture out of the hazaras position in afghanistan in his good article, I appreciate every effor towards the good people of afghanistan, Hazaras and Uzbeks are the most peacefull Tribes I have came across, and this two tripes got such a rich history

Previous post:

Next post: