Afghan Students in the UAE

I wants to be a Doctor, because he wants to heal the wounds of his countrymen, Says Asmat Ullah

Most of the students coming from Afghanistan are getting admissions in schools where Urdu syllabus is being taught. Indians schools are also very helpful accommodating the Afghan students, very less number of students catch the high Standard English medium schools in UAE.

UAE has better education facilities than Afghanistan. I talk to many Afghan students who intend to undertake in Pakistani schools says, there is hardly any introduced syllabus by the UAE and Afghanistan government in UAE schools. The other major problem of them is, coping with English language.

Problems in getting Admission in the schools

Unfortunately the literacy rate in Afghanistan is low due to unrest and uncertainty in the country. It has been a trend not to admit their kids in nursery until they are seven year old.  Admitting the kids late in schools is one of the reasons that people are not fully aware about education systems in abroad. When they settle in UAE or to other countries they face problems getting admission. If we talk particularly on UAE’s education system, obviously her education system is far advanced than Afghanistan’s. Here guardians are bound to make sure, their kids are enrolled in the school at the age of 3 year 6 months. In Afghanistan situation is different, there the government is not that much strict about education. There is no any strong campaign regarding the betterment of education.  So when an Afghani parent brings his/her kid for the admission in UAE, they face difficulties while getting admission in the school.

It is sad to say that lacks of English public schools in Afghanistan, students are poor in English, which results a negative impact on their future career. In UAE, all Schools are in English medium, so those students who did not study their schooling in English medium, undergo with serious problems understanding the syllabus material. The initial problem of Afghan students is that they can’t speak or write English or Arabic languages so during the entry tests; they get low marks which prevents them to get admissions in good and advanced schools.

The Favorite Subject of Afghan Students

At Intermediate levels, and the time of choosing career goals, It has been seen that, Afghan students prefer to choose science subjects. It can be termed; Afghanistan is going through an evolution towards revolution.

Unbeatable talent of Afghanistan

There is no doubt that Afghanistan’s students are intelligent, brilliant in mathematics and biology as well. Asmat Ullah says, he wants to be a Doctor, because he wants to heal the wounds of his countrymen. “I have seen my people dying of without medicines, and absence of Doctors at remote areas, from that day I decided to join medical.”

Best hobbies of Afghan students:

Soccer is one of famous games of Afghan students. Be it the home country or abroad Afghan students can seen everywhere playing football. Every common Afghan football player is familiar with the rules and regulation of the game.

Suggestions to the parents

  • Make sure your kid is admitted in the school in Afghanistan at early age (3 year 6 months at least). English is compulsory because without English, there are greater chances for your kid to come back home with a big rejection letter.
  • Make sure, In Afghanistan, your kid is born in the hospital and don’t forget to get birth certificate when you indent to admit him/her.
  • Create a study environment at home, encourage the students at home, show them examples and achievement of other students so they will be impressed and follow the trend getting involved in the studies.
  • If possible make them admitted in English Language Learning centers so they can improve their English.
  • Also make sure all the educational documents of your kid are attested and stamped by the ministry of education at provincial level and ministry if interior of UAE, in Kabul.

Afghan Government should do more

When I searched on the Google to see whether at which level the government of Afghanistan is contributing towards education, unfortunately I ended up with no any results. All queries were about the donations of UAE and other countries to Afghanistan. Afghan government couldn’t establish any Afghan school with its syllabus so far. We hope that newly elected president Mr Dr Ashraf Ghani would seriously think of the problems of Afghan students living in Gulf countries especially in UAE. Being the business hub globally, the majority of Afghan expats prefer to do business UAE, lack of Afghan syllabus is a matter of concern for the Afghan students.

By: Qurban


Bat and Ball replacing the Gun and Bomb

“the solution of all the problems is cricket”. Says Retired Afghan cricket coach

Unfortunately Afghanistan has been the battle ground for centuries. There is no any family who did not suffer from the war. The number of orphan children was increasing day by day when insurgency was at peak during the invasion Soviet Union1980’s and then America 2000. The doors for female students were almost shut down during the Taliban regime. Every child and inhabitant of Afghanistan has been passing throw the mental traumas, who is responsible for the unrest in the country this is a long last debate.

A young Afghan cricket fan eagerly waits for the final result of his favorite team.

Today the time has come to heal the wounds of the decades. Now Afghanistan stepped into cricket field. The former cricket coach says “the solution of all the problems is cricket”. Afghanistan is back to its cricket grounds. Stadiums can be seen crowded, children are whistling on the streets. Youths are shouting in front of TV screens when Afghan players hit the ball out of ground, similarly they are sad when their most favorite player goes back to pavilions. After three decades of continuous wars Afghans now have a cricket squad which represents their country on world’s level. Afghanistan cricket team had formed in 2001. The players are not from any elite class, they emerged from playing on mud pitches. Taj Malik points out to a pitch which he says was used by his team during 1997 before the invasion of NATO troops in Afghanistan. Mohammad Nabi describes that it was nearly impossible to continue playing cricket because his parents used to scold him, according to him, even people refused to marry their daughters with him. When Afghanistan announced the names of the players, everyone was on the horizon. The players were a bit nerves before to play a match in Jersey. It will be more interesting when Afghanistan has a match with Pakistan because Afghanistan and Pakistan have lots of fans from both countries. Two brothers have two different favorite players one from Pakistani team and other from Afghanistan’s team. On 10 February 2012 Afghanistan had a match with Pakistan. The fans of Afghan cricket team were welcoming their team on the gate. They were waving their country flags on the cars, aged cricket fans were wearing cloths made of Afghan flag color. Afghanistan music bytes were being played to encourage newly emerging cricket stars. Afghan team was playing this match under the captainship of Nouroz Mangal.

Afghan kids at Sharjah cricket stadium while a match with Af vs Pak.

BBC Urdu service reporter Abdul Shakoor says in his report that “for a while anybody could say that this match is being played in Kabul in Sharjah ground because everywhere the Afghanistan flag, badges and capes were being sold”. Afghan enthusiast scenes were to encourage their team. Pakistani team had a better experience as compared to Afghan team which resulted defeating the Afghan team.  It was said that though Afghan team lost the match against Pakistan but won the hearts and minds of audiences. After enormous practice and hard work, now Afghan team is in a better position. They have also a huge number of fans on Twitter and Facebook. They are now contact with their audiences. They had fulfilled their dream of representing the native soil. By: Qurban

Afghanistan’s traditional food

Afghans are considered the worriers but do you know, they are hospitable people and expert in cooking unique dishes as well!

Kabuli Pulao: It is the national dish of Afghanistan. It is not famous even in Afghanistan but every Afghan living outside of the country love to eat Kabuli Pulao anywhere they find it. It is cooked at every house as it is the part of their lives.

Mouth watering dish of Afghanistan the “Kabuli Palao” is on the table.

Preparation of Kabuli Pulao is very easy; it is steamed rice with chops of raisins and carrot. It is often served with lamb. Other variants of Pulao are also available in Afghanistan. People eat it with meat, vegetables or beans. Girls are taught to cook Kabuli Pulao before the marriage because it be a considered a shame if she does not know cooking Kabuli Pulao.

In the UAE every Afghan restaurant has the Kabuli Pulao on their tables. The cashier of Al Afghan Al Kabab, Abdul Jabbar says people across the world like Kabuli Pulao. We have Asian, Middle Eastern customers. The prices of the food in our restaurants are fair so people from every sphere of life can afford our food. Jabbar says that due to flexible prices and good quality of food our business got spread all over the UAE. They have a wide range of restaurants in the every state of the UAE. Arab locals are fan of eating Kabuli Pulao so they come to have their dinner in our restaurants. He added.

Kababs: Lamb kabab is also one of the favorite foods of Afghans. Afghan Kabab is mostly served with Naan, and rice. Lamb chops, ribs, kofta (ground beef) and chicken kababs are served in good Kabul restaurants in the UAE. Chapli Kabab and Sekh Boti Kababs are consumed widely among the people belonging to every nationalities.

Saji Kabab: Saaji Kabab is equally famous traditional food of Baloch and Pashton population living in Afghanistan and Balochistan. It is made up of goat, sheep meat. Before putting the meat on steaks, rub some salt, lemon juice and black paper on the meat. They do not use any cooking oil to cook Saji Kabab but white meat on the top of the steak which melts due to the heat and provides natural oil for Kabab. Burn some dry woods at both sides of the meat; put the steaks of the meat between the fire. Slowly and gradually the heat makes cook the Saji. When the fire is turned into ashes drag the ashes near the meat which makes it further delicious. It is cooked on special occasions such as Eid and wedding events.

One of the delicious and famous food “Saji” is being cooked.

Qorma: Qormas is also one of the very special dishes of Afghan. Qorma is cooked twice a week in the kitchen. Fry the unions in the cooking oil, after that put required amount of tomatoes and make them cook for a while then add meats, spices or vegetables to them. Shorma: Soups made of variety of items are very popular in Afghanistan. These soups are locally known as shorma.

Afghan Breads: Usually, Afghans consume four types of breads. These breads are locally called Naan, Obi Naan and Lavash. Naan is made of wheat and is thin, long and oval shaped. Obi Naan is shaped like a disk and is thicker than naan. Lavash is very thin bread and used as plating for meats and stews. Kak bread is also famous in Baloch population. It is made up of wheat. They put a ball like stone on the fire, when it gets extremely hot, wrap the wet flour on the hot stone then put it near the ashes. After some time serve it. It is will not be expired for more than a week. People cook it at picnics, arrival of special guests and cultural events.

A famous dish of Baloch and Afghan called “Saji” is being served.

Rice Dishes: Afghans put in plenty of time and effort to prepare their rice dishes. One popular rice dish is chalow.. Chalow is fluffy white rice with each grain separated. The Afghans love to eat chalow with Qormas.

Fruits & Nuts: Fresh and dried fruits are inseparable part of Afghan food. Afghanistan produces high quality fruits particularly grapes, apricots, pomegranates, melons, plums and berries. Exceptional varieties of oranges also grow in Afghanistan. Melons of Mazar-e-Sharif, oranges of Jalalabad, grapes and pomegranates of Kandahar are famous.

Dairy Products: The Afghans like dairy products like yogurt and Lassi. Lassi is a sort of thin yogurt which is served with the lunch and dinner. It is also called Desi Sharab (urban drinking). Eating is uncompleted without having Lassi witt it.

Drinks: Common drink in Afghanistan is tea (chai). Green tea is considered the Desi Pepsi. Green tea is very healthy and people love to start their breakfast with Prata and green tea. It is also served after the meal because it helps the digesting the food in very short period of time.

Afghan people are fond of non-vegetarian dishes. Usually they don’t use cutlery. Food is gulped with right hand, using nan as scoop. The Afghans treat their guests with great respect and try to serve their guests with as good food as they can provide. Sharing stories of the past and gossips are the essential part of the evening gathering. Every night people assemble at one place, they exchange ideas and discuss their whole day doings. Instead of watching movies they watch news bulletins, debates and talk shows on TV and instead of listening songs on the radio they usually listen news, hot talks and programs. Women do not sit with the men often; they gather at one room, have their lunch and dinner and talk their daily life issues and problems. If there are no any men at home women serve the guests and supervise the house.

By: Qurban

Buzkashi: National Sport of Afghanistan

A game you can’t play if you can’t ride a horse

Afghan players are grabbing the dead goat in Buzkashi (photo by: Kimberly Stinson)

The word ‘Buz in Persian language, means ‘goat’ and Kashi mean ‘grabbing’. The Buzkashi (goat grabbing) is the national sport of Afghanistan mostly played in the northern side of Afghanistan.

When and how Afghans have adopted this game

Historians believe that in the past during the era of Mangols people used to snatch the cattle and properties by force. At that time they were using the horses to escape from the scene. From than the dwellers of Afghanistan adopted the horse riding as a passion. They started traveling and carrying their households on the horses. The horse and donkeys were the only source of transportation in the area few decades ago. Gradually they started to carry goats, sheep and calf on the horses.

Defending their livestock and property from thefts, they now has become expert in snatching the carcass. Mangols can only be found in the chapters of the history but Afghans are happy and feel proud to call Buzkashi as their national game.

“Buzkashi is a rugged and traditionally extremely violent, game similar to polo with one surprising twist, rather than hitting a ball with smallest towards a goal, players vie for control of a headless animal carcass,” describes Melissa on

What is needed in the sport of Buzkushi?

A carcass goat, an experienced rider with up to a five year well trained horse. Bringing an untrained horse in the ground of Buzkashi is tantamount to commit a suicide.  The horse is especially trained for the game of Buzkashi. The players must be energetic and strong enough to carry a dead goat, sheep even a calf.

The player and the horse both has equal roles

The players alone can’t do if the horse does not understand the speed and angles of other horses.

Types of Buzkashi

There are two types of Buzkashi one is called  as Tudabari where the players fight over the carcass. They began the play from a circle, carry the dead goat to the other corner of the ground; at this moment other riders also try their lever best to snatch the carcass. The other type of Buzkashi is known as Qarajai here player began grabbing the carcass and drop it again on the same circle. Fighting over the carcass some becomes very dangerous. A tiny mistake may leads to braking legs and arms even some causes fatal injuries or deaths. Playing the Buzkashi is like driving without any speed limit on the highway.

Rule of the game

No one is allowed pull to drop the other player deliberately. It is strictly prohibited to whip the other horse or player. If the players accedes more than hundreds they are split into further groups. The audiences are bond to keep a distance from the circle of the game. It is the worth mentioning that the

meat of the carcass used in Buzkashi is not eat able, that is only used to judge the ability, power and the skills of the player and horse.

Two Afghan players struggling to have the carcass while “Buzkashi” (Photo by; Gloriann Liu)

What the winner gets?

It is not only the cricket where players get thousands of dollars cash prize and considerable amount of other prizes. Buzkashi players also get a huge amount of money, fine cloths as prize and other prize tittles. The champion of the Buzkashi he who grabbed the carcass is titled as “Chapandaz”.

For more information watch the video of “Buzkashi”

From traditional to commercialization

Many years ago it was just a traditional game. People used to play it on their traditional events. Today it has become commercialized. For many Afghans it is not only a game but their source of income as well.Obviously the players need the backing to feed and train the horse plus their family members. A common man can’t afford the expenses of the horse to prepare it for Buzkashi competition so the wealthy people come forward and gives the financial support for both the player and the horse.The war lords of Afghanistan mostly sponsor this game.

The Afghan Olympic Federation of Afghanistan has introduced this game on international forums but was observed only in Kabul and surroundings. The government also has set the rules for the game which describes that the boundary must be 400 meters; each team must contain five players at a time.

By; Qurban

A day in the life of an Afghan baker in the U.A.E

Cooking bread in extreme hot climate, a tough job

“Break an egg, put few drops of cooking oil in a pan and leave it in the sun; after an hour you will be able to have an omelet.”

Those expats who come from cold climates initially face difficulties adjusting to the hot environment of United Arab Emirates (UAE).

However for Abdul Nasir it makes no difference according to him he has been playing with the fire in bakery back in his native country, Afghanistan. He continues to do the same in the UAE.

Afghan baker rolls fresh bread for customers.

The temperature of UAE goes above 45 Celsius with humidity of 35%. It is nearly impossible to stay for few minutes without shelter outdoor in UAE but at this extremely hot climate Afghan Bakery men work not in A/C but near the flames.

Abdul Nasir is now familiar with the hot weather. “Any job is not easy; you have to work hard to feed your family. People do jobs in government and public sectors where they face different kind of situation but here we have our own business. When you are an employee you have to wait for leave permission after a year or two but here we all close relatives are working and if God forbid anything happened to our families back to country we can go within the next day. It is very good to have our own business.” says Nasir.

A young Afghan baker puts chapati in the oven (tandoor).

Another baker, Abdul Karim also works in the same shop, he says “before closing the shop we make ready the wet floor for bread. We put floor in a big tub, put water and mix it with an electronic mixture machine, when it is ready we make small piece for the bread in the morning.”

When asked that how many kinds of bread or Naan he knows to cook and is there any particular flavor or quality which the people like to eat? He says there are two types of bread one is called Naan-roti and second is known as Chapati  but if the customers want to make it special, we put cheese on it which makes it very tasty. This kind of bread is 1 AED expensive then the normal bread. Most of families buy it in the morning time for breakfast of their school kids. Both types are consumed by Asians and Middle Eastern people- Arabs, Pakistanis, Afghanistan, Indians and Iranian constitute a large chunk of the customers. Karim says,

Work flow and delivery

Bakers cover about 3km to 5km radius area to deliver bread. “Working people can’t visit our shop to buy the bread so we deliver bread to their doors. In Afghanistan, we send our children to buy household stuffs but it is very different in UAE. Here children are busy at schools and their parents are working so they even do not have time for grocery shopping. Three people from our staff does the delivery and rest of them work in the shop. We need at least three stay at shop, one of them prepares and measures the bread, second one cooks it on fire (put the bread in tandoor) and third one is the cashier who collects the money and deal with the customers.” says Karim.

Fresh dough balls ready for baking.

Expired bread

“When there is any expired bread we gather it and sell it to the cattle merchants. They give it to their cattle. It makes the cattle very healthy and increases the milking power. The dry bread is consumed mostly by cows and buffalos. Sheep and goats are also fan of eating dry bread,” says Abdul Nasir who owns a bakery shop in Sharjah for over 18 years.

He says there is no sufficient profit selling the dry bread but we can’t through the bread in dust bin as well.

Abdul Nasir wants to extend his business across Dubai in coming years. He is willing to call his cousins and close relatives to join him in bakery business.

By: Qurban

Know Afghanistan

The Durand Line (Pashto: د ډیورنډ کرښه‎) refers to the 2,640 kilometers (1,640 mi) long porous International border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was established after an 1893 agreement between Sir Mortimer Durand of British India and Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan for fixing the limit of their respective spheres of influence as well as improving diplomatic relations and trade. It is named after Sir Mortimer Durand, K.C.I.E., a British diplomat and civil servant of colonial British India. Afghanistan was considered by the British as an independent princely state at the time, although the British controlled its foreign affairs and diplomatic relations.

The single-page agreement which contains seven short articles was signed by Durand and Abdur Rahman Khan, agreeing not to exercise interference beyond the frontier Durand Line.[1] A joint British-Afghandemarcation survey took place starting from 1894, covering some 800 miles of the border.[2][3] The resulting line later established the “Great Game” buffer zone between British and Russian interests in the region.[4] The line as slightly modified by the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 was inherited by Pakistan following its independence from the British in 1947 becoming its modern border with Afghanistan.

The Durand Line cuts through the Pashtun tribal areas and further south through the Balochistan region, politically dividing ethnic Pashtuns, as well as the Baloch and other ethnic groups, who live on both sides of the border. It demarcates Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal AreasBalochistan and Gilgit–Baltistan of northern and western Pakistan from the northeastern and southern provinces of Afghanistan. From a geopolitical and geostrategic perspective, it has been described as one of the most dangerous borders in the world.[5][6][7][8] Although recognised internationally as the western border of Pakistan and shown as such on global maps, it remains unrecognized in Afghanistan.[9][10][11][12][13] According to Aimal Faizi, spokesman for theAfghan President, the Durand Line is “an issue of historical importance for Afghanistan. The Afghan people, not the government, can take a final decision on it.