Although poorly understood in many advanced economies, tribal identity still holds great meaning in societies from Africa to Middle East to Central Asia and beyond. It defines a person beyond his family and clan. It establishes lines of patronage and loyalty that an outsider cannot easily overcome. But is it also a card to play in political games? Tribe is an often-exploited construct where resource competition, criminal networks, and territorial control are at stake.
I graduated from Kabul University with a degree in Law and Political Science, and since 2012, co-founded the Youth Development Association of Afghanistan. I write for a number of journals and magazines focusing on politics, security and political stability. I am the Deputy Director of the Organization for Policy Research and Development Studies, an Afghanistan think-tank committed to strengthening democratic ideas and values through policy research and capacity-building.
Changing our path ahead begins with an honest assessment of where we are standing today. When our government and controlling stakeholders allow for dialogue, research and real journalism, then we can learn what we are doing right and wrong.