Reconciliation and Social Healing in Afghanistan

In my MA thesis, I analyze the Afghan reconciliation processes through the lenses of John Paul Lederach’s elicitive conflict transformation. I highlight two Afghan governments reconciliation processes in 1986 and 2010. I underline the political events that shaped the 1986 National Reconciliation Policy and draw lessons for future processes. I point out the historical and geopolitical patterns indicating regional and global stakeholders involvement in Afghan politics. I conclude that social healing through a middle-out approach is the missing and yet a crucial component to achieve sustainable reconciliation in Afghanistan.

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I was born in Afghanistan and was uprooted at the age 14 due to the war. My research topic is a personal attempt to heal the wounds I endured in the Afghan conflict and to remember my father who, as a leader and President of the country, embarked on a journey of peace. His vision inspired me to seek a better understanding of reconciliation. In the process of completing this thesis, I allowed myself to face my fears and be visible to the reader and those I interviewed. Writing the thesis has been an exercise of trust building for myself. The journey of the past 12 months has been a rebirth in so many ways, including my transition towards motherhood, which has helped me face my fears, let go of the past and embrace my child without the burden of mistrust.

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