As Choices prepares for our Summer Institute on Afghanistan, and as Afghanistan and Pakistan take center stage in the news again, here are some additional resources that teachers may find useful.
  1. A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes (2009) – This book contains all of the facts found in a textbook, paired with the human stories, side notes and interesting tidbits that make history fascinating. If you like this book by Afghan-American writer and commentator Tamim Ansary, you may enjoy his site on Afghanistan, where he offers his thoughts and a weekly summary of the news from Afghanistan.
  2. Homeland Afghanistan – This is a comprehensive, impressive website that explores the geopolitical and cultural heritage of Afghanistan.  Teachers can search by themes, eras or highlights.   It includes time lines, videos and primary source documents.
  3. Afghanistan: A Short History of its Peoples and Politics by Martin Ewans.  (2002)  I find this book to contain just enough background to understand the people and history of the region, yet not so detailed that one is overwhelmed.
  4. An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan by Jason Elliot (1999)  and The Places in Between by Rory Stewart (2006)  are two wonderfully written travelogues. Each one does an excellent job of providing students  with a sense of the physical and human landscape of Afghanistan.   Through their writings, the difficulties faced by the average person and the challenges the country faces as a whole become vivid and real to the reader.  Literature and social studies teachers could pair excerpts from either book with the photo collection found at Afghanistan: A Year in Photos for a visually rich introduction to Afghanistan.
  5. A Crisis Guide to Pakistan – Produced by the Council on Foreign Relations, this site includes an overview, timeline, Five Possible Futures and a list of additional resources.  An excellent resource.