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Image: Craftsmen at Goldasta Mosque, Kabul  (Jolyon Leslie, 2012)


The Afghanistan Society is pleased to bring you a range of podcasts available to members and non members on a range of topics, people and ideas.  

Please let us have your ideas for future podcasts at

Podcast 1: Ahmad Zahir

Ahmad Zahir was an Afghan musician, songwriter and composer and considered by many to be the greatest Afghan singer of all time. It’s been 41 years since his death, but his voice continues to inspire Afghans and music lovers around the world. 

The Afghanistan Society is pleased to bring you an exclusive interview and Q&A with Shabnam Humphrey, Ahmed Zahir’s daughter. Listen here

Podcast 2: Jonathan Lee Author of Afghanistan: A History from 1260 to the Present 

Jonathan Lee is a social and cultural historian and a leading authority on the history of Afghanistan. He has lived for many years in Afghanistan and is a fellow of both the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and the British Institute of Persian Studies. He sat down with us to discuss his latest book. Listen here

Podcast 3: Dr.  John Baily

John Baily is a ethnomusicologist. His research is focused on the music of Afghanistan, he set up the Afghanistan Music Unit at Goldsmiths College and is involved in international efforts to regenerate Afghan music. He plays various types of string instruments from the two-stringed dutar to the much more complex rubab now typical of professional musicians. He thinks rubab should be recognised as Afghanistan’s national instrument. His main teacher was the highly regarded player Gada Mohammed. He also received some training from the musical icon late Ustad Mohammad Omar. He joins us to share the history and beauty of the rabab talking and playing us through its journey in Afghan culture. Listen here.

Podcast 4: An interview with Photographer Mariam Alimi

Mariam Alimi is an Afghan photojournalist, storyteller, documentary maker and photography instructor, who has been documenting her country for the past 15 years. She is kindly sharing 12 of her glorious photographs and explains in a brief interview in her own words the opportunities and challenges for photojournalists in Afghanistan.

On the Gallery page you can see more photographs from our Trustees and Cultural Advisers, Leslie Knott, Wazma Wesa and Jolyon Leslie. 

Podcast 5: International Relations: The UK and Afghanistan report

We’re glad to share a recording of BAAG's virtual meeting held on Zoom on 8th February at which Baroness Anelay of St Johns presented and took questions on the report of the enquiry by the Select Committee on International Relations and Defence, 'The UK and Afghanistan,' which she chaired.
The report can be accessed through this link:

Listen here

Podcast 6: Exploring Nancy Dupree's life in Afghanistan

Anyone who has been to Afghanistan in the past half century knows the name, Nancy Hatch Dupree. Nancy lived a colourful and fascinating life in Afghanistan. Nancy lost nearly everything she loved when she was kicked out of Afghanistan in 1978. She then spent the next three decades fighting to protect the country’s rich heritage, which was devastated by war, until she passed away in 2017.

Eva Meharry has created, in this podcast a fascinating journey through the extraordinary life of Nancy Hatch Dupree, her late mentor, by talking to some of the people who knew her best about her adventures, love, loss, and devotion to Afghan heritage.

Listen here. Please Click here for the Transcript: Nancy Hatch Dupree Podcast Transcript 7 rev2.pdf

Podcast 7: In Conversation with Homan Yousofi

Homan Yousofi is an Afghan poet and writer who joined us for a reading of his poems during our 2023 Annual General Meeting on the 23rd June. In this podcast with Jessica Barry, Homan explains more about how landscapes and nature provide inspiration for his writing, and become paths to wellbeing for his work with Afghan migrants and refugees.

Listen here:

Click here for the transcript: Landscape and Poetry with Homan Yousofi

Podcast 8: In Conversation with Jolyon Leslie.   

On the 7th December 2023 the Afghanistan Society's cultural advisor, Jolyon Leslie, gave a talk in London about his ongoing work with the Afghanistan Cultural Heritage Consulting Organisation (ACHCO). The following day, he sat down with Jessica Barry for this Afghanistan Society podcast in which he talks more broadly about the challenges and opportunities facing the conservation and protection of Afghan cultural heritage, and why it matters.

Link here:

You can read the transcript here: 

*Jolyon Leslie is an architect who has lived in Afghanistan since the late 1980s, working for the UN and NGOs in managing both humanitarian and development programmes. Together with Chris Johnson, he is co-author of 'Afghanistan: the Mirage of Peace' (2004, Zed). Since 2002, he has also been involved in cultural work and is currently assisting in the conservation of several historic monuments in the old city of Herat.

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The Afghanistan Society is the working name of the Afghan Refugee Information Network (ARIN), a charity registered in the UK, charity no 327194.

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