The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Living on a knife edge

AFGHANISTAN: Afghanistan’s Jogi tribe live on a knife edge: forced to abandon their nomadic lives after violence wrecked their traditional wandering grounds, they still face daily discrimination trying to carve a more sedentary existence in a country that does not recognise them as proper citizens.

culture, immigration, land, politics,


Sunday 18 March 2018, 10:30AM

An Afghan Jogi man looks at an empty bird cage at his temporary home on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif. Afghanistan’s Jogi tribe face daily discrimination in a country that does not recognise them as proper citizens. Photo: Farshad Usyan / AFP
An Afghan Jogi man looks at an empty bird cage at his temporary home on the outskirts of Mazar-i-Sharif. Afghanistan’s Jogi tribe face daily discrimination in a country that does not recognise them as proper citizens. Photo: Farshad Usyan / AFP

Many from the ethnic minority opted to settle near Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of the relatively peaceful Balkh province, where they have built neat, mud-brick houses on rented land but their position is precarious.

Afghanistan’s constitution does not explicitly recognise the Jogi as Afghans, making it difficult for them to obtain a tazkira, an identification document needed for any administrative procedure including buying the land they would need to settle permanently.

To obtain a tazkira the applicant’s father or elder brother must already have one.

The community’s leader Mullah Wural says they could be evicted at any time.

It is part of a pattern of discrimination and violence that the Jogi – also called “Jat” in Dari, a name as pejorative as “Roma” in Europe – have suffered since arriving in Afghanistan in the mid-nineteenth century from other parts of Central Asia.

These Sunni Muslims are distinguished from the rest of Afghanistan’s conservative and ethnically diverse population by their social customs – namely how women play an equal role to men in economically supporting their families.

Lightly veiled and wearing bright coloured dresses, they can be seen in Mazar’s streets begging and reading palms, a striking sight in a gender-segregated country where most women are kept behind walls.

“The Jogi are the most open community in the country,” boasts Wural.

But, though the Jogi men work also, often as day-labourers or caring for livestock, many Afghans accuse them of prostituting their wives while they stay at home and do nothing.

“The prejudice is so strong, it’s overwhelming,” says German anthropologist Annika Schmeding, who documented discrimination against the Jogi community in a 2015 report for NGO People in Need (PIN).

Playful 12-year-old Fodar jumps from one courtyard to another as a cow’s ear broth simmers in a pot and chickens busily peck at the ground.

He has managed to enrol in a public school because his family was able to secure him a tazkira owing to his father already holding one.

Because most Jogi are effectively stateless, they also have limited options to move beyond Afghanistan’s borders.

Musician Haji Rangin says he has missed out on gigs abroad because he does not have an identity document.

Sitting on a carpet between his son on the drums and his brother on a type of violin, he takes his long-handled traditional Uzbek guitar and strikes the strings with a hand adorned with little bells.

The sound draws curious children from the street to listen.

“I get inspired by my community, by my roots. Sometimes when I start the music and specific poems the men start crying,” Rangin says.

“I just wish sometimes to be counted as a citizen of this country... There is no discrimination when it comes to music,” he smiles.

“The problem is, to get a tazkira you have to get registered with somebody of your family who already has a tazkira,” says Schmeding, who believes that the tazkiras held by Jogi are often fake.

“It’s very difficult to check if it’s legal or not,” she explains.

Most Afghans do not consider the Jogis fellow citizens, no matter how long they have been in the country, she says.

Often politicians will not speak for the group for fear of upsetting the majority of the public.

“It’s a sensitive issue,” agrees Homayoun Mohtaat, director of the population bureau at the Ministry of the Interior.

In 2006, he says, the Jogi petitioned Afghanistan’s parliament for official legal recognition.

Official estimates put the total population at 20,000 to 30,000 people, mainly in northern Afghanistan. “So far, 1,300 tazkira have been issued, in Kunduz and Mazar,” Mohtaat said.

But the presidential decree that would give them legal status across the country is still pending. In a country with so many problems the plight of the Jogi is not a priority.

And even if it is delivered, discrimination and social prejudice may be harder to root out.

Schoolboy Fodar says he is bullied by other children at school.

He reveals: “Every day I paint something for them and I offer them the painting to buy peace; if not they beat me.”



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:

Comments Left: Characters
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
   => Forget password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

Phuket Governor opens fire over pollution

A few years behind the times, but do not exspect anything to be done...(Read More)

Phuket fishing operators protest EU regulations

MARLINK INMARSAT C1-4 MIGRATION-IMPORTANT ACTION REQUIRED FOR INMARSAT C USERS the Inmarsat-3 (I-3) constellation of satellites are reaching the end...(Read More)

Phuket Marine chief blasts Paradise Beach ‘black water’ claim as fake, other beaches still suffer

So the black water in your pictures is Freedom Beach? It's not at all clear, but IS ugly as hell. Also how did they get to the beach to inspec...(Read More)

Phuket fishing operators protest EU regulations

".....restricting fishing of each vessel to 255 days per year". I doubt very much if this is an EU Requirement. For restrictions on net dra...(Read More)

Phuket Governor orders ‘autopsy’ on Songkran Seven Days road-safety campaign

Thai are fascinated by producing paper lists, time after time. For what? They themselves not analyse the by themselves produced facts during many year...(Read More)

Female drug dealer arrested in Phuket with over 4,000 ya bah pills, 100g of ya ice

Good work from Thalang Police, take this [xxxxxx] away from the road and young people....(Read More)

Phuket fishing operators protest EU regulations

There is no slavery in the Thai Fishing Industry & never was. Fake News. Yes, the VMS & filling out a Daily Fishing Log Book is necessary. Bee...(Read More)

6.7% of those reporting for draft are drug users

Wow, that is something. Would it be reasonably to expect that the thai army has drugs addicts among their ranks? Many could get the habit after joi...(Read More)

Alibaba B11bn investment promises quick results, says Prayut

Promise results by end of 2019? Who believes that promise? Why any result showing will take 20 months? By than you not hear anymore of this. Who th...(Read More)

Phuket Airport to close runway, taxiway for maintenance

Riding often in aircrafts on Phuket airport run- and taxiways, feel and see their 'status', I like to ask who is responsible for the bad quali...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2018 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.