Peace with Justice in Afghanistan and Rojava – Arif Sahar and Sardar Saadi in conversation with Elaine Chaise

What do the struggles of the Hazaras in Afghanistan and the Kurdish populations in Rojava look like? What can the rights activists from both contexts learn from each other? What is the value of these conversations?

Dr Arif Sahar and Dr Sardar Saadi share with Professor Elaine Chaise their observations, experiences and the value of learning from each other and unpack the dimensions of conflict, peace and justice in Afghanistan and Rojava.

Please click on the image to play.

Dr Arif Sahar is a researcher within the Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) Institute at Sheffield Hallam University. His research mainly focuses on international security and terrorism. Prior to this appointment, Arif worked as a researcher at the University of Derby UK, where his research particularly focused on education and social development. He holds a BA in Law/Sociology and MA in Politics from University College London (UCL). Arif holds a PhD in the political economy of state-building in post-2001 Afghanistan with a particular emphasis on education at UCL-Institute of Education. He is the founding director of the Kabul-based think-tank, Centre for Peace & Development Studies. Arif has also served as senior adviser to the Afghan Government and numerous international development agencies including, WB, UNDP, and DfID.

Dr Sardar Saadi is the director of the institute of social sciences at the University of Rojava. He is also one of the co-founders of the Center for Solidarity and Cooperation with Universities of North and East Syria (CSCUNES) which is based in Paris. At the same time, he is a postdoctoral fellow at Wageningen University. Dr Saadi graduated from the doctoral program in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto in 2020. His PhD research examines the urban dynamics of the Kurdish struggle for self-determination in Diyarbakir, Kurdistan. He has been published in different journals and online publications, and he has been interviewed by Canadian, Kurdish and Persian media. He is the host and producer of a podcast called The Kurdish Edition.

Professor Elaine Chase is the Professor in Education, well-being and International Development at UCL Institute of Education.  Her teaching, research and writing explore the sociological dimensions of health, well-being and rights of individuals and communities, particularly those most likely to experience marginalisation and exclusion.  Current and recent research focuses on the psychological and social aspects of living in poverty; the well-being outcomes of children, young people and families subject to immigration control; and educational well-being in contexts of mass displacement.

The podcast was recorded on 17th January 2023 at Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

Image credit: Basirahang2, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

Image description: October 2022, Hazaras hold the flag of Hazaristan during a protest in London against the Hazara genocide in Afghanistan. The protest was one of the global protests of the Hazara followed by the trend of the hashtag #StopHazaraGenocide.