AMĀN-E AFḠĀN, newspaper of Afghanistan during the reign of King Amānallāh (1337-48/1919-29). In 1919 Maḥmūd Ṭarzī turned over the publication of Serāǰ al-aḵbār to ʿAbd-al-Hādī Dāvī (for the latter’s political career up to 1973, see L. W. Adamec, Who’s Who of Afghanistan, Graz, 1975, pp. 95-96). Following Amānallāh’s accession Dāvī changed the paper’s name to Amān-e Afḡān—thus reflecting its role as the king’s official organ. The first issue appeared on 30 Asad 1299/2 August 1920; it was published weekly (on the average) and reached a length of twelve pages. Amān-e Afḡān continued Ṭarzī’s passionate concern for national independence. In publishing general information and selected news, its chief objective was to make the Afghan people conscious of the intrigues of the colonial powers and the need for resistance. It effectively used such inflammatory terms as ḡolām (page), asīr (bondsman), and banda (slave) to describe the situation of Afghanistan. Amānallāh’s officials saw that couriers brought Amān-e Afḡān to tribal leaders and to villages throughout the country, so that its message might be read out to the largely illiterate masses. Together with the concern for independence went the paper’s emphasis on unity, which was promoted by traditional parables and by slogans such as bīdār bāšīm (let us be awake) and mottaḥed šavīm (let us become united). In harmony with Amānallāh’s efforts, the paper attempted to win people away from traditional beliefs and attitudes, such as resignation to fate. When Amānallāh was forced to flee the country in 1929, Dāvī also went into exile for a brief period; with the end of the attempt at radical reforms, the official voice of the reformist regime was silenced.
L. Bogdanov, “Notes on the Afghan Periodical Press,” IC 3, 1929, pp. 184-86.
I. V. Pourhadi, “Afghanistan’s Press and its Literary Influence 1897-1969,” Afghanistan Journal 3/1, 1976, p. 30.
See also the brief references to the paper or to items reported in it in the indices of: V. Gregorian, The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, Stanford, 1969.
L. B. Poullada, Reform and Rebellion in Afghanistan, 1919-1929, Ithaca, 1973.
L. W. Adamec, Afghanistan’s Foreign Affairs to the Mid-Twentieth Century, Tucson, 1974.
(I. V. Pourhadi)
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: August 2, 2011
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Vol. I, Fasc. 9, p. 921