Zadran is one of the well-known ethnic Tribe in Southeast Afghanistan, located among the three provinces of Paktia, Paktika and Khost. These three provinces are now referred as Loya Paktia, meaning “Greater Paktia”. The Zadran clan has 10 districts (walaswali) Shwak, Garda Seray, Wuzai, and Armah in the province of Paktia. Dwamonda or Shamal, Spira, Nadershah Kot in the province of Khost and finally Zearok, Gayan, Nakah in the province of Paktika. The Tribes together has a population more than half a million. They live not only in these three regions, but also in other parts of Afghanistan. The Zadran’s central religion is Islam, and the main language is Pashto. The people of Zadran are hospitable, patriotic and traditional. The Zadran region is largely mountainous. They are separated into two great valleys, the Shamal, and Tangai. The tribe has many diverse distinctive fruits, but the most popular fruit is the Pine Nut. The lifestyle of the Zadran’s is prosperous compared to many other tribes in Afghanistan. The Khost-Gardez Pass, known locally as the Seti-Kandow pass is the main land route connecting the Afghan province Khost and Gardez, the capital of Paktia province. The route passes the Zadran valley; the pass currently consists of a rutted dirt road, however; it is gradually being improved by government funds as part of the international reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. The Seti-Kandow region is mountainous and is an important road connecting Afghanistan with Pakistan. The Zadran tribe is where history is made, it is where the resistance against the Soviets started and finished when the Soviets abandoned Afghanistan. Now we need PEACE in order to develop Zadran and Afghanistan. The only way to get peace is to unite, to start living as brothers, to love each other, and to support each other.
“Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace”
The ongoing challenge to bring security and reconstruction, development work such as building of roads, bridge river control, agricultural development, education, health, and business development in Zadran is a result of ongoing security issues. The Zadran’s lives in peace with their neighboring tribes such as, Ahmadzai, Zarmat, and Tota Khail in the North, Tanai, and Mondozai, Mada Khail Wazir in the South, Mangal Jani Khail in the East, Kharoti and Peer Kuti in the West. The 10-year Soviet occupation resulted in the killing of 600,000 to 2 million Afghans, mostly civilians. Approximately 6 million Afghans fled Afghanistan, as Afghan’s immigrated to Pakistan, and Iran. In that period, the Zadran’s became refugees in Pakistan. Their village destroyed from the bombing and left in ruins after the war. All of the institutes had been destroyed by the warfare, effectively eliminating education; thereafter, a generation grew up without any formal education. The people of Zadran have not returned, even after the warfare, some live in different parts of Afghanistan and some live in different countries, but most live in Pakistan. Many Zadran tribesmen wear a variety of turbans, known as Lungei, Patkai meaning the headdress that is worn by men. There are numerous styles, specific to the wearer’s region or religion, and they vary in shape, size and color. The Turban is a symbol of honor and is respected everywhere it is worn; it is a common practice to honor important guests by offering them one to wear. Turban as being a Sunnah Mu’akkadah (Confirmed Tradition) but majorities of Zadran’s prefer to wear it in daily.
Milli Attan is the traditional Afghan dance; it is performed usually with a Dhol (drums). The Zadran Tribe has one of the finest Attan in Afghanistan; it has its own unique style performed during weddings or other celebrations (engagement, New Year and informal gatherings). It is now considered the national dance of Afghanistan.
A favorite sport in Zadran is ghosai, a team sport similar to wrestling.
Although the Afghan population is composed of many distinct ethnic groups, certain elements of their way of life are much the same. Characteristically, the family is the lifeblood of Afghan society. Extremely close bonds exist within the family, which consists of the members of several generations. The oldest man, or patriarch, whose word is law for the whole family, heads the family. Family honor, pride, and respect toward other members are highly prized qualities. Among both villagers and nomads the family lives together. Each village has two sources of authority within it: the malik (village headman distribution), and the mullah (teacher of Islamic laws). The village mosque is the center of religious life and is often used as the village guesthouse. Two separate systems of education exist in Zadran region. The older system is a religious one, taught by the mullahs, in the mosques. They teach the religious precepts of the Holy Quran, reading, writing, and arithmetic. The newer system was introduced and provided for free, which is compulsory education. Many Zadran tribesmen could not attend school, because they lived in areas where there were no Schools.
Note: I would appreciate any advice or comments you might be able to give me and will be in contact with you early. Your time and consideration are deeply appreciated. We would be pleased to get your suggestions and hear your concerns at Khalid@zadran.com
Sincerely Khalid Zadran