A graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (BA Arabic and Persian), Alex Strick van Linschoten first came to Afghanistan six years ago as a tourist. In 2006, he founded AfghanWire.com together with Felix Kuehn. He is currently working on a PhD at the War Studies Department of King’s College London on the identity of the Taliban movement as expressed through their own writings and statements pre-2001; as co-editor of a book written by former Taliban envoy to Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, published by Hurst and Columbia University Press to critical acclaim in winter 2010; a history of the relationship between the Taliban and al-Qaeda entitled An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban – Al-Qaeda Merger, 1970-2010; and a volume of poetry written by Taliban members, published by Hurst (UK) entitled Poetry of the Taliban. He will soon start work on a large project translating primary sources relating to the Afghan Taliban.
He has worked as a freelance journalist from Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon and Somalia, writing for Foreign Policy, International Affairs, ABC Nyheter, The Sunday Times (UK), The Globe and Mail (Canada) and The Tablet (UK). He speaks Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu and German and can get by in French and Dutch. He lives permanently in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Alex has participated in panels hosted by The Frontline Club (UK), New York University (USA), Council on Foreign Relations (USA), Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (USA); and he has given lectures/presentations at the School of Oriental and African Studies (UK), International Institute of Strategic Studies (UK), The British Defence Academy (UK), the London School of Economics (UK), King’s College London (UK), Chatham House (UK), Cambridge University (UK), Uppingham School (UK), Oxford University (UK), Princeton University (USA), the Brookings Institute (USA), the United States Senate (USA), the United States War College (USA), the Middle East Institute (USA), the Naval Postgraduate School (USA), Harvard University (USA), and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (Norway).