Special Reports

Last updated: 25 february, 2010 - 14:15 GMT

Afghanistan Online

The BBC's Najieh Ghulami travelled to Afghanistan to look at the role the internet plays in people's lives and how it could develop the country - one so critical to global stability.

All pictures copyright Darius Bazargan

Surprisingly, Afghanistan's capital Kabul is one of the few cities in the world to have such wide wireless internet coverage.

But it came out of necessity, as three decades of continuous war left the land-based communications networks shattered.

Despite this coverage, the biggest users of the internet are not the Afghan people.

Most people simply cannot afford the service. For some, however, the internet has been life-changing.

Jamshid Sultanzada is an internet entrepreneur who now works for an Internet Service Provider (ISP). His whole world was changed by computers when, back in the 1990s, he started taking evening classes at a skills training centre during the years of Taliban rule.

Students at this centre have to pay a small fee to attend. But the two educational skills taught there are seen by students and staff alike as crucial for a better life: learning English and mastering computers.

Batool Mohammadi works at a human rights organisation, where she uses the internet to compose and file reports on the situation in Bamiyan Province.But she also writes a blog, aimed at introducing the reality of life here to a wider world.

Many see the internet as a tool for empowering their community, but there are also many in the Muslim world who have a problem with the very concept of the internet.

Afghanistan Online is broadcast on BBC World television on 13 March 2010 at 0310GMT and 1810GMT, and repeated on 14 March 2010 at 0310GMT and 1810GMT.

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