I'm Martine, a writer, photographer and researcher who envies the pace of poets and potters. I've been travelling between Kabul and Maastricht, between poetry, fiction and analysis, and between complexity and calm. I’ve spent most of my professional life fascinated by Afghanistan.

I grew up in pre-revolutionary Iran. When I returned to the region as an adult, I re-discovered a home I’d forgotten I’d lost and ended up dividing my time between the Netherlands and the rest of the world.

I was an aid worker in Grozny, Chechnya, and Taliban-ruled Kabul; a diplomat in Tehran for the Dutch Foreign Ministry during 911 and its aftermath; and a political analyst and adviser in Afghanistan, including to EU Special Representative Francesc Vendrell and the Netherlands Embassy on their work in Uruzgan. In 2009 I co-founded the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) where for many years I was co-director and senior analyst. I rejoined AAN in 2021 after the tumultuous Taliban takeover as a researcher, analyst and editor. 

I wrote a novel set in Afghanistan that grapples with what to do when what you’re trying isn’t working (but leaving will also make things worse). It's about aid, intervention and conflict, friendship and daily life and the stories that get left out of the reports. I didn't publish it but one day I might. 

Since then, I returned to both poetry and art, and my work has been appearing in print and online journals across the world (find a list of published work here and some of my art here). 

You can download a brief bio here, reach me here if we need to talk 

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