Warlord Of Kayan: An Insightful Documentary On Afghanistan's History


(MENAFN- Khaama Press)

Jeff B. Harmon's 1989 documentary,“Warlord of Kayan,” offers an in-depth look at Afghanistan's history through the life of Sayed Jafar Naderi. This film
, which won the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, documents the significant periods of upheaval in Afghanistan and the United States. It is recognized for its comprehensive portrayal of conflict, leadership, and identity.

The documentary details the life of Sayed Jafar Naderi, beginning with his early years in the United States as part of a motorcycle gang and a heavymetal
drummer, to his return to Afghanistan where he became a prominent political and military leader. Naderi, the elder son of a notable Ismaili leader in Afghanistan, led over 13,000 troops to protect the Ismaili community in Kayan, Baghlan, from various challenges, including conflicts with the government and Mujahideen factions. This narrative provides a unique perspective on the complexities of Afghan politics and society.

Directed by Jeff B. Harmon, known for his work as a war correspondent and film
maker,“Warlord of Kayan” is noted for its authenticity, drawing on Harmon's extensive experience in documenting conflicts globally. Harmon's work has been recognized with several awards, including Britain's Royal Television Society Journalism Award and the Cable ACE Award.

“Warlord of Kayan” goes beyond a simple narrative to explore themes of leadership, identity, and the multifaceted roles individuals play in their communities and the broader geopolitical landscape. The film
offers a nuanced understanding of the social and political dynamics in Afghanistan.

As a resource for educators, students, and anyone interested in global politics and history,“Warlord of Kayan” provides an essential perspective on Afghanistan's complex history. The film
is a critical tool for those seeking to comprehend the human stories behind historical events.


Ahmadshah Massoud, visited Sayed Jafar Naderi, the commander of Ismaili forces in Pul-e-Khumri, the capital of Baghlan province in northern Afghanistan. The photo was taken in the years of 1996 or 1997 as Sayed Jafar Naderi and Ahmadshah Massoud are walking out of Afghan Ismaili leader's home. Gen. Dwood Dawood and Gen Bismillah Khan Mohammadi are also in this photo.

“Warlord of Kayan” serves as a link between the past and present, offering viewers a comprehensive look at Afghanistan's history and the key figures who have shaped its course. Through Jeff B. Harmon's direction and the life of Sayed Jafar Naderi, the documentary invites audiences to explore a crucial chapter in Afghanistan's history, which continues to have a global impact.

Kayan is a village situated in the Baghlan Province of northeastern Afghanistan, nestled in the Kayan valley about 30 kilometers west of Dushi. The population primarily consists of members from the Sadat and Hazara tribes, who are loyal followers of Sayed Kayan, the official representative of Aga Khan in Afghanistan. The community practices Isma'ili Islam, reflecting a distinct spiritual and cultural heritage.

Historically, Kayan has played a pivotal role for the Ismaili community in Afghanistan, especially during periods of conflict such as the Soviet era, the Mujahideen, and the Afghan civil war. It served as a stronghold for Ismaili forces under the leadership of Sayed Jafar Naderi, who led over 13,000 armed individuals to protect the Ismaili community against government forces, Mujahideen, and other factions.

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