.I am Martine; a writer, photographer and researcher who envies the pace of poets and potters. 

My story is filled with comings and goings; travelling between Kabul and Maastricht, between fiction and analysis, between complexity and calm.

I have spent most of my professional life fascinated by Afghanistan. After a childhood in pre-revolutionary Iran, I returned to the region as an adult and felt like I re-discovered a home I’d forgotten I’d lost. I ended up dividing my time between the Netherlands and the rest of the world.

.I worked as an aid worker in Grozny, Chechnya, and in Taliban-ruled Kabul, as a diplomat in Tehran for the Dutch Foreign Service during 911 and its aftermath, and as an analyst and adviser in Afghanistan; first as a political adviser to the EU Special Representative in Kabul, then as an independent advising the Netherlands Embassy on their work in Uruzgan, and then in 2009 I co-founded the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) in Kabul, where for many years I was co-director and senior analyst.

I started writing a novel, while I was still working in Afghanistan, to grapple with the thorny questions of aid, intervention and conflict, and what to when the ways you’re trying to help are not working, but leaving will also make things worse. The book is finished and looking for a home.

I am currently back working with AAN. You can reach me here if we need to talk.

If you need a more formal bio, have a look here.

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