Background to the holy wars and the First Crusade's conquest of Jerusalem, a holy city for Jews, Christians and Muslims.
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In little over a week, Afghanistan's capital Kabul has been hit by four major attacks, killing almost 150 people and pushing an already angry population to despair.
In just one of those incidents, suicide bombers used at least two explosives-packed vehicles painted as ambulances to kill more than 100 bystanders and spread panic across the city.
President Ashraf Ghani's government now faces growing pressure to improve security, but it is facing constant assaults from groups including the Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Afghan intelligence officials often blame Pakistan's intelligence services for the violence. US President Donald Trump has stepped up air raids. And infighting in Afghanistan's government divides its attention.
Against this complex backdrop, civilians, caught in the middle, are increasingly asking why a 17-year-old war looks no closer to ending.
On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Omar Samad, @OmSamad
Former Senior Adviser to Chief Executive of Afghanistan
Shereena Qazi, @ShereenaQazi
Online producer and journalist, Al Jazeera English
Sulaiman Sulaimankhail, @HELAORG
Co-Founder & Deputy CEO, Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan (HELA)
Harun Arsalai @ArsalaiH
Founder, Documenting Afghanistan