TESSA MULLER WRITES — Afghanistan’s economy is hugely dependent on the illicit poppy trade. This was true throughout the 20-year war with the US, and it continues to be true in the aftermath of U.S. troop withdrawal. One hundred days after the official withdrawal date, the Taliban now controls the…Full Article MIDDLE EAST: THE ILLICIT POPPY TRADE IN AFGHANISTAN
CRISTINA PEDLER WRITES — Malala Yousafzai, human rights activist and champion of women’s education, announced her marriage to the world via social media on November 9, 2021. The happy couple tied the knot during a Nikah ceremony – a legal agreement between bride and groom in her home of Birmingham,…Full Article MALALA GETS HITCHED: A LOOK AT THE ISLAMIC NIKAH MARRIAGE CEREMONY
TESSA MULLER WRITES – The people of Pakistan are paying a steep price for their government’s equivocation in the War on Terror. Pakistan’s role in the War on Terror has long been a complicated one. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan expressed public support for the U.S.-led Coalition…Full Article PAKISTAN: IS THE GOVERNMENT TRYING TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS?
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of the subjects of this article, the names of the interviewees have been changed. AIDAN SMITH-FAGAN WRITES — “It was a very atypical afternoon soccer game.” Will remembers the hushed tones in the voices of parents on the sidelines. It was unusually quiet and “parents…Full Article AFGHANISTAN: THE STORY OF THE FOREVER WAR, TOLD BY MEN WHO SERVED THERE
TOM PLATE WRITES — The agony in Afghanistan makes for many sorrows. Beyond the scenes of chaos at Kabul airport is the unseen anguish of all those US veterans back home who are dealing with various psychological and physical traumas and are now especially unproud of their country; of families…Full Article AFGHANISTAN AND BEYOND: CHINA MUST LEARN FROM US HUBRIS AND BLUNDERS
KIANA KARIMI WRITES – “Who lives, who dies, who tells your stories?” The refrain from the American Musical Hamilton encapsulates the fears of Afghans as the Taliban once again usurped power. A crescendo of terror stupefied all as the Taliban quickly bludgeoned their way to Kabul following the withdrawal of…Full Article AFGHANISTAN: THE WITHDRAWAL WAS A MESS. BUT BIDEN’S SUDDEN MOVE IS MORE RIGHT THAN WRONG
LIAM ROGERS WRITES — Afghanistan has been an unfriendly place for women. During the 1996-2001 Taliban rule, women were not allowed to attend school, work, leave their homes without men, or show skin in public. The 2018 Academy Award Nominee, The Breadwinner, featured a beautifully horrific presentation of this reality.…Full Article AFGHANISTAN: WITH THE WITHDRAWAL OF AMERICAN TROOPS, ARE WOMEN LEFT BEHIND?
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – For years, news anchor and journalist Hamid Mir has been fighting for the cause of a free press in Pakistan. Now he’s fighting for his own life. Still recovering from an unsolved assassination attempt April 19, Mir, undaunted, issued a statement accusing the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)…Full Article PAKISTAN: Are Government Spies Behind Media Assault?
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The Pakistani wing of the Taliban wants to do the seemingly impossible: Win public sympathy through improved PR. Surprisingly, it’s working. Since the election of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last year, the Taliban has retooled its communications ops to project the image of an embattled and…Full Article PAKISTAN: Taliban’s PR Blitz Divides and Conquers
VITTO BANEZ WRITES – With Afghan elections around the corner, it’s no surprise that the Taliban have something to say. On March 10, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said Afghans should sit out the elections, because they’re “an American conspiracy” cooked up by the U.S. for its own evil purposes. Evil…Full Article AFGHANISTAN: Taliban Causes Trouble for Presidential Elections
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – The deaths of three reporters at the hands of Taliban gunmen Jan. 17 is the latest in a series of terrorist attacks designed to silence anti-Taliban reporting in the afflicted country. On Friday, a group of gunmen on motorcycles shot into the van of three Express Tribune…Full Article PAKISTAN: Death of Tribune Staffers Underscores Dangers of Reporting
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Though they’ve reported on floods, bombings, wars, and protests in some of the most dangerous places in the world, female journalists in Pakistan and India are still threatened and mistreated at home. Despite repeated calls for change from groups ranging from the United Nations to the Women’s…Full Article INDIA & PAKISTAN: Female Journalists Face Dangers in the Field and Workplace
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Pakistani student and education activist Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography has been well received everywhere, it seems, but in her own country. On November 11, The Guardian reported that nationwide, Pakistani private schools had banned her book, I Am Malala, from being studied or read. Education officials point…Full Article PAKISTAN: Malala’s Book Banned in Schools
AUSTIN SZABO WRITES – Media darling or not, the Western press has largely ignored Malala Yousafzai’s stance against U.S. drone strikes — and capitalism. Malala has been praised for her efforts to raise awareness of the importance of education in Pakistan, particularly for girls, but her voice against drone strikes…Full Article PAKISTAN: American Media Silent On Malala’s Stance Against Capitalism
VITTO BANEZ WRITES – A U.S. airfield was under attack! Late in the night of October 13, Taliban fighters launched several missiles in Bagram, an airfield north of the capital of Kabul. It’s still uncertain on how much of an impact the attack made. Reports on its effectiveness varied. A Taliban…Full Article AFGHANISTAN: Taliban Strike but was it a Big Deal?
Author Maya Angelou stated, “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential.” If this is true, Malala Yousafzai was born with an unlimited amount of potential for courage. Quite frankly she has shown more courage in her first 15 years of life than most adults ever…Full Article PAKISTAN: Lessons on Courage