REPORTING BY ABDUL BASIR BINA AND SHIKIB AHMAD NAZARI
The summer and fall harvest seasons offered a fleeting respite for numerous Afghan households grappling with the challenge of securing sustenance. But now winter is arriving, with January and February being the months with the harshest weather. According to the UN World Food Programme, 4 million people in Afghanistan are acutely malnourished, including 3.2 million children under age five.
The living standards in Afghanistan, already tenuous before the Taliban assumed control in August 2021, plummeted further amid their power seizure and the ensuing economic collapse. In particular, reports the International Rescue Committee, “Food insecurity remains the greatest threat to everyday Afghans. Currently, 40% of the country’s population are facing acute food insecurity¬—the fourth highest figure in the world.”
We’re doing something new! It’s a podcast-light. Listen to our first audio conversation with the Anthrow Circus team. Our creative director, Jen, and manager of operations & social media, Armon, learn from our editor-in-chief, Kami, about the situation in Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew from the country two years ago in August 2021. Kami and her Allied Shepherd team have been working to aid Afghans trying to relocate and find safety. Listen and learn with us. And then click on over to other Anthrow Circus stories from Afghanistan..
DOCUMENTARY & PHOTO BY W.H.
INTRODUCTORY TEXT BY HEATHER M. SURLS
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.” This quote from Disney’s animated film “Mulan” aptly describes Maryam, Khadija, and Fatima Kawsary, teenage Afghan sisters living outside of their home country and still cultivating their passion for art.
If you’re a woman born and raised in Afghanistan, you live in war against nearly everything in life. Too often, even from your very first breath outside the womb, you are not really welcomed by your own family—or if you’re blessed with good parents, society and certain people’s mindsets work to steal the smile from your face.
Aliakbar turned 34 years old in June 2022. He was a loving father to three boys and a devoted husband to his supportive wife, Karima. Originally from Dushi, Baghlan, he was an IT expert and CEO of his IT consultation company. Aliakbar was heavily involved in charitable and humanitarian projects throughout his adult life. He founded HikeVentures Afghanistan in 2017 to help others develop skills in mountaineering, climbing, and trekking, and to enable people to safely enjoy Afghanistan’s unparalleled natural beauty. He was at the forefront of raising funds for underprivileged communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and collected and distributed aid to victims of natural and manmade disasters.
I spent a May afternoon rushing through the wide halls of the U.S. Senate office buildings. It wasn’t the first time I was on Capitol Hill this past spring, but this time I chanced being late for an important flight because the clock was ticking on this issue that kept me coming back to the Hill. The next morning, I learned that day’s meetings had seemingly been for naught.
MIXED-MEDIA VIDEO BY “TILL WE HAVE FACES INTRODUCTORY TEXT BY HEATHER M. SURLS
Setara, a 17-year-old from Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, remembers falling asleep at her grandmother’s house as a girl. Grandma Gul, or Grandma Flower, would sit beside her with a cup of chai and rock-sugar candies and tell her stories. One of these was the story of Yalda, a traditional Afghan tale about a village girl who meets a feared “witch” on the longest night of the year.
An excerpt from “Me Too: A Global Crisis,” chapter 6 of Sarah Dawn Petrin’s book BRING RAIN: Helping Humanity in Crisis
As an international relief worker whose career spans 20 years and 20 countries, I’ve worked to address many problems caused by war, disaster, and disease. But the one that has confounded me the most is sexual violence, which affects one in three women globally.
In order to end the cycle of violence against women, it’s important to understand why sexual violence is taking place.
AUDIO AND VIDEO PRODUCTION BY MAHBOOB F. INTERVIEW BY KAMI L. RICE
Mahboob, a member of the Anthrow Circus family, reached out to me in April looking to fashion a story about his concern over how people back home in Afghanistan would be able to weather the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. From his current home in Greece, he was feeling rather powerless to know how to help them. Over the months that followed, I interviewed him and helped shape the account we present here. Mahboob, who works in media production for a nonprofit organization, recorded our audio, supplied images, and did the production work.