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 Sakhi Pursued His Dreams for His Country to the End
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.
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 FAIZI INTERVIEW BY KAMI L. RICE
Mahboob Faizi, 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.
In the newest installment in our roving View From Here series Mahboob Faizi takes us to a quiet spot near Kabul, Afghanistan. With this article, we’re excited to add a new language in our Sans Frontières series of articles published in multiple languages. Mahboob has written for us in both English and Dari, which is the version of Persian spoken in Afghanistan.