It's Our Anniversary! Donate to support Anthrow Circus.
Anthrow Circus

View From a Pandemic: Concern for People Back Home


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.

This story turned even more poignant when, after we selected the audio excerpts for these video chapters, sadness struck Mahboob and his family: His father passed away in Afghanistan in early June, almost certainly felled by COVID-19, unable to fight it off due to other health issues. Here’s part of what Mahboob shared with friends about his dad: “While I can’t express what I feel properly in words, he has been an amazing dad, the first person who supported me with what I dreamed of my life, taught me about love and compassion, and gave me the freedom to choose.”

—Kami Rice

Chapter 1: What’s in a Name?

Learn about Mahboob’s name. Mahboob is pictured here with Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s former president.

Chapter 2: A Kabul Family

Learn about the people of Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital.

Chapter 3: Earliest Memories, mid-1990s

Learn about Mahboob’s memories of Kabul life as a child and people’s food hardships then.

Chapter 4: The Afghanistan of Before, Better than Europe

Learn how Afghanistan used to be different from how it is now.

Chapter 5: Burden for Present-Day Afghanistan

Learn how the pandemic makes already-hard life harder.

Chapter 6: Poverty in Greece vs. Afghanistan

Learn how Greece’s economic challenges play out for its residents who are poor versus how life looks for Afghanistan’s residents who are poor.

Chapter 7: Sincere & Friendly People

Learn more about what the regular people of Afghanistan are like, beyond the violence that dominates headlines.

Chapter 8: Hope

Learn more about Mahboob’s hope for the future of Afghanistan.

All images feature Greece or Afghanistan and are provided by Mahboob Faizi.

Want to help?

We featured the Mobile Mini Circus for Children in a recent Anthrow Circus story. In case Mahboob’s story puts Afghans on your heart, one opportunity for action is to support MMCC’s coronavirus-related sanitation and training efforts in Afghanistan.

Author profile
Mahboob Faizi

Originally from Afghanistan, Mahboob Faizi is currently based in Greece.

.محبوب فیضی متولد کابل و در حال حاظر مقیم یونان

Author profile
Kami L. Rice

Kami Rice, Anthrow Circus’s editor, plies her insatiable curiosity from a base in northern France and from perches in coffeehouses, cafés, and friends' homes the world over. As a freelance journalist, she has reported for the Washington Post, The Telegraph, The Tennessean, Nashville Arts Magazine, and Christianity Today, among many others. Her more creative work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, The High Calling, and Washington Institute's Missio. Her French to English translation has been published by Éditions Beaux-Arts de Paris. She also edits manuscripts and articles for a variety of clients and loves learning about the lives of regular, real people wherever she finds herself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *