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.
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.”
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.