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Author Archive for: ‘Fariba’

The trouble with Mother’s Day

Few harp on Mother’s Day. I have yet to hear holiday critics deconstruct the celebration as a consumerist ploy to further capitalism. But it is, and marketers will exploit every American holiday to boost sales. The question is why isn’t it critiqued in our national narrative like Valentine’s Day? I have an international group of social media friends and I …

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Justice for Farkhunda doesn’t stop here

Today, Afghans who cried for justice across the globe after Farkhunda’s March killing in Kabul were thrown a bone. Farkhunda, a student of Islam, was beaten and burned to death by a young mob in Afghanistan’s capital after she was wrongly accused of burning the Quran. The attack was captured on video and posted on social media, shocking Afghans in …

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Reflections from the Gulf

I spent August 2014 in Sharjah and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates visiting my in-laws but also getting to know the migrant women and men who live in the Gulf. As I toured malls and hotels — that’s almost all there is to do in the summer with kids when the heat outside is unbearable — I struck up …

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Backstory to Newsweek piece

I went on vacation to Europe this summer to see my relatives and came out with a story. That’s what happens when journos go on vacation. Even our families can’t rest. But the story I came across had to be written from a personal perspective because several of my younger relatives were turning to extremist ideology and they happen to …

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The Last Breath

I’ve seen violent death and I was able to go on scarred but functional. But the death looming before me these days is the hardest to bear. It’s a family picture with the patriarch slowly fading. The head, the arms, the body. You try to stop the eraser with your memories but there’s no stopping it. It only hurts more …

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Heading East Again

It’s safe, sunny and quiet. My girls go to a decent school. We own a home, a business and my extended family lives nearby. The largest Afghan community in the U.S. is here – Little Kabul in the San Francisco Bay Area. This multicultural, thriving hub buzzing with new technology is where I should belong. And I do belong. But …

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Justice for Afghanistan’s disappeared: Q and A with Dutch police

On September 18, 2013, Dutch authorities released a death list of Afghanistan’s disappeared that threw Afghans into a frenzy. The list opened old wounds. Families held funerals and called for justice. There were nearly 5,000 of those on the list who disappeared under the communist regime from 1978-79. Brutal ruling regimes from the communists, the Mujahideen, the Taliban and the …

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Darya’s fate

Today is International Women’s Day and I dedicate today to Darya, the heroine opium bride in Opium Nation. I found Darya after nine years of searching. She was 12 when I met her. She asked me to help save her from a forced marriage to a 46-year-old drug smuggler. She’s now 21. My book needs a new ending but until …

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Highlights from a year on book tour

-Learning to speak to Italians via Google Translate. I got dozens of emails in Italian from readers who were touched by the book. In Italy, the book was published hardcover with a cover of a woman in niqab and titled The Afghan Wife. I had nothing to do with any of it except the words on the inside pages. -I …

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Reflections of a year on book tour

From New York to Los Angeles, Seattle to Phoenix, to the nation’s capital, I stood before Americans for the last year and told the story of Afghanistan’s drug trade, the story of its women, its drug lords, its heroes and criminals. I told my own story of an exile returning to my homeland, traveling in the region for seven years …

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