With the fall of the Taliban in 2001, many Afghans believed that, after 23 years of war, their country would be at peace again. Although recent increases in violence have dampened that spirit, there is nonetheless a small population of urban twenty-somethings who are resolutely —albeit not always successfully—working to build an Afghanistan where culture, art and entrepreneurship can flourish.
These young men and women have worked hard over six years, and it’s their spirit that has paved the way for new television stations, sports clubs, art galleries, music schools and countless businesses to open and thrive, mainly in such urban centers as Kabul and Herat. Indeed, those at the forefront say that, since 2004, there’s been a small cultural renaissance under way in Afghanistan. Here are five people who are making a difference.
Discovered in a refugee camp, feisty Grandma Hamida has gained fame in Afghanistan, but not riches – despite a role in ‘The Kite Runner.’Read More
We went to war to restore democracy and prosperity to Afghanistan, and spent billions on building new homes, hospitals and highways. But five years and thousands of lost lives later, everything is crumbling and the ferocious Taliban are back. Where did it all go wrong?Read More
By Safia Melad and Fariba Nawa December 22, 2004 Pajhwok Afghan News Kabul– Sakina, Zainab and Latifa were coming to their birthplace Afghanistan for the first time after 20 years from Pakistan. They were expecting a sweet homecoming with relatives; instead they got thrown into a women’s prison in Kabul. Four months ago, the women, who are related to each …Read More
By Fariba Nawa September 2004 Scholastic (view article with photos at scholastic.com) Elham stands tall, all three feet of him, to read a lesson from his book in front of his fourth-grade class. His gleaming blue eyes pass quickly over the pages. Class takes place inside a tent with no seats or desks. A washed-out blackboard stands in the corner. …Read More
By Fariba Nawa September 2004 Scholastic (view article with photos at scholastic.com) In the northeast of Afghanistan is a village called Yaftal, built along the edge of a mountain thousands of feet high. In the summer, it is windy and sunny. In the winter, it snows and only the men in the family dare to leave the village to find …Read More
By Fariba Nawa September 2003 Scholastic Baghdad — Five boys with a keyboard and a Volkswagen Passat. That’s all it took to form Unknown to No One, Iraq’s one and only boy band. Wide-eyed and ambitious, the boys represent the ethnic and religious mixture of Iraq. And a new spirit. Nadeem Hamid, 20; Art Haroutuanian, 26; Shant Garabitian, 25; Hassan …Read More