Why What's Up Afghanistan
On making sense of all things Afghanistan, both inside and out
I had this running joke with some of my friends after my trip to Afghanistan in 2019 that pretty much every conversation—at a dinner party, when I meet new people, when I’m randomly interacting with strangers—would be about how I just had gone to Afghanistan. It’s in fact, a joke, but it also has some truth to it. I could simply not stop thinking about Afghanistan, from the moment I woke up to the moment I stopped doom scrolling on Twitter in bed. That hasn’t really changed, to be honest. It was a trip that was deeply impactful on how I thought about myself, the world, and the place that I am from. I came away with a better understanding of a place that is both plagued by conflict and known for its vast beauty and hospitality. I think I was a bit perplexed about the vast complexities and those difficulties continue. my community organizing is focused on the Afghan diaspora, specifically in America, and how to continue to be an energized and engaged progressive-minded community. Whether in Fremont or Washington D.C., all roads lead back to home. Home is Afghanistan while home is also Fremont, CA. I will try to bridge some disconnects between Afghanistan and the outside world. I thought I’d put together news and analysis that makes sense of news coming out of Afghanistan while centering the voices of Afghans, especially those on the frontline of things and those doing important work in the diaspora. A majority of western coverage of Afghanistan continues to do a poor job of focusing on those who matter most — Afghans — while assuming that Afghanistan continues to revolve around the decisions made by policymakers in the west. If there’s any takeaway from watching the news coming out of Afghanistan closely for the past 40+ years, it’s that Afghans are an empowered, independent collection of people who ask for the rest of the world to elevate their voices and to not let them be drowned out — whether by the relentless violence or louder Western voices trying to speak over them.