Afghan museum reopens with Taliban security -- and visitors

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The National Museum of Afghanistan is open once again and the Taliban, whose members once smashed their way through the facility destroying irreplaceable pieces of the country’s national heritage, now appear to be among its most enthusiastic visitors. The museum in southwest Kabul, which hosts artifacts...
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Norway urges World Bank's Afghanistan donors to channel funds to U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Norway is encouraging donors to a World Bank-administered fund for Afghanistan to agree to transfer $280 million to the World Food Programme and UNICEF, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said on Monday. The World Bank's board backed transferring $280 million to the U.N. agencies from...

Why I Built a Camera to Bring Back 20×24-Inch Instant Photography

During the long pandemic quarantine, I bought a laser cutter the size of a small Volkswagen to cut ventilator prototype parts, Brooklyn Film Camera Polaroid scan trays, and a number of other photographic equipment parts. I bought the largest cutter that I could fit in my shop, because I had been dreaming of the 20×24 Polaroid and Afghan box cameras since I was about 16 years old.

‘Flee’: Creating a New Narrative Language for the Animated Documentary Oscar Contender

A stirring animated documentary, director Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Flee” recounts the treacherous trajectory to safety of Amin (a pseudonym to protect the subject’s identity) from his native Afghanistan to Denmark. More than a safe vehicle to share the harrowing and touching real-life account, animation provides a narrative language with distinct aesthetic dialects that allows for the factual past, his sensorial memory, and the present to converge. An awards contender in multiple categories this season, the film benefits from the synergy between the artistic choices and the thematic substance of the story. Below, key members of the creative team at Sun Creature...
Washington Post

Let affirmative asylum seekers move to the front of the line

In her Nov. 26 Friday Opinion essay, “No one should have to wait years for the U.S. to consider their asylum claim,” Andrea Barron rightly criticized U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for ignoring the suffering of torture survivors and other affirmative asylum applicants.

Malala Yousafzai calls for stronger US support of Afghan women

Human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, who survived an attack by the Pakistani Taliban in 2012, argued Monday for stronger US support of Afghan girls and women during a visit to Washington. "Afghanistan right now is the only country where girls do not have access to secondary education. They are prohibited from learning," the 24-year-old, who works with female Afghan activists, noted in remarks standing alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. "This is the message of Afghan girls right now: we want to see a world where all girls can have access to safe and quality education," she added, while presenting a letter addressed to President Joe Biden from a 15-year-old Afghan girl named Sotodah. Sotodah wrote in her letter that "the longer schools and universities remain closed to girls, the more it will shade hope for [their] future," according to Yousafzai.
Snowboard Magazine

Victor Daviet Launches Snowboarders of Solidarity to Help Afghan Refugees

In late November, French phenom and 686 team rider Victor Daviet put out a call to action on his Instagram to help a group of Afghan refugees who had fled their home country to escape persecution for snowboarding. For years, Victor has used his riding as a fulcrum to help others through initiatives like Safety Shred Days and Riders for Refugees. When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, Victor saw an urgent need to help Afghan snowboarders he had met a year prior who were now in danger–just because they snowboard. Under the Taliban regime, participating in sport is not allowed and the act of snowboarding puts these individuals’ lives in danger. It was imperative that they flee the country. In order to help these men and women assimilate into new lives in other countries, Victor founded Snowboarders of Solidarity, a non-profit that aims to help snowboarders who have had to leave politically unsafe countries rebuild their lives using snowboarding as a way to to integrate and build community. Currently, SOS has a GoFundMe to help this group of Afghan refugees settle in new countries and is looking for more help from snowboarders all over the world. We checked in with Victor to learn about Snowboarders of Solidarity. – Mary T. Walsh.

Malala Yousafzai urges US to take action for Afghan women and girls

Human rights activist Malala Yousafzai on Monday urged the U.S. to take action for Afghan women and girls ahead of meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken . Speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C., Yousafzai addressed the need for Afghan girls to have access to education, noting that Afghanistan is the only country that does not allow secondary education for women.

Why do more than 40,000 Afghans remain at military bases in the US?

It’s been more than three months since the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, and the chaotic evacuation of tens of thousands of Afghans. Many have settled into new lives in the United States, but more than 40,000 Afghan evacuees still remain at US military bases. The World’s Monica Campbell reports on the challenges facing this historic resettlement effort. One note: The Afghans in this story who recently fled their country asked to use their first names only for security purposes.

Afghan Artists Make Plea to U.S. and European Leaders for Refuge: ‘A Dark Future Awaits’

In an urgent effort to flee persecution, a group of anonymous Afghan artists penned an open letter to President Joe Biden and other European political leaders seeking evacuation from the country following the Taliban regime’s takeover. Artists at Risk, a global nonprofit organization founded as an affiliate of the Finnish arts platform Perpetuum Mobile to aid artists in conflict zones, delivered the letter on Monday to Biden. The letter’s other recipients included German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Fearing for their...