War and poverty have scattered Afghans across the globe like pieces of shrapnel. Millions of Afghans came of age in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran or as workers in the Persian Gulf nations. The migration continues. The past few years have added a new lethal geography to the Afghan tragedy: the battlefields of President Bashar al-Assad’s Syria.
Two years ago, Abdol Amin, 19, left his home in the Foladi Valley in Bamyan, one of Afghanistan’s poorest provinces, to find work in Iran. Two million undocumented Afghans and a million Afghans with refugee status already lived in Iran. His sister and brother-in-law lived in Isfahan.… Seguir leyendo » “How Iran Recruited Afghan Refugees to Fight Assad’s War”
I spent the evening of April 13 with a cousin and two aunts in the upscale Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in Kabul, Afghanistan. My aunts mostly talked about their relaxed, liberal early youth in the 1960s among the Kabul elite. As we waited in the driveway for our car, my cousin told me about an explosion in Nangarhar, the eastern province of Afghanistan, where our family comes from. We scrolled through our phones. As we drove out, it became clear it wasn’t the beginning of the Taliban’s so-called Spring Offensive.
Around 8 p.m. Afghan time, the United States had dropped a 21,600-pound, $16 million bomb on Asadkhel, a tiny village nestled between two forested hills, to attack a decades-old tunnel system that was being used by fighters claiming allegiance to the Iraq- and Syria-based Islamic State.… Seguir leyendo » “Mother of All Bombs”