Feb 1 2022
What Do We Get Wrong About Afghanistan?
On August 30, 2021, nearly 20 years after they arrived, the last US troops left Afghanistan. Now, some six months later, the world has largely moved on from the story of Afghanistan and the people who remain there in the wake of the US withdrawal and the reinstatement of Taliban control. In this episode of Big World, SIS professor Tazreena Sajjad joins us to discuss what we get wrong about Afghanistan when we only talk about the ways that other nations, including the US, intersect with it.
Professor Sajjad shares how she become interested in Afghanistan, both personally and professionally (1:59), and explains the historical events that have resulted in Afghanistan’s long-standing displacement crisis (4:05). She also describes factors that have led to forcible displacement from the country during the last 20 years of ongoing occupation (5:24) and points out which countries are currently hosting refugees from Afghanistan (7:42).
What is happening to the Afghans who are displaced or remain within the country’s borders, including ethnic minorities, journalists, government workers, educators, human rights activists, and women and girls (15:57)? What would Professor Sajjad like to see for the people of Afghanistan, both those who remain and those who felt they had no choice but to leave (22:31)? Professor Sajjad answers these questions and takes on the trope that Afghanistan is the “Graveyard of Empires” (23:56).
During our “Take Five” segment, Professor Sajjad shares the first five things she would do to help displaced Afghans and others seeking refuge (11:52).