People, place, culture – stories of Afghan Diaspora communities
Since 9/11, generations of individuals and families from Afghan Diaspora communities in the United States have traveled to Afghanistan. Older generations have gone with hopes of rebuilding their war-torn homeland, and American-born Afghans have also made the long journey to explore their cultural heritage and find family members.
Several works from Afghan American writers and artists have emerged, telling the stories of Afghans who straddle two worlds and identities between life in the United States and ties to Afghanistan and the post Taliban reconstruction. Books like Tamim Ansary’s memoir “West of Kabul, East of New York” and Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” have become vastly popular. Based on radio documentaries aired on This American Life, “Come Back to Afghanistan: A California Teenager’s Story” was recently authored by Said Hyder Akbar and Susan Burton. Other intimate stories illustrate the struggles of Afghan women and girls including, “The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky” by Farah Ahmedi and “Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan” by Ann Jones.
Filmmakers have also been active shooting stories in Afghanistan – and in China.
Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” has been adapted for film and should hit theaters later this year. The filming ended in December, and the New York Times published an interesting story about making the film in: “Where to Shoot an Epic About Afghanistan? China, Where Else?”
This month in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Asian American Film Festival and Fremont-based nonprofit Afghan Coalition are presenting two screenings of the recent film “Kabul Transit.” One screening is on March 20, 2007 at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, and the second is on March 21 at 7 PM at the AMC 1000 Van Ness theater in San Francisco.