At the stringing table, most of the women wear hijabs. Natives of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, they have been in the U.S. less than two years, arriving in Houston through Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston's refugee services program. They speak Arabic, Farsi, Pashto or Dari. Which is to say, they sometimes speak with each other only slightly better than they can talk with me.
“Merkel maybe can do something to open the border,” Farhad said in English, which he has learned over the year since he fled war and poverty in his home country. Farhad also likes to draw portraits of his family and friends, fairytale castles, nature or anything else that comes to mind. Painting, he said, has helped during the flight. “I was in Turkey, I was in Greece,” Farhad said of the trip. “Here in the camp I like my painting, I like drawing my feelings and faces.”
Since the formation of the Afghan National Unity Government in 2014, Kabul has used “Pashtun Diplomacy” as an instrument to bring the bilateral Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship back on track and make grounds for re-initiating normal official talks. The Afghan government also seeks the support of Pakistani Pashtun nationalist and religious parties as facilitators and confidence-builders in the Afghan peace process.
A trailblazing all-female orchestra overcomes barriers to bring Afghan music before world leaders.
A panel discussion hosted by CPD on March 8th featuring counterterrorism experts from DC, USC and beyond.
There are several apparent motives behind the Taliban’s outreach: to decrease misperceptions and concerns about the Taliban and strive to change international opinion, which is currently stacked against them; to get supports for the Taliban’s war against U.S. “occupation”; to negotiate prisoner swaps; and to discuss the Afghan peace process.
In early December Afghan fashion found a place in the Middle Eastern edition of Vogue magazine, lithe models posed in colorful, high-end gowns and accessories made by craftsmen from Afghanistan. The couture in Vogue’s pages was also featured in a United States-sponsored exhibition I visited here in Dubai focusing on Afghan exports, including carpets, fruits and nuts, and marble and precious stones.