Foreign Policy Blogs

Check Outs!

Here are some Afghan-related issues to Check Out!

Check out this intriguing story of the Last Jew in Afghanistan, which features a five minute video interview of you got it, the last Jew in Afghanistan. The short documentary by Oliver Englehart, profiles Zablon Simantov, a Jewish resident of Kabul, explains why he remains despite his increasing solitude. Simantov visits a deserted Synagogue, discusses sending his two daughters to Israel, and mistreatment by members of the Taliban. Though the video is sobering and showcases many of the challenges facing all of Afghan society in the life of one man, one still should find it uplifting as Simantov has maintained a sense of humor and appreciation of life, or at least of flowers.

Another thing to Check Out is FPA’s own Marco Vicenzino’s article ‘Sustaining the International Committment in Afghanistan‘ on the homepage. Vicenzino’s well-thought out piece concentrates on ways the US could help NATO’s European members help out in Afghanistan. This timely piece of course comes out after Europe’s lackluster promise of only a few thousand short-term, non-combat troops. The most provocative aspect of Vicenzino’s article is his promotion of reaching the general population of NATO’s Euro members and attempting to make them see how important Afghanistan is to global security and human rights. Here is an excerpt:

This underscores the fundamental need for a collective and concerted public awareness effort in the U.S., Europe and other nations involved to promote the cause of a stable Afghanistan. A real and compelling case must be made to influence public opinion and build and sustain popular support, particularly at the grassroots level in Europe, where serious doubts persist. The media must objectively and effectively communicate the personal dimension of the conflict and highlight the humanitarian challenges facing ordinary Afghans. Conveying individual interest stories can generate public interest and humanize the situation beyond the daily reports of fatalities and suicide bombings alongside the technicalities of military strategy and tactics.

Now for some little check outs:

  • Former First Lady Laura Bush continues to raise support for Afghan women.
  • The Global Post’s Jean MacKenzie investigates Afghanistan’s ‘Generation Nowhere‘, a group of Afghan young adults who live a Western lifestyle in a very non-Western country.