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Sharbat Gula, who became an international symbol of Afghan refugees after her portrait was published on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985, was evacuated to Rome after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban, the Italian government said Thursday. Ever since the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan in August, nonprofit organizations had appealed for help in evacuating Ms. Gula, the government said in a statement. “The prime minister’s office has brought about and organized her transfer to Italy,” the statement said. Ms. Gula, now in her late 40s and the mother of several children, was believed to be 12 when Steve McCurry photographed her, with a piercing, green-eyed stare, in 1984 in a refugee camp in Pakistan for National Geographic. He did not learn her name until 2002, when he found her in the mountains of Afghanistan and was able to verify her identity.
Persons: Sharbat Gula, Gula, Steve McCurry Organizations: Geographic, National Geographic Locations: Rome, Afghanistan, U.S, Italy, Pakistan
Sharbat Gula, famously known as the green-eyed “Afghan Girl” from National Geographic's 1985 magazine cover, has received refuge in Italy amid efforts to evacuate Afghans after the Taliban took over the country three months ago when the U.S. withdrew its remaining troops from Afghanistan. Gula is now in the city of Rome, according to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. The Italian government will help to get her integrated into life in Italy, the statement said. Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, right, meets with National Geographic's famed green-eyed "Afghan Girl" Sharbat Gulla in Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 9, 2016. Gula's travel to Italy is “part of the wider evacuation program in place for Afghan citizens and the government’s plan for their reception and integration,” the European nation added.
Persons: Sharbat Gula, Gula, Steve McCurry, McCurry, Ashraf Ghani, Rahmat Gul Organizations: U.S, Ministers, National, Taliban Locations: Italy, Afghanistan, Rome, Kabul, Pakistan
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Organizations: Wall Street
Internal memos seen by The Intercept shows Facebook has made niche exceptions to this ban. The Intercept viewed internal Facebook memos that mentioned times when the company allowed branches of Afghanistan's government to post. From late August to early September, users were allowed to post Taliban public statements without having to "neutrally discuss, report on, or condemn" them, The Intercept reported, citing an internal memo. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to The Intercept that the company had made some exceptions to its Taliban ban. Ashley Jackson, codirector of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups, told The Intercept that Facebook's approach to deciding which Taliban content to allow seemed arbitrary.
Persons: , we've, Ashley Jackson, codirector, Jackson Organizations: Intercept, Facebook, Service, Ministry of, Ministry of Health, The Intercept, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry, Public, Afghan, Centre, Armed Groups, Financial Times, YouTube, Twitter Locations: Afghanistan, Islamic Emirate
— Harris Mojadedi’s parents fled Afghanistan’s communist revolution four decades ago and arrived as refugees in this San Francisco suburb in 1986, lured by the unlikely presence of a Farsi-speaking doctor and a single Afghan grocery store. “When I went to school, I saw other Afghan kids. I knew about my culture, and I felt a sense of, like, that my community was part of Fremont,” Mr. Mojadedi recalled recently over a game of teka and chapli kebabs during lunch with other young Afghans from the area. Housing in the Bay Area city is out of reach, with one-bedroom apartments going for more than $2,500 a month. Even longtime residents of Little Kabul are leaving for cheaper areas.
Persons: — Harris Mojadedi’s, Mojadedi’s, ” Mr, Mojadedi, chapli Locations: FREMONT, Ca, San Francisco, Fremont, Kabul, United States, Afghanistan, Bay Area, Silicon Valley, Little Kabul
U.N. warns of 'colossal' collapse of Afghan banking system
  + stars: | 2021-11-22 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
The United Nations on Monday pushed for urgent action to prop up Afghanistan's banks, warning that a spike in people who are unable to repay loans as well as lower deposits and a cash liquidity crunch could cause the financial system to collapse within months. In a three-page report on Afghanistan's banking and financial system seen by Reuters, the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) said the economic cost of a banking system collapse - and consequent negative social impact - "would be colossal." "Afghanistan's financial and bank payment systems are in disarray. The bank-run problem must be resolved quickly to improve Afghanistan's limited production capacity and prevent the banking system from collapsing," the UNDP report said. Finding a way to avert a collapse is complicated by international and unilateral sanctions on Taliban leaders.
Persons: Read Organizations: Nations, Reuters, Programme, UNDP Locations: freefall
Jobs lost, middle class Afghans slide into poverty, hunger
  + stars: | 2021-11-22 | by ( )   time to read: +6 min
Then the world's shutdown of funding to Afghanistan after the Taliban's Aug. 15 seizure of power pulled the rug out from under the country's small middle class. International aid also fueled projects around the country that provided jobs, most of which are now on hold. The 39-year-old Salihi said her husband was told not to come to the office and he hasn't received his salary since. Hassanzwai, 29, had been working in the Culture Ministry but hadn't gotten a salary since the Taliban came to power. Now he's jobless with his wife and three children as well as his four younger sisters all dependent on him.
Persons: Ferishta Salihi, We've, Salihi, Fatima, hasn't, It's, Shelley Thakral, Nouria, Sarvari, Sajjad, Samim Hassanzwai, hadn't Organizations: Nations, Taliban, World Bank, Development, World Health Organization, UNICEF, WFP, Higher Education Ministry, Culture Ministry Locations: Kabul, Afghanistan, U.S, U.N, American
Supporting Afghan Women, From the Queens Waterfront
  + stars: | 2021-11-22 | by ( D.W. Gibson | )   time to read: +1 min
Zahra Sahebzada had a view of the Manhattan skyline long before she moved into her Long Island City apartment. “I’m all about manifesting.”Previously she was living in Hicksville, N.Y., on Long Island, where her family moved 20 years ago. “It wasn’t just a magical city view,” Ms. Sahebzada said. Her mother fled Afghanistan near the end of the Afghan-Soviet War, traveling ahead of her husband, and gave birth to Ms. Sahebzada in Nantes, France, where the family settled briefly. Undocumented and feeling unwelcome, they moved on to Hamburg, Germany, for a few years, before settling in Queens and eventually becoming U.S. citizens.
Persons: Zahra Sahebzada, , , Ms, Sahebzada, , Organizations: Afghan Locations: Manhattan, Island City, Hicksville, Long, Queens, ’ ” Queens, United States, Afghanistan, Soviet, Nantes, France, Hamburg, Germany, U.S
It is traditional for families here to pay a dowry to a bride’s family for a marriage, but it is extreme to arrange a marriage for a child so young. Eight year old Benazir, second right, walks with her father in Herat, Afghanistan. Promising their daughters early for marriage, in exchange for cash, is seen as a lifeline for families that barely have a scrap of bread to eat. Farzana is 8 months old but weighs just 6 ½ pounds. At 4 months old, he’s already spent a total of three months at the center.
Persons: Afghanistan —, Benazir fidgets, she’s, hasn’t, She’s, Benazir, Murad Khan, , Khan, “ I’ve, I’ve, , , Henrietta Fore, Saliha, Saliha’s, Muhammed Khan, NBC “ I’ve, Gaia Giletta, Giletta, Smita Umar, Ali, he’s, ” Umar, ” Richard Engel, Gabe Joselow, Ahmed Mengli, Yuliya Talmazan Organizations: NBC, United Nations Population Fund, UNICEF, World Bank, U.S ., United Nations, Food, Herat Regional Hospital Locations: SHAIDAI, Afghanistan, Herat, Shaidai, Iran, Faryab province, Benazir, Farzana, United States, U.S, Yuliya, London
Thousands of Afghans who were evacuated from Kabul after the Taliban seized power in August could be stranded in other countries for years because of backlogs in the U.S. refugee system, according to officials and the groups that helped them escape. From interpreters to policewomen to judges, many say they were promised—in recruitment pitches for the military and other venues—a chance to come to the U.S. in return for promoting American goals during the 20-year war. Instead, many could wait years to continue their journeys while relying on host governments and private charities to meet their needs until then.
Organizations: U.S . Locations: Kabul, U.S
Around 45,000 Afghans at US bases are still waiting to be resettled, The Washington Post reported. There are also another 26,000 applications from Afghans looking to enter the US awaiting review. See all newslettersAround 45,000 Afghans housed in temporary camps at US military bases are still waiting to be resettled more than two months after they were withdrawn from Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported. 7,100 ended up at Holloman and more than 4,000 are still housed there, the Post reported. Human rights non-profit groups like Human Rights First have urged Congress to pass the bill.
Persons: Curtis Velasquez, Victoria Palmer, Biden, Jennifer Quigley Organizations: Reuters, Washington Post, Air Force, Holloman Air Force Base, White, National Security Council, Holloman, US, Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, Biden Administration, Afghan Locations: Afghanistan, New Mexico, Holloman, United States
Benazir, for example, is an 8-year-old girl from Afghanistan whose family sold her for $2,000. The money will go toward keeping the rest of the family, including eight kids, alive, Benzari's father told NBC News. I'm trying to keep 10 alive by sacrificing one," Muraad Khan, 55, told NBC News. Benazir will be married to a boy from a family in Iran, Khan told NBC News. Afghanistan faces "a crush on local banking" because of the Taliban takeover, Wignaraja said.
Persons: Benazir, Benzari's, Muraad Khan, Khan hasn't, Khan, Saliha, Saliha's, Parwana Malik, Saleha, Kanni Wignaraja, Wignaraja, Joe Biden's, Biden, Shah Mehrabi Organizations: NBC, NBC News, United, Federal Reserve Bank, Da, Da Afghanistan Bank, Bloomberg Locations: Afghanistan, Iran, United Nations, UNDP's Asia, Pacific, Taliban, Islamic Emirate, New York, Da Afghanistan
ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan — Abdul Hamid’s pomegranate trees were scarred from bullets and shrapnel. There was no profit anymore from the fruit that made his district in southern Afghanistan so renowned for something other than war. So this month, Mr. Hamid’s field hands began destroying his 800 or so pomegranate trees in Kandahar’s Arghandab district. “There’s no water, no good crops,” Mr. Hamid, 80, said, the steady burp of a chain saw drowning out his bleak assessment. The lack of rain and diminishing well water had made it nearly impossible to irrigate the trees year-round, leaving portions of this year’s harvest burned from dehydration.
Persons: Afghanistan — Abdul, Mr, Hamid Locations: ARGHANDAB, Afghanistan, Kandahar’s Arghandab
Particularly since, in true Hollywood fashion, the film — penned by George Nolfi, a co-writer of “The Bourne Ultimatum” — is set to make American military troops the heroes of the movie. Although a less formal relationship exists today, the legacy of historical revisions of American military feats continues. The images of Iraqis forced naked into human pyramids, simulating sex as American soldiers smile on, is forever etched into our memories. The choice to focus on the American soldiers in the as-yet-unnamed Afghanistan withdrawal film is in keeping with the sidelining of Muslims in favor of white protagonists. Although we have yet to see the script for Universal’s Afghanistan withdrawal picture, we do know that it comes as Afghans continue to suffer today.
Persons: It’s, Oliver Stone, , , Channing Tatum, Tom Hardy, George Nolfi, , Paul Greengrass, Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar, Clint Eastwood’s, Chris Kyle, Kyle, Jacinda Ardern Organizations: U.S, Universal Pictures, Comcast, NBC, Trade Center, , Lions, London, Hollywood, U.S . Office, Motion Pictures, Pictures Locations: U.S, Afghanistan, NBCUniversal, Kabul, Iraq, Iraq’s Abu, Abu Ghraib, Christchurch, New Zealand
An illustration picture shows a projection of binary code on a man holding a laptop computer, in an office in Warsaw June 24, 2013. Facebook (FB.O) said the group, known in the security industry as SideCopy, shared links to websites hosting malware which could surveil people's devices. It also compromised legitimate websites to manipulate people into giving up their Facebook credentials. Investigators also said Facebook had last month disabled the accounts of two hacking groups which it linked to Syria's Air Force Intelligence. Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in New York Editing by Matthew LewisOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Persons: Kacper, It's, Mike Dvilyanski, Facebook, Facebook's, David Agranovich, Elizabeth Culliford, Matthew Lewis Organizations: REUTERS, Facebook, Reuters, Twitter Inc, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, U.S . State Department, Syria's Air Force Intelligence, Syrian Electronic Army, Free Syrian Army, Syria Civil Defense, Thomson Locations: Warsaw, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kabul, Syria, New York
Three months into Taliban rule, 22.8 million Afghans could face acute hunger this winter, the UN says. The Taliban "obsesses" over women's daily activities while failing to manage basic needs, Afghan women said in a recent viral video. (The Taliban has forced some women to abandon their jobs, but female doctors have continue to work.) A women holds a child in the encampment that displaced Afghans have set up in Kabul's Saray Shamali neighborhood on Nov. 2, 2021. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty ImagesWhile unemployment is a problem across Afghanistan, it used to be that women could work and contribute to the family income.
Persons: Zahra Mohammadi, that's, Mohammadi, HECTOR RETAMAL, They've, António Guterres, Ashraf Ghani, Suhail Shaheen, Shaheen, Oliver Weiken, Farhan Hotak, Badakshis, Hotak, Saifurahman, Niazi, they're Organizations: UN, Taliban, Getty, United Nations, Food, World Health Organization, US, Security Forces, of Women's Affairs, Ministry, Human Rights Watch Locations: Kabul, Saray Shamali, AFP, Afghanistan, Tajik, Afghan, Badakhshan province, Tajikistan, Emirate, Northern, Panjshir, Saifurahman Safi, Xinhua, Faizabad
Few understand that devastating new reality more than Masooma and her family. “When the Taliban became in power, we were not expecting these things,” said Masooma’s uncle-in-law, Abdul Raziq Rajabi, 50, the morning after Maisam died. He started selling agricultural equipment, married his wife, Sughra, and eventually had a daughter and two sons. Ezzatullah Rajabi, 33, Sughra and Nematullah’s son, married Masooma and they had three boys of their own. After the Taliban briefly seized the city in 2015 and 2016, Sughra called every week begging him to return to Kandahar.
Persons: , , Masooma’s, Abdul Raziq Rajabi, Maisam, Haji Nematullah Rajabi, Sughra, Ezzatullah Rajabi, Masooma Organizations: Taliban Locations: Kandahar, Hazara, Ghazni, Kunduz, Afghanistan
SULAIMANIYA, Iraq — As the Taliban closed in on the Afghan capital, Kabul, in August, what had been a privileged education at the American University of Afghanistan suddenly became a dangerous liability. Iraq, though, was not the first destination that came to the students’ minds as a refuge. “OK, now I’m leaving the Taliban behind,” said Mashall, 24, a master’s student in information technology. “And now I’m going to face ISIS,” she said, describing her concern over the Islamic State when told her evacuation flight would end up in Iraq. Those fears have proved unfounded for Mashall and her classmates, who are among the first Afghan students to arrive at the American University of Iraq in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya, a liberal metropolis dotted with parks, filled with cafes and restaurants, and considered the safest major city in Iraq.
Persons: , Mashall Organizations: American University of, ISIS, , Islamic, American University of Iraq Locations: SULAIMANIYA, Iraq, Kabul, American University of Afghanistan, U.S, Islamic State, Kurdish, Sulaimaniya
Task Force Argo, which connects Afghans with flights out of Afghanistan, said it's run out of money. According to the Wall Street Journal, the volunteer group is now asking Afghans to return home. The group, Task Force Argo, has instructed hundreds of struggling Afghans to return to their homes because it's no longer able to provide support for those seeking to flee the country. Such factors are pushing out Afghans, but escape routes are partly constricted by the lack of financial support at Task Force Argo. "We are just volunteers," a spokesperson for Task Force Argo told the Journal.
Persons: it's, Task Force Argo, Joe Biden's Organizations: Wall Street Journal, Service, Task Force, Task Force Argo, Taliban, State Department, U.S Locations: Afghanistan, Albania, Rwanda, Uganda, Taliban, Islamic Emirate, United States
Over the past two decades, as droughts led to repeated grain shortages in Afghanistan, India, which produces a grain surplus, often came to its aid. But relations between Pakistan and India have been consistently tense including over the disputed Kashmir region, and they plunged to a new low in recent years after deadly militant attacks in India were blamed on support from Pakistan. India has recently largely used the Chabahar Port in Iran to send wheat shipments to Afghanistan, a longer and costlier route. The Taliban’s return to power has further complicated the transit issues. Pakistan, where the Taliban found a haven during their 20-year insurgency, is now in many ways playing gatekeeper for Afghanistan.
Organizations: Indian Locations: Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Port, Iran, United,
With millions facing starvation and nearly the entire population teetering on the brink of poverty, Afghanistan could experience the worst humanitarian crisis "we've ever seen," a United Nations Development Programme official told CNBC this week. "Afghanistan is probably facing the worst humanitarian disaster we've ever seen," Al Dardari told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia." "We have never seen an economic shock of that magnitude and we have never seen a humanitarian crisis of that magnitude," he said. Funding for the humanitarian crisis and for essential services is crucial to maintain lives and livelihood in the Central Asian country, he added. He also urged the international community to fulfill "its collective responsibility to avert a grave humanitarian crisis" in Afghanistan.
Persons: Abdallah Al Dardari, Al Dardari, CNBC's, Hector Retamal, Imran Khan Organizations: United Nations, CNBC, UNDP, AFP, Getty Images Pakistan, U.S . State Department . Locations: Afghanistan, Afghan, Kabul, Islamabad, China, Russia, United States, Pakistan, Germany
Afghan boy separated from parents wants to return home
  + stars: | 2021-11-10 | by ( Dave Lucas | )   time to read: 1 min
Mansoor, 10, hangs laundry to dry on the railing as the family do not have any coins to operate the apartment complex's dryers, in Tukwila, Washington, November 3, 2021. Mansoor was carrying his relative Shogofa's toddler, as they entered the airport...moreMansoor, 10, hangs laundry to dry on the railing as the family do not have any coins to operate the apartment complex's dryers, in Tukwila, Washington, November 3, 2021. Mansoor was carrying his relative Shogofa's toddler, as they entered the airport in Kabul. At that moment, shots rang out and the military closed the gates in between Mansoor and his parents. After three days in the airport, he boarded a plane with Shogofa, who hoped the rest of the family would make it out on a later flight.
Persons: Mansoor, Lindsey Wasson Organizations: REUTERS Locations: Tukwila , Washington, Kabul
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Organizations: Wall Street
Afghanistan's ex-finance minister blamed "ghost" soldiers for the US-backed government's collapse. "Ghost" soldiers were nonexistent troops or personnel manufactured by corrupt officials to pocket their salary. Biden placed much of the blame on the Afghan military, though he'd expressed "trust" in it just weeks before. SIGAR repeatedly pointed to the problems surrounding "ghost" soldiers over the years. The US made an effort to scrub "ghost" soldiers from its payroll, but issues with the Afghan military persisted.
Persons: Khalid Payenda, Payenda, Ed Butler, didn't, Ashraf Ghani, Joe Biden, Biden, Jake Sullivan, he'd, Ghulam Hussain Nasiri, Mohammad Islam, John Sopko, SIGAR Organizations: Taliban, Service, BBC News, Afghan, Biden, Associated Press, Afghan National Defense Forces, US Locations: Kabul, Afghanistan, Afghan Government
Some of the evacuees Roshan has spoken to were people with significant education and career backgrounds in Afghanistan. Evacuees tell Roshan they're exhausted from "traveling for weeks and weeks." In some cases, it might take months for them to arrive in the US due to security screenings that hold them up, according to the Wall Street Journal. Those who arrive in Pennsylvania have so far told Roshan that they're hopeful of a better future in the US. And the DHS on Friday announced that it would waive fees for Afghans seeking work permits and US residency.
Persons: Afghani Roshan, Roshan, Joe Biden's, who's, They're, Roshan they're Organizations: Service, Geisinger, Philadelphia International, Wall Street, The State Department and Department of Homeland Security, Department of Homeland Security Locations: United States, Afghanistan, Taliban, Islamic Emirate, Kabul, Pennsylvania, East, Europe, Africa
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