The Real Afghanistan Literary Magazine

Table of Contents

Introduction

Hope and Despair - Film Narrative by Bobby Tufarolo

Afghanistan People Confined to Their Traditions and Beliefs - Documentary by Lizzy Stayman

World Wide Broadcast - Newscast by Delphie Backs

Envisioning Hope - Documentary by Chase Kunkel

Growing up in afghanistan - Kids Book by Sarah Shaffer

An Afghan Hero - Hero's Journey Narrative by Jacob LaFrance

Bibliography

Introduction

Bombs burst in the sky, deafening gunfire stockpiles the air with cheaply manufactured lead and brass, homes, once filled with life, joy, and happiness now have faltered to the devastation, effectively ruining the future lives of the children that once grew up there. This is the common, outside vision of the Afghanistan way of life. Some sources may tell a person otherwise, but in reality, the people of Afghanistan have reason to be hopeful. Throughout The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, the books talks about a man’s first hand experience of growing up in Afghanistan. As a teen, Amir, the protagonist, and his father, Baba, immigrated to America. Amir, despite growing up in Afghanistan, became a successful writer with many accomplishments. The novel proved that the people of Afghanistan are capable of becoming something, and that the country may not be as catastrophic as it seems. Many things might falsely create a negative vision that Afghan society is a bad place to live in. Yes, it is historically true that, back in the 80’s, Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988, and afterwards, various groups of rebels fought for power and control of the government. This constant fighting reduced the various cities and towns of the country to rubble, and after eight years of this, the Taliban arrived in 1996, defeating the weakened government and rebels and taking control of the country for itself, for the worse. Though since the United States intervened in 2001, things have been looking up for the Afghan people.

The purpose of these artistic products is to visually show, in vivid detail, how Afghanistan culture, society, and livelihood is not as detrimental as common stereotypes lead people to believe they are. This magazine will present these ideas by including documentaries on different topics, one being how people in Afghanistan are “confined” to their beliefs and traditions, and the other being on how Afghanistan is not entirely poor; poverty is not as prevalent as many believe. It will also be shown throughout two writing pieces, one a children's book being on inequality and the other one being a hero story of the main character. There will also be a narrative showcasing the lives of the children and their purpose in Afghanistan. Lastly, it will be shown through a newscast, discussing the potential of Afghanistan children. Through this variety of artistic products, the single story that Afghanistan is a dying nation is disproved, as the country is steadily being revitalized and continues to grow and thrive from the ground up.

Hope And Despair - Film Narrative By Bobby Tufarolo

Afghanistan People Confined To Their Traditions And Beliefs - Documentary By Lizzy Stayman

World Wide Broadcast - Newscast By Delphie Backs

Envisioning Hope - Documentary By Chase Kunkel

Growing Up In Afghanistan - Kids Book By Sarah Shaffer

An Afghan Hero

By Jacob LaFrance

It was the summer of 1963 when he came into the world. Afghanistan was a prosperous place then. This is what Amir would remember most of his home. Unfortunately, his mother passed away during childbirth. He grew up without a mother and he never had a good relationship with his father, Baba. Instead, he bonded with his servant, Hassan. They did everything together, and after time, they grew very close. They were brothers in every way except blood, they played with cars, kites, or anything else they could get their hands on. But the good times wouldn't last, the Russians invaded in Afghanistan in the winter of 1979, and Amir's life changed forever.

Life had become a miserable mess for the Afghanis. They faced Russian oppression day in and day out, and Amir became acquainted with the constant struggle of injustice. Baba began to teach Amir the principles of becoming a man: honesty, courage, and loyalty. Finally, after nine years of fighting, the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in 1988. This didn’t end the suffering, in fact, it only started it. Multiple groups of rebels from every reputable city in Afghanistan began fighting for control of the country’s government. Brother fought brother as the bystanders were forced to live through the constant bombardment of missiles and gunfire. Amir and Baba thought it best to leave their country in hopes of finding a safer place to live, they couldn’t even trust their neighbors anymore. Amir spent days living in the underside of a truck as he was smuggled from city to city. He watched former friends die, former brothers turn on him, he left everyone he knew. From Rahim Khan - Baba’s close friend - to Hassan, his own best friend. After months of running from the war, they finally made it to America.

Life in America certainly took an adjustment from the father and son. Amir certainly experience a downgrade in the social hierarchy of wealth. He went from upper-class wealth to borderline poverty. But, oddly enough, Amir and Baba grew closer together with the loss of everything they had known. They both embraced the new traditions and rules of America, and it embraced them. They were now functional members of society, a welcome change from running for their lives. Baba started to teach Amir not only the principles of manhood, but how to be a good person in general. They opened a small shop at a flea market near their house. It was here they did most of their bonding. But the good times didn’t last long, after a few months of finally getting to know his father, Baba was diagnosed with cancer. Amir was heartbroken. His role model, idol, and father had only months to live. This shook him down to his core. He had already lost everything, how much more could he lose? In this dark time, he found one would stick through with him. Soraya help comfort the loss of Baba, and the couple got married quite quickly.

It was finally time for Amir to settle down. He had a new, remarkable life and wouldn’t change it for anything. He began publishing novels - a special talent of his was writing - and provided a comfortable life for himself and Soraya. They had settled down in Los Angeles and seemingly nothing could keep them apart. Until it arrived. A letter in the mail, from Rahim Khan in Afghanistan. He was dying, and had asked to see Amir one last time before death. Then, just like that, Amir was on a long flight to his old home. He arrived in the hospital a few days after landing and couldn’t believe what he had seen on his way there. Afghanistan was completely destroyed, cities a shell of their former state. People living in mud houses with no form of transportation. He was utterly shocked, but he had matters to attend to. When he finally met with Rahim Khan, he was surprised to see he look much like Afghanistan, broken and worn down. They spoke for hours, and by the end, Khan had asked one thing of Amir: to adopt Sohrab, the son of the now dead Hassan.

Amir decided this was one thing he had to do. How could he leave a child in a country such as this? He knew their was hope for this boy, and it was his job to deliver this promise of a better life to the young boy. He left that day, driving across a country he barely remembered. He arrived in his old city, Kabul, after a couple days. There was barely a resemblance. Landmarks were destroyed, buildings missing, people living in the streets. As he walked around, he felt an urge to help out, he began to give the homeless most of the money he brought with him. He asked anyone, everyone, if they knew where to find his boy. He couldn't let him down. After hours of asking, he found the orphanage he needed. He left immediately, wasting no time in finding the son of Hassan. When he arrived, he learned Sohrab was no longer at the orphanage. He had been bought by a member of the Taliban, a terrorist organization.

The Taliban had moved into power in 1996. The people had rejoiced, believing this would bring an end to the fighting, and they were right. But what they didn't know was how much the Taliban would destroy their society. Women barely had any rights anymore, they were forced to cover nearly their entire body. The men were forced to leave their families, having a father was now a rare commodity. These were the people that had adopted Sohrab. Amir had to take action now, he didn't even dare think the horrors that they could had done to Sohrab. He made to the building Sohrab was in within a few hours. He was greeted by multiple men with guns, who led him to a gigantic man who Amir presumed was the leader. “I want the boy,” he said, “I am his uncle, he belongs to me.” The man remained silent. To Amir’s surprise, he began speaking eventually. He even recognized Amir. This monster of a man knew Amir. Who could it be? None other than Assef, the same lunatic boy who abused both Amir and Hassan years ago. Amir wouldn't back down, “I want the boy!” he continued to say, louder than he had intended. Assef agreed, but only if they fought to the death, winner takes Sohrab.

He couldn't stand chance, just look at how big he was! Easily six foot five with tree trunks for arms! But once again, Amir wouldn't back down. He was going to stand up for this boy, this boy who couldn't stand up for himself. He saw him take old his favorite weapons, spiked knuckles. Amir threw a punch, which Assef easily dodged. Next thing he knew, he was on the ground. Punch after punch, Amir felt himself being defeated. He could hear his bones break, feels as his lip was separated. He couldn't be defeated, he couldn't let Sohrab down. Suddenly, Assef was screaming. He was on the floor wreathing in pain. In his eye socket, Amir spotted a large marble. Sohrab had used a slingshot to save Amir. Immediately, they dashed out of the room, they got in the car and drive as far as they could. Within the year, they returned to America. Amir and Soraya had taken Sohrab in as their own son. Amir slept well knowing he had done the right thing.

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