I am an American Journalist based in Afghanistan and have contributed to CBS - Radio, CBC, The Guardian, The National, Al Jazeera, La Repubblica, VOX Media (Eater), Lonely Planet, Slate, The Street, The Diplomat, Ars Technica, GOOD Magazine, OZY and other publications. I have also created content for UNESCO and UH-Habitat
Afghanistan is starkly different from what Masooma had imagined. She was just a little girl when her family fled the Afghan war against the Soviets in the 1980s. They left everything they owned behind to look for sanctuary in Pakistan and she has few memories of the place.
KABUL, Afghanistan—As a country that has been ravaged by war, terrorism, and mass corruption for the last 30 years, Afghanistan seems like the least likely site for technological development. However, following the American-led invasion of the country, Kabul's basic infrastructure was quickly upgraded as expats and foreign military powers moved in.
I’m standing in a minefield on the side of a mountain in Afghanistan. In a few moments, a land mine will explode. Mirwais, the tall, broad-shouldered Afghan operations assistant for Mine Action Committee Center for Afghanistan (MACCA), hands me a cup of chai. The mine goes off. A controlled detonation. On the side of a mountain, in a remote part of Afghanistan, a team from MACCA is sweeping and digging for land mines. The Taliban frequently targets anyone who works with the government or the U.N.; deminers are therefore considered legitimate targets.