My City Was a Sparkling Jewel: Voices of Newcomer Youth from Afghanistan
When American troops pulled out of Afghanistan in August 2021 and the Taliban returned to power, the lives of many people were radically disrupted. Large, loving, vibrant families that had gone about their daily lives were suddenly separated, and many youth were forced to flee.
Using a trauma-informed approach to storytelling, Green Card Voices and its partners from Afghanistan, carefully collected first-person accounts of the diverse journeys of nineteen young men and eleven young women on their path to resettling in Minnesota. These stories were gathered at the speed of trust using a mix of handwritten essays and oral storytelling in English, Dari/Farsi, and Pashto.
My City Was a Sparkling Jewel: Voices of Newcomer Youth from Afghanistan shares the challenges faced, opportunities grasped, and dreams these youth had, and still have, for themselves, and for the families and friends they left behind. Thestorytellers, ages sixteen to twenty-one, come from carious ethnic groups - Pashtun, Haxara, Tajik, Pashai- so their stories detail a wide range of experiences. While the Future of Afghanistan and its youth in the United States is till uncertain, these first-person stories illuminate the harrowing contours of the unjust displacement these young people experienced and bear witness to the early days of their resettlement in the United States.
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