News Decoder
How I fled danger in Afghanistan for refuge in Ukraine

How I fled danger in Afghanistan for refuge in Ukraine

My pregnant wife and I were lucky to escape Afghanistan after it fell to the Taliban. We have swapped danger for refuge and bewilderment in Ukraine. The author and his wife bid farewell to their families at the entrance to Mazar-e-Sharif airport in Balkh province,...

Journalist Zamir Saar delivers a first-hand account of his and his wife Kamila’s experience escaping Afghanistan after the country fell to the Taliban in August. Grateful for refuge in Kyiv, Ukraine, far from the violence and downward economic spiral that face their native land, Zamir and Kamila — five months pregnant at the time they fled — now find themselves unsettled by makeshift living arrangements and uncertainty about their future. As Zamir notes, the hardest part has been leaving the familiar spaces in their home towns and finding nothing so far to replace them in their new environment. But there’s also recognition that there’s only so much a receiving country like Ukraine can do.

Exercise: Ask students to think about what makes them feel most at home and how they might recreate those things in an unfamiliar environment.

As in Afghanistan, Islamist extremists endanger West Africa

As in Afghanistan, Islamist extremists endanger West Africa

Islamist extremists are threatening fragile nations in West Africa. Will Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban yield lessons for France in the Sahel? A soldier guards a Western military base in Gao, Mali on 6 June 2021, days after France announced the end of its...

When it comes to world politics, major news outlets often focus on one place at a time, obscuring important events unfolding elsewhere that can cause geopolitical ripples. In this article, News Decoder’s Jessica Moody shines a light on extremist violence plaguing West African nations in the Sahel, the semi-arid region below the Sahara. She draws parallels between French military involvement in the region and the United States’ recent withdrawal from Afghanistan, highlighting the global challenge of preventing extremist groups from proliferating in fragile states.

Exercise: Ask students to search news sites or newspapers for a global story that is not on the front page, then have them share their findings and explain why we should pay attention.

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