Developments in Afghanistan Leave Local Afghan Community Anxious, Afraid

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Afghan people climb atop a plane as they wait at the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Outside the gates of the Kabul airport, thousands of Afghans seeking to flee the country camp along the access road, which is now blocked by the Taliban. Scenes like this have Afghan-Americans anxiously watching the news and waiting to hear from loved ones. Northern California is home to the largest Afghan diaspora in the country.  As Afghanistan reels from the takeover by the Taliban, we talk to community members about how they are taking in the quickly shifting news and their work to prepare for the growing refugee crisis.

How you can help: NPR: The Simple Steps You Can Take to Help Afghan Refugees


Khaled Hosseini, author of the bestsellers "The Kite Runner," "A Thousand Splendid Suns," and his most recent novel "And the Mountains Echoed." He is the former goodwill envoy to the United Nations refugee agency, and founder of the Khaled Hosseini Foundation.

Fahim Pirzada, assistant director, Ulysses Postdoctoral Refugee Health Research Training Program, University of California at UC Davis Medical School. Dr. Pirzada formerly worked at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

Razia Iqbal, Afghan-American psychologist, who has worked with the Afghan refugee community

Fouzia Azizi, director of refugee services, Jewish Family & Community Services East Bay