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"Who Does the West Consider Worthy of Saving?" Asks Matthieu Aikins, After Journey with Afghans

Video from Democracy Now

"Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan last year, the country has faced a humanitarian crisis with half of the population experiencing acute hunger. The U.N. Refugee Agency says 3.4 million Afghans are internally displaced due to conflict, the country's healthcare system is experiencing severe shortages, and workers in schools and hospitals are going without salaries while facing rising food and energy costs — which many attribute to economic restrictions the Biden administration implemented. We look at the unfolding crisis in Afghanistan with journalist Matthieu Aikins, formerly based in Kabul, who went undercover with Afghan refugees to write his book, "The Naked Don't Fear the Water," following their journey crossing borders to the West. "It's very stark, the difference in treatment between the vast majority of refugees who need smugglers to escape and what's happening in Ukraine right now," says Aikins. He is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, where in his latest piece he raises the question: Who does the West consider worthy of saving?" from video introduction.

Have you noticed how the world or perhaps its just the Media or our own perceptions, that Ukrainians seems to be more valued by the world at large than say the Afghans? Where was the outrage when the Taliban took over Afghanistan? They are conducting a reign of terror on the people in that country. Have we noticed, do we care? Is it because the Ukrainians look more like US, by that I mean white Caucasians!! Something to think about! - Andy

"In this extraordinary book, an acclaimed young war reporter chronicles a dangerous journey on the smuggler’s road to Europe, accompanying his friend, an Afghan refugee, in search of a better future.

In 2016, a young Afghan driver and translator named Omar makes the heart-wrenching choice to flee his war-torn country, saying goodbye to Laila, the love of his life, without knowing when they might be reunited again. He is one of millions of refugees who leave their homes that year.

Matthieu Aikins, a journalist living in Kabul, decides to follow his friend. In order to do so, he must leave his own passport and identity behind to go underground on the refugee trail with Omar. Their odyssey across land and sea from Afghanistan to Europe brings them face to face with the people at heart of the migration crisis: smugglers, cops, activists, and the men, women and children fleeing war in search of a better life. As setbacks and dangers mount for the two friends, Matthieu is also drawn into the escape plans of Omar’s entire family, including Maryam, the matriarch who has fought ferociously for her children’s survival..." from the article: The Naked Don't Fear the Water

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