Hastings councillor’s book on first-hand experience of war-torn Afghanistan

Maya with Afghan peace volunteers during a visit to Afghanistan in 2012. ENGSUS00120120118091814
Maya with Afghan peace volunteers during a visit to Afghanistan in 2012. ENGSUS00120120118091814

A councillor has published a book about her travels to war-torn Afghanistan and interviews with ordinary people caught up in the conflict.

Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war, written by Councillor Maya Evans, will be launched tomorrow (Tuesday, October 8) at the Open Cafe in Grand Parade, from 6pm to 8pm.

This October marks the 18th anniversary of the war.

According to the UN, Afghanistan is now the most dangerous country in the world to be a civilian.

Cllr Evans is one of the few civilian humanitarians who has regularly visited Afghanistan over the last 10 years, meeting and interviewing Afghan civilians, recording their stories and thoughts about the ongoing peace negotiations. The launch will also include special guest Dr Hakim, a humanitarian and activist, who has lived in Afghanistan for the last 15 years.

Cllr Evans, who represents Hollington, said: “Afghanistan is a country which has been devastated by four decades of war, it’s also one of the poorest countries in the world devoid of basic infrastructure, however, Afghans have outstanding hospitality, intense levels of friendship and are extremely astute. Everyone has an incredible story and everyone is a survivor.”

Her book will be accompanied by a photo exhibition, which includes many of the pictures and testimonies from the booklet.

The exhibition will tour the UK for a year, raising awareness and reminding people about the ongoing war.

Felicity Laurence, chairman of City of Sanctuary, who edited the publication, is chairing the meeting.

She said: “The story of Afghanistan has become a hidden tragedy, while people living there suffer on a daily basis from almost unimaginable adversity, and yet this country and other European countries continue to deport people to a location fraught with danger.

“I wanted to help produce this publication as I was so incredibly moved by the testimonies of young Afghans, as well as shine a light on a policy which in some cases, has directly sent people to a grave.”

Tomorrow’s event is free and there is a chance to buy the booklet, as well as photo prints from the exhibition.

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