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100 People 100 Places

To celebrate the release of my first book, Dispatches from the Kabul Café, I’ll be releasing a series of shorter dispatches introducing some of the people and places I encountered during my times in Afghanistan. 100 People, 100 Places are short, personal insights into Afghanistan (and sometimes beyond), revealing the people and the parts of the world that have mattered to me, and perhaps in some way, show who I am.

100 People, 100 Places: Rays of Hope

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival has kicked off in London and on Saturday night I went to see What Tomorrow Brings, a documentary by Beth Murphy about a remarkable teacher in Afghanistan and the students in her school for girls. The struggle for education and equal rights may be well-worn territory, but the story…
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100 People, 100 Places: “This is The Night of the Lovers”

“You are listening to 98.1 Arman FM, Radio of the Hearts. This is The Night of the Lovers.” Love is in the air. The media’s success in Afghanistan has been one of the country’s positive success stories, and as the title above suggests even in this complex conservative country, tiny fragments of hope peak through…even the…
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100 People, 100 Places: Sexual Revolution

Remembering Carl Djerassi

Carl Djerassi changed the world. Rarely is that kind of hyperbole a statement of fact, but in this case, it’s true. Known as the Father of The Pill, he was the chemist who, in 1951 synthesised norethindrone, the key component in the birth control pill, ushering in the sexual revolution by finally giving women control over their own bodies. Carl’s home in…
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Writing for Visual Verse

I am delighted to be featured as the lead piece on this month’s Visual Verse. To paraphrase Visual Verse, they are both collaboration, celebration and challenge – every month, an image is selected by Visual Verse and writers are invited to submit their own interpretation – be it poetry or prose. My piece, Liberation, is written…
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100 People, 100 Places: Drag Me To Hell

100 People, 100 Places - No. 23

Seeing this London bus the other day oddly drew me right back into my time in Kabul. In ‘Dispatches’ I write about what was commonly referred to as a ‘locationship’, a relationship that often had more to do with location and circumstance than chemistry, although sometimes they were easily confused. The two protagonists of the…
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100 People, 100 Places: Drugs

100 People, 100 Places - No. 22

In Homeland Episode 8, Halfway to a Donut, Carrie suddenly realises that her meds have been tampered with, and she suspects the ISI. Sunday night’s episode reminded me of a time in Kabul when I wanted to get a repeat prescription. Unlike in the west where drugs are tightly monitored, in Afghanistan you just pop…
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