Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Maya Evan's book

Maya Evan’s book

Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war

Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war is a recent publication written by Councillor Maya Evans, launching in St Leonards on 8 October, 6-8pm, at the Open Café, 19 Grand Parade. A timely publication marking a war which has been forgotten, claiming the lives of 455 British Service personnel and 147,000 Afghans. A war to which Britain is still very much committed, redeploying 1,000 troops only last year.

This October marks the 18th anniversary of a war no closer to ending than the day it began, with peace negotiations excluding the very people the war was justified upon: Afghan women. According to the UN, Afghanistan is now the most dangerous country in the world to be a civilian.

Hastings Cllr Maya 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 very special guest, Dr Hakim, a humanitarian and activist who has lived in Afghanistan for the last 15 years. The event will offer a chance to hear his unique and incredible experiences, bringing the voices of Afghans to Hastings.

Street kids, women and street art

Street kids, women and street art

Cllr Maya Evans is the current elected representative for Hollington, but is most known after being arrested for remembering brave British service people killed in the Iraq war in 2005. She 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”.

The launch event for Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war 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.

Chair of Hastings City of Sanctuary, Felicity Laurence, who edited the publication, will be 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 their grave”.

The book launch will take place at ‘Open’ Café, the Refugee Buddy Project, part of Hastings Community of Sanctuary, 6-8pm, Tuesday, 8 October. The event is free and there is a chance to buy the booklet, as well as photo prints from the exhibition.

Climbing a mountain

Climbing a mountain

This October marks the 18th anniversary of what is now the longest war in US history.





This is a war which cost British tax payers £40bn in the first 14 years alone, with a confirmed 71,560 British armed forces having served time in the country. Last year, at the request of Donald Trump, Theresa May redeployed a further 1,000 British soldiers to a war David Cameron declared “mission accomplished” in 2014.


Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war includes stories and testimonies from ordinary Afghans, giving a voice to Afghan women and young people, who now make up the majority of the population in Afghanistan, but were largely excluded from recent peace talks, which instead favoured the traditional older male figureheads, who continued to permit the killing of Afghan civilians throughout negotiations.


The publication also includes essays from activists in Kabul who report on life for those forcefully deported from European countries, to be returned to Kabul, the most dangerous location in a country which consistently falls in the bottom three for indexes measuring quality of life. Afghanistan is still one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to be a woman.


40% of men are unemployed, 2.6 million people are internally displaced, with a staggering 3 million (10% of the population) addicted to opium, an industry which has uncontrollably surged since the fall of the Taliban.


The US/UK pledge to ‘liberate and educate women’ has largely failed, today 85% of women are illiterate, with 61% experiencing domestic violence.


Posted 17:52 Wednesday, Oct 2, 2019 In: Campaigns

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