• Steven Heller

The Daily Heller: The Daily Nightmare of Afghanistan

Last week, we received the following from an Afghan graphic designer:


I have fears while living here in Afghanistan. I see no hope now or in the future here and it is extremely hard to live here now. Taliban are everywhere and they are harassing us and our life is at risk. As the Taliban gains, my life is at risk everyday. I can't even go outside. They said that they will not harm us. But have stopped everyone from doing their job. They even stopped us from work. They even destroyed our smartphones. Please consider my request and provide me with an opportunity to live in the USA. I am very grateful to the USA Government for all the rebuilding and helping our nation. Attached please find my documents & I am eagerly waiting for your response.

As with many 20th- and 21st-century geopolitical upheavals, nobody's future is on solid ground. The history of the Taliban's suppression of human rights does not bode well, to say the least. Pleas for aid from anyone facing such a crisis are paralytic enough, but the urgency is heightened when it comes from someone who shares with us the bond of graphic design. The fear is palpable even thousands of miles away. I am not certain how large of a design profession exists in the country; certainly not as large a population as in Iran, which faced its own exodus.


With the American embassy closed, those who remain cannot obtain visas. But I hope we will keep the Afghans and our colleagues in our minds until the day as a community we can help in some way.


Back when the first drawdown of U.S. troops was announced, I looked back at the legacy of war rugs, made to propagate and commemorate this nation torn by hostility.

The Afghan flag: Black represents the dark, troubled past of the nation. The green represents both Islam and prosperity. The red represents the blood shed by those who fought for the country's independence.
The Taliban use an Islamic Emirate flag, which is white and has black Islamic scripture, known as the Shahada, written on it.

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