A story of friendship and self-discovery during the years of reconstruction in Afghanistan.
Charlotte Dufour has worked for various humanitarian and development organizations in Afghanistan between 2000 - during the Taliban regime - until 2010. She shares the struggles and joys inherent to the life of an aid worker, and the rich encounters she experienced over these years of conflict, reconstruction and hope.
Using her memories as a backdrop, she introduces the reader to seven of her Afghan friends who recount their lives through three decades of war. These friends - men and women - come from different regions, from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds. Each story is unique, humble, tragic and dignified, just like that of so many others. Yet they are all bound by a common and enduring struggle for the reconstruction of their country.
Going beyond images of terrorism, veiled women, fallen soldiers, corruption and killed civilians, this book is an invitation to discover a country where the light is sown from gold, and whose people draw strength from their faith, humor, and hope.
(The book was first published in French with the title "Amitiés Afghanes, dix ans de vies partagées", by the Editions Farad. The text has been translated by Philip Hodder, and includes a new epilogue as well as photographs by the author.)
Born in the United States amidst a French family, Charlotte Dufour has a Bachelor’s in Human Sciences from Oxford University and a Master’s in Public Health Nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She spent most of the first ten years of her professional life working for various aid organizations in Afghanistan. She now lives in Italy and works on nutrition and food security in developing countries.