Kabul Falling

Kabul Falling

On August 15, 2021, the Taliban regained control of Kabul, nearly 20 years after Coalition Forces had cast them out of power. The takeover sent shockwaves throughout the country and the international community. It forced thousands of Afghans to leave their old lives behind and embark on a hellish journey for survival. In Kabul Falling, Afghans themselves tell you how it happened. You’ll hear how they maneuvered their way through panicked crowds; waded through sewage in a desperate attempt to get into the Kabul airport; withstood beatings and torture; and finally, if they were lucky, boarded a flight into the unknown. You’ll hear stories about big risks, close calls, and unexpected moments of kindness — or luck — that changed everything. Kabul Falling is a Peabody nominated podcast that explores big questions: How does a war end, and who is accountable for the human wreckage left in its wake? How do those involved grapple with the aftermath of the fall and work to rebuild their lives? Kabul Falling is a Project Brazen production. For more fearless storytelling, search for the Brazen channel on Apple Podcasts or visit brazen.fm, home to all our podcasts, documentaries and newsletters. At Brazen, we show you how the world really works – from espionage and corruption to deal-making and organised crime, we’ll take you inside stories from hidden worlds.


October 19, 2022 30 secs

In August 2021, the Taliban regained control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. The takeover sent shockwaves throughout the country. It forced thousands of Afghans to leave their old lives behind and embark on a hellish journey for survival. In this eight-episode podcast, Afghans themselves will tell you how it happened. You’ll hear stories about big risks, close calls, and unexpected moments of kindness — or luck — tha...

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Bradley Hope sits down with host Nelufar Hedayat to chat about Project Brazen’s latest podcast series, Kabul Falling.

In this exclusive audio interview, Nelufar talks about what it’s been like working on Kabul Falling, an eight-part series on the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year, and what makes her connection to it — as an Afghan-born journalist—so personal and important.

She shares her own experiences of leavin...

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On August 15, 2021, the Taliban regained control of Kabul, nearly 20 years after the US Army and Coalition Forces  had cast them out of power. To many Afghans and observers watching from abroad, the fall of Kabul came as a shock. The news thrust thousands of Afghans into a terrifying journey to flee the country, leaving their old lives behind. In this episode, you’ll hear from Ogai Wardak, a young journalist at a women’s T...

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With the Taliban back in power, Kabul’s streets were mobbed with traffic as thousands rushed to escape, many heading towards the capital’s airport. At particular risk of retribution were Afghans who had worked with the US Army or the international community, those who'd served in Afghanistan’s government and women who had pursued full lives outside the home. In this episode, you’ll hear how quick thinking — and chance — he...

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As the US and NATO prepare to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan by the deadline of August 31, the evacuation of Afghan allies and partners quickly spins out of the control of Western governments. There is chaos as desperate crowds try to enter the airport in Kabul, where final evacuation flights are departing. Those lucky enough to make it over the high cement walls wait for hours on the tarmac under the hot sun with no...

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With the evacuation deadline looming, Afghans race to Kabul airport in hopes of getting on a flight and escaping the Taliban regime. With help from Jake, an ex-Marine Corps officer, Tariq and his family manage to get in and board their plane for evacuation, after spending a harrowing night outside in a desolate yard. Abdul and his family also make it out — just hours before a suicide bomber detonates his explosive belt, ki...

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With security now on high alert at the Kabul airport, it is nearly impossible for Afghans to fly out of the country to escape the Taliban takeover. Danna Harman, the journalist who profiled Rodaba Noori and her all-girls robotics team, comes up with a wild plan to evacuate the women to Tajikistan by bus, along with a group of female cyclists. Tajik journalist Anahita Saymidinova is waiting on the other side to receive them...

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With the US Army and allied forces gone, Taliban fighters are consolidating control over Afghanistan. The regime’s leaders make assurances that there will be no retribution for their enemies, but the reality on the ground is different. With the help of journalist Danna Harman, Muhammad Javed Khan, who had worked for the Afghan government, reaches the Tajik border but must then turn around and make a last-minute journey bac...

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A young Taliban member, radicalized by the US invasion of Afghanistan, shares why he left social work and NGO employment to join the militant group. Obaidullah Baheer, a lecturer in transitional justice at the American University of Afghanistan and the grandson of a feared warlord, reflects on the possibility of reconciliation with the Taliban.

For a transcript of this episode and additional material, visit: https://www.k...

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In this episode, we catch up with Afghan refugees to hear about life after evacuation. How is the fall of Kabul still impacting them? Who do they feel is responsible for the Taliban takeover? What could have been done differently? You’ll hear how many Afghans feel abandoned as the world’s attention moves to Ukraine and the ensuing refugee crisis in Europe. Famine grips Afghanistan and the Taliban’s harsh reign faces little...

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Siddhartha Mahanta sits down with composer Arson Fahim to chat about his soundtrack for Kabul Falling, the latest podcast from Project Brazen.

In this exclusive audio interview, recorded live at the PRX Podcast Garage in Boston, Arson talks about what drew him to the project, and what makes his connection to it—as an Afghan-born composer and musician—so personal and important.

He shares his own experiences of leaving Afg...

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Lucy Woods, Managing Producer of Kabul Falling – Project Brazen’s series following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan – interviews an Afghan family torn apart by the chaos.

Hakim Shakib was separated from his wife Paimana, and his young daughters Neyo and Seto, in July 2021. In this bonus interview, the family charts the anxiety of their separation as Kabul fell to the Taliban – trapping Hakim, an employee at Afghanist...

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Neha Wadekar, Associate Producer of Kabul Falling, speaks with two Afghan women on their ongoing work in media – and the extreme dangers journalists face as they continue to report under the Taliban’s regime.

In this exclusive audio interview, Rukshana Media founder Zahra Joya talks about setting up the women-focused publication, and shares her own story of escaping Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. Shirin Yusof...

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Neha Wadekar, Associate Producer of Kabul Falling, speaks with Rahman, a former acting general in the Afghan army, and Carly Sparkes, operations manager at Azadi Charity, about what it’s like to leave behind the only life you’ve ever known and resettle in a foreign country to rebuild anew.

In this exclusive audio interview, Rahman talks about his high-profile military job, his last days fighting on the frontlines as the T...

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Project Brazen is excited to announce Arson Fahim, the composer of Kabul Falling’s main theme music, has been nominated for an Ambie award for Best Original Score and Music Supervision.

Arson Fahim is a pianist, composer, and conductor from Afghanistan, In 2021, only two weeks before the Taliban took control and once again banned music, Arson arrived in the US and started his studies at the Longy school of music, where he...

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Reporter Neha Wadekar interviews Mohsin Mohi Ud Din, leader of Me We International, an organisation that uses art to help refugees around the world heal from trauma, reframe their narratives, and author their futures.

To follow Me We International and learn more about their work, please visit www.meweintl.org. You can find them online at @meweinternational on Instagram and @meweintl on Twitter.

Kabul Falling is a Project...

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