Bumbling Through the Hindu Kush – A Memoir of Fear and Kindness in Afghanistan
What happens when a regular person accidentally finds themselves lost in the middle of a war? In 1991, BBC journalist Chris Woolf travelled to Afghanistan. The government in Kabul was fighting for survival, after the withdrawal of its superpower patron; in this case, the Soviet Union. The parallels to today are extraordinary.
Woolf was visiting a colleague, Chris Bowers, to see what the life of a foreign correspondent was like. They hitched a ride with an aid convoy and bumbled straight into the war. They survived minefields, artillery, armed robbery. They were trapped in no-man’s land during a battle, and even escaped from detention by the secret police. They kept going, despite the horror and terror. There was no choice.
Amid the darkness, Woolf discovered the generosity and hospitality of ordinary Afghans, eager to share what little they had with strangers in peril. Along the way, they became the first journalists to pass through the battle lines from Kabul to meet with legendary warlord Ahmed Shah Massoud, and carried home a vital message for the peace process. They met with Soviet POW/MIAs and recorded messages for loved ones.
Woolf shares an intimate portrait of first encounters with death and real fear. He explores the lingering effects of trauma, and explains how he put his experience to good use. He introduces just enough of Afghanistan’s history, geography, culture and politics for audiences to understand what was going on around him. He also makes a few comparisons and contrasts between the situation in Afghanistan then and now. Chris’ book by the same title was published in October 2021 and is available in paperback; Kindle e-book; audiobook (narrated by the author).
Doors open at 1:00 PM, the presentation starts at 1:15 PM.
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|Chris Woolf - then and now|