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Heroin Heroines: Women and the Men Who Work with Them in Afghanistan's Drug Trade

Book talk by Fariba Nawa

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
UCLA Faculty Center
Downstairs Lounge

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With discussant, Nushin Arbabzadah, UCLA Center for the Study of Women

The UCLA Asia Institute's Program on Central Asia presents a book talk by Fariba Nawa, author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan, a mix of memoir and reportage about the drug trade in Afghanistan, (Harper Perennial, November 2011).

Copies of Opium Nation will be available for purchase at the event.

Fariba Nawa, an award-winning Afghan-American journalist, covers a range of issues and specializes in immigrant and Muslim communities in the United States and abroad. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area but has traveled extensively to the Middle East and South Asia. She lived and reported from Afghanistan from 2002 to 2007, and witnessed the U.S.-led war against the Taliban and al Qaeda. She has also reported from Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, and Germany. She has a master’s in Middle Eastern studies and journalism. Her work has appeared in the Sunday Times of London, Newsday, Mother Jones, The Village Voice, The Christian Science Monitor and numerous other publications. She also reports for radio, including National Public Radio (NPR) and is the author of the groundbreaking report, Afghanistan, Inc., and a contributing writer in the upcoming book Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands, to be published in spring 2012 by Harvard University Press. Her essays have also been published in two other books, March to War and Women for Afghan Women. A frequent speaker on Middle East and South Asian issues, she has participated in talks at the World Affairs Council, major universities, and has been interviewed by prominent television and radio networks.

In Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords, and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan, Nawa delivers a searing account of the opium business, worth billions of dollars worldwide. She travels from Kandahar and Helmand to Herat and Kabul gathering remarkable stories of people, while also returning to her family’s ancestral home and reflecting on the bitter changes which have come to pass after decades of war. Along the way she encounters poppy farmers, betrayed and abandoned women and children, drug lords, smugglers, addicts, and a sundry of characters that give us a daring and insightful picture of a volatile country whose future and security is of grave importance to America, and the people within its borders.

Parking is available for $11 in Parking Structure 2. Enter the UCLA campus at Westholme Dr. from Hilgard Ave. and obtain a parking permit at the visitor kiosk.


Sponsor(s): Program on Central Asia, Gender Studies, American Institute of Afghanistan Studies