August 8th, 2022

Episode #3 — The Fortress: Life or Death in Afghanistan via WhatsApp

With the airport gates mobbed, Afghans have little chance of entering without help from Western contacts.

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 food or water. This includes Fatima Faizi, an Afghan journalist working for the New York Times. Informal networks of foreign volunteers quickly spring up to help their Afghan friends and colleagues navigate the chaos and evacuate the country. Ultimately, for many Afghans, getting out comes down to who is in their WhatsApp contacts list.

Episode Transcript