14 episodes

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 this gripping, eight-episode narrative, Afghans themselves will 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. You’ll meet Afghan women and men from different walks of life, including a young journalist just starting her career at a women’s TV station, a former CIA interpreter and father of four, a pair of newlyweds caught in the jaws of the U.S. immigration system, members of all-girls robotics and cycling teams, and even a young man who chose to fight with the Taliban — in his eyes, to protect the country he loves.

Kabul Falling explores big questions: How does a war end, and who is accountable for the human wreckage left in its wake? In the face of massive systemic failures by the U.S. and Afghan governments, ordinary people did what they could to help each other survive. What they couldn’t do — and what they lived through — still haunts them. Kabul Falling grapples with the aftermath of the fall, exploring feelings of loss, abandonment, betrayal, and survivor’s guilt as Afghans work to rebuild their lives. 

This is the story of a home ripped apart — and of a courageous new beginning.

For more, visit: https://kabulfalling.com/

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Kabul Falling is produced by Project Brazen, a global journalism studio based in London and Singapore investigating some of the biggest scandals and stories of our time, told without fear or favor. Stay subscribed.

Learn more: https://www.projectbrazen.com

Kabul Falling Project Brazen

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

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 this gripping, eight-episode narrative, Afghans themselves will 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. You’ll meet Afghan women and men from different walks of life, including a young journalist just starting her career at a women’s TV station, a former CIA interpreter and father of four, a pair of newlyweds caught in the jaws of the U.S. immigration system, members of all-girls robotics and cycling teams, and even a young man who chose to fight with the Taliban — in his eyes, to protect the country he loves.

Kabul Falling explores big questions: How does a war end, and who is accountable for the human wreckage left in its wake? In the face of massive systemic failures by the U.S. and Afghan governments, ordinary people did what they could to help each other survive. What they couldn’t do — and what they lived through — still haunts them. Kabul Falling grapples with the aftermath of the fall, exploring feelings of loss, abandonment, betrayal, and survivor’s guilt as Afghans work to rebuild their lives. 

This is the story of a home ripped apart — and of a courageous new beginning.

For more, visit: https://kabulfalling.com/

~

Kabul Falling is produced by Project Brazen, a global journalism studio based in London and Singapore investigating some of the biggest scandals and stories of our time, told without fear or favor. Stay subscribed.

Learn more: https://www.projectbrazen.com

    The Fall: Escape from Afghanistan Begins

    The Fall: Escape from Afghanistan Begins

    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 TV station, and Abdul, a former CIA interpreter and father of four, describing how they began planning their escape as Taliban fighters patrolled the streets.

    We want to hear from you. Please get in touch via our website, kabulfalling.com, where you can send a voice message, or tweet using hashtag #kabulfalling.

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

    • 30 min
    A Knock at the Door: The Taliban’s Revenge in Afghanistan

    A Knock at the Door: The Taliban’s Revenge in Afghanistan

    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 — helps former CIA interpreter Abdul and TV journalist Ogai Wardak evade Taliban fighters and pass through checkpoints towards Kabul airport. Amidst the chaos, Tariq, a young father and former US contractor, walks for 8 hours across the blisteringly hot city to get his son from kindergarten and then tries to take his family to the airport. But with huge crowds of desperate Afghans surrounding the gates, there is no easy way in.

    We want to hear from you. Please get in touch via our website, kabulfalling.com, where you can send a voice message, or tweet using hashtag #kabulfalling.

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

    Correction: In this episode, we stated that Muhammad Javed and his brother are from the Paktia Province. This is an error - they are from the Paktika Province.

    • 33 min
    The Fortress: Life or Death in Afghanistan via Whatsapp

    The Fortress: Life or Death in Afghanistan via Whatsapp

    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.

    We want to hear from you. Please get in touch via our website, kabulfalling.com, where you can send a voice message, or tweet using hashtag #kabulfalling.

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

    • 37 min
    The Explosion: Bombing at Abbey Gate in Afghanistan

    The Explosion: Bombing at Abbey Gate in Afghanistan

    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, killing at least 170 Afghan civilians and 13 members of the United States military. You’ll also hear from newlyweds Mohammed and Taara as they confront the possibility that they will be separated, as only Taara has the proper paperwork to flee Afghanistan and fly to the US.

    We want to hear from you. Please get in touch via our website, kabulfalling.com, where you can send a voice message, or tweet using hashtag #kabulfalling.

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

    • 32 min
    Land Route: Women of Afghanistan Find New Ways to Escape

    Land Route: Women of Afghanistan Find New Ways to Escape

    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. But they have to work with the Taliban to bring the women out of Afghanistan and over the border — putting them face to face with the very men they’re afraid of. Meanwhile, Mohammed is turned away from one of the very last evacuation flights leaving Afghanistan and must say goodbye to his wife.

    We want to hear from you. Please get in touch via our website, kabulfalling.com, where you can send a voice message, or tweet using hashtag #kabulfalling.

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

    • 35 min
    Terrible House: Survival in the Taliban’s Afghanistan

    Terrible House: Survival in the Taliban’s Afghanistan

    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 back to Kunduz to retrieve a batch of passports. In order to escape, he must come face to face with the Taliban, members of whom had arrested and tortured him just weeks earlier.

    We want to hear from you. Please get in touch via our website, kabulfalling.com, where you can send a voice message, or tweet using hashtag #kabulfalling.

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

    • 33 min

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