Maya Evans in conversation about Afghanistan

Click the link above to hear Maya Evans talking about new book, Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war published tomorrow!

Hollington’s borough councillor Maya Evans is a renowned campaigner and telling people about how real people are surviving in Afghanistan is her passion.

Tomorrow Maya’s new book, Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war and it is being launched in St Leonards tomorrow (October 8th) between 6pm and 8pm at the Open Café, 19 Grand Parade.

Maya gave an interview to Hastings In Focus and you can hear that by clicking on the link above


The book is being seen as timely as it marks a war that many feel has been forgotten. A war that claimed the lives of 455 British Service personnel and 147,000 Afghans and a war in which Britain is still very much committed, redeploying 1,000 troops only last year.

Felicity Laurence Chair of Hastings Community of Sanctuary was the editor of the book and says: “This month marks the 18-year anniversary of a war no closer to ending than the day it began, with peace negotiations excluding the very people the war was justified upon – Afghan women.

“According to the UN, Afghanistan is now the most dangerous country in the world to be a civilian.”

Maya Evans is one of the few civilian humanitarians who has regularly visited Afghanistan over the last ten years. She has met and interviewed Afghan civilians, recording their stories and thoughts.

“The launch of the book will also include very special guest Dr Hakim, who is a humanitarian and activist who has lived in Afghanistan for the last 15 years, the event will offer a chance to hear his unique and incredible experiences, bringing the voices of Afghans to Hastings,” says Felicity.

climbing a mountain 3
One of the photos that forms part of the exhibition.

Maya says: “Afghanistan is a country which has been devastated by four decades of war, it’s also one of the poorest countries in the world devoid of basic infrastructure. However, Afghans have outstanding hospitality, intense levels of friendship and are extremely astute. Everyone has an incredible story and everyone is a survivor”.

The launch of Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war will be accompanied by a photo exhibition which includes many of the pictures and testimonies from the book and the exhibition will tour the UK for a year, raising awareness and reminding people about the ongoing war.

“The story of Afghanistan has become a hidden tragedy, while people living there suffer on a daily basis from almost unimaginable adversity – and yet this country and other European countries continue to deport people to a location fraught with danger. I wanted to help produce this publication as I was so incredibly moved by the testimonies of young Afghans, as well as shine a light on a policy which in some cases, has directly sent people to their grave”.

The launch event at the Open Café in Grand Parade is free and there is a chance to buy the book as well as photo prints from the exhibition.

Some facts about Afghanistan:

  • The most recent calculation of civilian fatalities stands at 3,804 in 2018, of which 927 were children.
  • It has been estimated that 147,000 Afghans have been killed since 2001 along with 455 British soldiers.
  • 85 per cent of women in Afghanistan are illiterate. 61 per cent experience domestic violence
  • The war has cost British tax payers £40bn, with a confirmed 71,560 British armed forces having served time in the country.
  • Afghanistan: hidden voices from a forgotten war includes stories and testimonies from ordinary Afghans, giving a voice to Afghan women and young people, who now make up the majority of the population in Afghanistan the book also includes essays from activists in Kabul who report on life for those forcefully deported from European countries, to be returned to Kabul, the most dangerous location in a country which consistently falls in the bottom three for indexes measuring quality of life.
  • Afghanistan is still one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to be a woman.
  • 40 per cent of men are unemployed, 2.6 million people are internally displaced, with a staggering three million (ten per cent of the population) addicted to opium, an industry which has uncontrollably surged since the fall of the Taliban.

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