“Kabul Falling,” A Podcast Chronicling Firsthand Accounts in Afghanistan as the Taliban Regained Control, Debuts August 1 from Project Brazen and PRX
The 8-part narrative series hosted by journalist Nelufar Hedayat brings listeners front and center with Afghan stories of big risks, close calls, and unexpected moments of kindness. Episodes premiere through the August 15 anniversary of the fall of Kabul
Innovative content studio Project Brazen and public media organization PRX today announced “Kabul Falling” an eight-part Project Brazen Original podcast taking listeners on a cinematic journey through Afghans’ personal experiences around the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in 2021, nearly 20 years after Coalition Forces had cast them out of power.
Hosted by British-Afghan journalist Nelufar Hedayat and executive produced by Project Brazen Co-Founders, bestselling authors, and Pulitzer finalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, the first two episodes of “Kabul Falling” will launch on Monday, August 1. New episodes will be released on Mondays through the anniversary of the Taliban takeover until the eve of the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. “Kabul Falling” grapples with the aftermath of the fall while exploring feelings of loss, abandonment, betrayal, survivor’s guilt, but also hope as Afghans work to rebuild their lives.
“We believe in the power of true stories to illuminate the world and bring alive the stakes and emotions of major events,” said Hope and Wright. “We are incredibly proud of the international team of journalists, editors, designers and producers who worked for months to bring this project to life.”
“Kabul Falling”recounts personal stories of the takeover that sent shockwaves throughout the country and the international community, forcing thousands of Afghans to leave their old lives behind to embark on a grueling journey for survival. Listeners will be immersed in the experiences of maneuvering through panicked crowds, wading through sewage in a desperate attempt to get to their airport gate, withstanding torture, and boarding a flight into the unknown. Afghan women and men from different walks of life will be featured, including interpreters abandoned in the chaos of the fall, two female journalists with big dreams for their beloved country, 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.
The first two episodes of “Kabul Falling” debuting on August 1 feature Afghans who, with the Taliban back in power, see their dreams go up in smoke and race to get out of the country any way they can. Listeners will experience the journeys of Ogai, a young journalist at a women’s television station; and Abdul, a former CIA interpreter and father of four, who begin planning their escape as Taliban fighters take control of the streets. Quick thinking and chance help Ogai and Abdul evade Taliban fighters and pass through checkpoints, but not without great risk to their safety. Amidst the chaos, Tariq, a young father and former US contractor, walks for eight hours across the blistering hot city to get his son from kindergarten and then tries to take his family to Kabul Airport.
“Kabul Falling” host Nelufar Hedayat became a war refugee approximately 20 years ago, fleeing a Taliban-led Afghanistan. Nelufar has worked across the BBC, Channel 4, Netflix and The Guardian covering breaking news, live events, and in-depth investigations in some of the world’s most dangerous places. Her work often focuses on cultural upheaval experienced by women, children, and families during a conflict, especially in her native country.
The podcast cover art features original embroidery by the women of Kandahar Treasure, a cooperative of embroiderers creating income sources for women in Afghanistan. In addition, music heard throughout the series is composed by Arson Fahim, a pianist who was born an Afghan refugee.
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About Project Brazen
With an exciting slate of podcasts, books, documentaries, TV shows and films in development, Project Brazen is co-founded by bestselling authors and Pulitzer finalists Tom Wright and Bradley Hope. Based in London and Singapore, Project Brazen finances, produces and markets its own projects, working with production partners and journalists around the world. The company is represented by a team at United Talent Agency in Los Angeles and Levy Law in New York City. Project Brazen, together with SK Global, recently announced a deal with “Crazy Rich Asians” co-writer Peter Chiarelli to write a television adaptation chronicling the decades-long Fat Leonard U.S. Navy scandal, based on Project Brazen’s popular podcast “Fat Leonard,” which recently garnered a SOPA 2022 Award for Excellence in Audio Reporting.
Wright and Hope were longtime collaborators at the Wall Street Journal where they wrote groundbreaking front-page stories on some of the biggest events of the day and uncovered global crime. They led the newspaper’s team that broke open the 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (1MDB) scandal, a $6 billion fraud which brought down a government and forced Goldman Sachs to pay the largest ever penalty under U.S. bribery laws. Together they co-wrote the #1 international bestseller Billion Dollar Whale (2018) about the Malaysian playboy Jho Low at the center of the fraud, who ensnared banks, Hollywood celebrities and politicians in his schemes.
PRX is a non-profit public media company specializing in audio journalism and storytelling. PRX serves independent producers and organizations by helping them connect to their most engaged, supportive audiences. One of the world’s leading podcast publishers, PRX works in partnership with TED, PBS, the Smithsonian, Futuro Media, GBH, Religion of Sports, and more. PRX is also home to Radiotopia, known as one of the most creative and successful podcast networks. In addition, PRX distributes trusted public radio programming to hundreds of stations nationwide, including “The World,” “The Moth Radio Hour,” “This American Life,” “Snap Judgment,” “Reveal,” “The Takeaway,” and “Latino USA.” PRX programs have been recognized by the Peabody Awards, the duPont-Columbia Awards, the IDA Documentary Awards, and the Pulitzer Prizes.