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Escaping Afghanistan – Film and Zoom Panel Discussion
August 24 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
The first film in our new Film Festival is Midnight Traveller, a 2019 documentary film that begins in Afghanistan.
Watch the film online anytime between August 15-25 and then
join us for a Zoom discussion on August 24 at 4 pm
with Phil Caruso and Ismail Khan of No One Left Behind
Registration required for film and Zoom program access. | Watch the official trailer here.
In 2015, after Hassan Fazili’s documentary Peace in Afghanistan aired on Afghan national television, the Taliban assassinated the film’s main subject and put a price on Fazili’s head. Fearing for their survival, the Fazili family fled Kabul for Tajikistan. After 14 months submitting asylum applications that were rejected again and again, they were deported back to Afghanistan. It was at this juncture that Fazili picked up his cell phone and hit the record button.
Chronicling every step from inside the action, Fazili, his filmmaker wife, and their young daughters trek across Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, and Serbia—scurrying through perilous landscapes, huddling in freezing forests, cramming into rattling vehicles. As they endure smugglers, gangs, and refugee camps, the camera witnesses not only the danger and desperation but also the exuberance and tenderness of this irresistible, loving family. For Fazili, framing their story becomes an assertion of control, humanity, and self-expression in a situation where none exists. With its radical subjectivity, visceral footage, and poetic form, Midnight Traveler is a migration story like no other.
For Fazili, framing their story becomes an assertion of control, humanity, and self-expression in a situation where none exists. With its radical subjectivity, visceral footage, and poetic form, Midnight Traveler is a migration story like no other.
ESCAPING AFGHANISTAN | AUGUST 24 @ 4PM ON ZOOM
Phil Caruso is an associate at Onex Partners in New York, NY and a nonresident fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
He is an Air Force veteran and former legislative fellow at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He received a B.S. in Materials Science & Engineering from Cornell University and J.D. and M.B.A. degrees with honors from Harvard, where he was a Tillman Scholar.
Phil is a Board Member of No One Left Behind, a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that America keeps its promise to our allies and their families who risked their lives for our freedom. Sadly, hundreds of interpreters and their family members have been killed because of their association with the United States.
Ismail Khan worked with U.S. Army in Afghanistan from 2007 – 2011. He moved to United States in November 2014 on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) and is a No One Left Behind Ambassador.
Ismail began working at the Seattle Tacoma International Airport in February 2015 as a customer service ambassador and is now the operation’s manager. He earned his associates degree in Information Technology from Green River College and plans to further his education at the University of Washington. He has been helping SIV families since 2016 in Washington State.
Omar Azizi is a former refugee from Afghanistan and the founder of SAFAR, an NGO for refugees. He is currently working with the charity, Oasis Rescue, and is involved in helping the rescue mission of high-risk women and vulnerable groups in Kabul. He has extensive experience in Tech business development and non-profit initiatives focused on refugee resettlement and interfaith dialogue. Omar developed an app to help refugees seeking asylum.
Omar’s humanitarian initiatives have been recognized by President Obama and he holds a degree in Business from the University of Southern California.
This program is partially funded by a grant from the Albert and Rhoda Weissman Arts Endowment Fund,
a joint program of Jewish Community Foundation Orange County and Jewish Federation of Orange County.