-An International Conference of the UCLA Program on Central Asia
Charles E. Young Research Library Building, Los Angeles, CA-
Fariba Nawa is the author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan, a mix of memoir and reportage about the drug trade in Afghanistan, (Harper Perennial, November 2011). In this talk, she highlighted this book, which delivers a searing account of the opium business, worth billions of dollars worldwide. In it, she traveled from Kandahar and Helmand to Herat and Kabul gathering remarkable stories of people, while also returning to her family’s ancestral home and reflecting on the bitter changes which have come to pass after decades of war. Along the way she encountered poppy farmers, betrayed and abandoned women and children, drug lords, smugglers, addicts, and others that gave a daring and insightful picture of a volatile country.