Afghan Dreamers: Stories of Hope and Inspiration from Afghanistan

Goodlifer: Afghan Dreamers: Stories of Hope and Inspiration from Afghanistan

What do we think of when we think of Afghanistan? War, desolation, oppression, destruction… the list goes on.

But despite a tumultuous past and present, Afghanistan is not just a conflict zone. The influence of mass media tells us one side of a story. But as with all things, there are always two sides, and when it comes to this region, far more stories go untold, slipping between the media cracks.

Ariana Delwari singing "Jawad Jalali" (Afghan Eyes) at TEDxKabul

Ariana Delwari singing “Jawad Jalali” (Afghan Eyes) at TEDxKabul

A warzone doesn’t mean a cultural dead zone. Unfortunately, the stories most often told in this part of the world are often wrought with death and destruction. But in the midst of conflict, there is hope.

There is passion. There is beauty. There is life. There is optimism. There are artists. There are musicians. There are activists. There are dreamers that know that there is a space for positive change, and they are doing everything in their power to make it happen. It’s time to tell those stories, to make sure they don’t go unheard.

Fereshta Ramsey, singer/songwriter

Fereshta Ramsey, singer/songwriter

Afghan Dreamers is a book project that seeks to tell these stories; the stories that paint a different picture of Afghanistan. A book that highlights the fact that innovation and inspiration certainly can be born out of destruction.

A partnership between Sharp Stuff — who recently launched their first book project American Dreamers — and Mountain2Mountain, Afghan Dreamers will amplify the voice of these individuals; a project that illustrates the hopes and dreams of Afghans living during yet another period of transition for Afghanistan. Forty years of war may have destroyed much in this region, but these stories, these dreamers, show that it hasn’t destroyed the pride and spirit of Afghanistan.

Designs by Zolaykha Sherzad, Founder of Zarif Designs

Designs by Zolaykha Sherzad, Founder of Zarif Designs

How do you go about telling these stories? The book will bring together interviews with over 20 Afghan innovators and dreamers, taking a look at their work and their personal lives, helping to not only tell their individual stories, but also that of Afghanistan as a whole.

Words are a powerful tool, and ultimately, these stories have the chance to break down our assumptions about this place and encourage us to rethink how we look at not only Afghanistan, but any place that has been destroyed in the face of conflict. A showcase of the power, the spirit, the hope, and the creativity that many assume isn’t possible in a country like Afghanistan.

Believe in the power of stories? Afghan Dreamers needs your help. You can be a part of this project by supporting staying up to date on the project at

Top photo: Mountain2Mountain Executive Director and Afghan Dreamers author Shannon Galpin and Afghan artist Shamsia Hassani.

About author
Anna Brones is a writer and digital communications professional with a love of travel, food and bicycles. A believer in connecting passionate people to do good, she uses her marketing and production savvy to work on cause driven issues and amplify stories that need to be told. She is also the founder and editor of Foodie Underground where she pens stories of kale and sea salt.
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