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And You Thought Thanksgiving Dinner Was Intense?

Meet this guy.

Words: Laicie Heeley
Pictures: Marc Johns / Cast from Clay

Obaidullah Baheer has built his career promoting progress in Afghanistan: He’s a university lecturer on intractable conflicts and who advocates for women’s and minority rights online.

But his life could have wound up very different. As the grandson of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar — the leader of Islamist rebel group Hezb-i-Islami — he was once taught to hate the West and everything it stood for.

So how did he turn toward peace instead of war? And, as the Taliban take control of Afghanistan, what can his story tell us about the country’s future?

Listen and subscribe now on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotifyPocket Casts, or wherever you get your podcasts to receive a new episode every two weeks.

GUESTS: Obaidullah Baheer, Lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan


My Family Fought Alongside the Taliban. Now, I’m Afraid for My Friends, Obaidullah Baheer, The Economist.

What To Make Of the Taliban’s ‘Exclusive’ Caretaker Government, Obaidullah Baheer, Al Jazeera.

Bin Laden: The Road To 9-11, Tam Hussein, Channel 4.

Laicie Heeley

Editor in Chief

Laicie Heeley is the founding CEO of Inkstick Media, where she serves as Editor in Chief of the foreign policy magazine Inkstick and Executive Producer and Host of the PRX- and Inkstick-produced podcast, Things That Go Boom. Heeley’s reporting has appeared on public radio stations across America and the BBC, where she’s explored global security issues including domestic terrorism, disinformation, nuclear weapons, and climate change. Prior to launching Inkstick, Heeley was a Fellow with the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program and Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Her publications include work on sanctions, diplomacy, and nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, along with the first full accounting of US counterterrorism spending after 9/11.


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