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‘We’re just going day by day’– Northern Michigan resident shares families’ experience in Afghanistan

Northwestern Community College
Edris speaking at Northwest Michigan College's commencement in 2015.

The National Writers Series is hosting a special panel on Afghanistan.

It’ll examine what the U.S., after 20 years of war, won, lost, and what it cost.

Edris Fana will be one of the panelists speaking. He grew up in Afghanistan after living as a refugee in Pakistan in the beginning of his life. He is now a Northwestern Michigan College graduate and resident of Northern Michigan.

His parents are still in Kabul.

“We have a plan, but as everybody knows, it's slowed down due to the country's embassies being closed, flights not taking off from the airport and so (there's) not as...many flights taking off per day (as usual).”

So, his parents are taking it day by day, but it's an experience his family has lived through before.

“It’s the return of history. How it happened 20 years ago,” said Edris. “It's similar to when the Russians left.”

Edris admits the turn of events have been shocking.

“Me being away...it makes it harder to understand the entire situation, and also makes me kinda happy not being there. But at the same time, (it) makes me think about my family and parents.”

Edris says many people in Afghanistan are scared of what the future holds.

“I think the biggest thing is to just keep people in prayers, because there are humans out there that are trying to live their daily lives as normal as can be.”

Even through this experience, there is still room for hope. Edris has been working with a network of people to help his family.

“Just knowing how much love and care there still is in the world from people that don’t even know my parents but they are willing to help,” he said

Edris was a panelist for the National Writers Series special on Afghanistan September 23rd at the City Opera House in Traverse City.

Listen to Edris' story on Our Global Neighborhood.