News & Media

The Throes of History

The following semi-fictional piece was originally published in Italian on March 7, 2016 in la Repubblica. I wrote it in honor of International Women's Day. In 1979, when Soviet tanks rolled into Afghanistan to begin a decade long invasion, my parents decide to stay in the United States and grow roots like the elm tree…
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Guest Post: Teaching Students in Afghanistan via Technoloy

Lea Gabay is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University's Masters program in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She has taught English online to female Afghan students through two organizations AIWR, ( and SOLA ( “I learned if I stand, everyone will stand, other women in my country will stand. “ When…
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How the Afghan Friends Network is Opening Doors

For an uplifting read, check out this blog post highlighting the eagerness students have for education in Afghanistan and a group of folks looking to help them realize their dreams. Taken from the Afghan Culture Unveiled website: Humaira Ghilzai is the co-founder of the Afghan Friends Network, a non-profit that partners with local educators in Ghazni…
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Discussing the Bacha Posh on Wisconsin Public Radio

Here's the audio to my hour long chat with Kathleen Dunn of Wisconsin Public Radio from June 1st, 2015. I really enjoyed the comments/questions from callers on comparisons to the Sworn Virgins of Albania and growing up with the knowledge brothers are more important in America.   [audio mp3=""][/audio]
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Podcast with Foreign Affairs Unedited

I spoke with Rebecca Chao, deputy web editor of Foreign Affairs, about the bacha posh tradition of Afghanistan, a middle aged bacha posh (Ukmina Manoori) who has fought alongside men and what my upbringing was like. She asked some great questions.

Afghanistan’s Female Sons

I recently wrote a piece on the bacha posh custom for Foreign Affairs. The photographs included in the piece are quite stunning.  While it is intriguing to see young girls dressed as boys, it is very remarkable to see an adult woman dressed as a man, cooly walking through Afghanistan's streets.
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PEARL and College Freshman

2015 First Year Experience Conference I had the privilege of participating in the 2015 First Year Experience Conference in Dallas, Texas this past February.  It was a chance for me to talk with college administrators and educators who are committed to providing the best possible experience for students adjusting to college life and academics.  This…
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Rage for Farkhunda

On March 19th, 2015 the streets of Kabul ran red with Farkhunda’s blood. She lived a pious life.  They called her a heretic. She loved the Quran.  They claimed she burned it. She tried to speak in her own defense.  They silenced her. She wanted to dress modestly.  They tore off her hijab. She wanted to…
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When The Moon Is Low

I couldn't be more pleased to have my second novel, When The Moon Is Low, coming out July 21, 2015.  You can pre-order the e-book or hardcover now and have at least one book ready for your summer reading. When the Moon Is Low is the story of an Afghan family beset by tragedy as…
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