“In Kabul What You Don‘t See Is More Important Than What You Do See”

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“Foreign media needs to do a better job at looking not what the Taliban say but what the Taliban do,” says Frud Bezhan, an Afghanistan-born journalist covering the country for Radio Free Europe.

In this episode of NARA podcast we talk about the current situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of it after the US and NATO troops had been withdrawn from the country ending its 20-year war. We also discuss his personal journey to the point where he is now and journalists’ responsibility in covering this topic.

Frud Bezhan was born in Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War. When he was five years old, his family left Kabul because of the Civil War in the 1990s.

“I feel like there are snippets of memory that are from that time but I don't know if they're real, or it is my imagination,” Frud says. “For a few months before I left Afghanistan, we were living in our basement. Basement's cold, darkness for a child who is four-five years old, you feel suffocated. My mum, who is a doctor, also tells me that a lot of the memories that I might have had from then are probably compressed, or my mind has purposely forgotten it because it was traumatic.”

Frud's family moved to India where they spent a year and a half. Then they were granted permission to come to Australia where Frud grew up.

<p>We met Frud Bezhan on 26 August in Kaunas.</p>

We met Frud Bezhan on 26 August in Kaunas.

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Later he moved to Europe for his journalism studies. Since 2011 he is a correspondent at Radio Free Europe in Prague.

“I see my job is to show the rest of the world what is happening and to make them care. I think that I'm contributing to something that I feel deeply about,” Frud says.

<p>Frud Bezhan during the interview.</p>

Frud Bezhan during the interview.

<p>Frud's wife is from Lithuania. With their little son they came to Kaunas to visit his grandparents.</p>

Frud's wife is from Lithuania. With their little son they came to Kaunas to visit his grandparents.

<p>Indrė Kiršaitė and Frud Bezhan at the studio at Vytautas Magnus University.</p>

Indrė Kiršaitė and Frud Bezhan at the studio at Vytautas Magnus University.

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We thank Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas where we recorded the interview and its sound engineer Matas Jančauskas. The voice-over was recorded at Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania.

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