This article appeared in the August 16, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Sifting for hope amid heartbreak in Haiti, Afghanistan

Courtesy of Clay Collins
The Monitor’s Clay Collins (right) worked a spring 1993 assignment in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, following the coordinated work there of aid agencies and Haitian institutions. One enduring hallmark of Monitor reporting has been the search for credible hope.
Clayton Collins
Director of Editorial Innovation

Humanity really seems to be on its heels.

Just months ago we were reading reports of the resilience of Afghan girls. “They want to push our generation into the dark,” a girl in Kabul told Thomson Reuters, vowing to keep studying after a Taliban attack. Yesterday her country fell into Taliban control.

This month we covered Haiti’s capacity for weathering the blows that seem disproportionally aimed its way, including a president’s assassination last month. Over the weekend the Caribbean nation was hit by an earthquake more powerful than the devastating temblor of 2010, but farther from its crowded capital. Now a tropical storm bears down.

Our journalists have reported from Haiti over the decades – in my case, more than 25 years ago – recording both the unrelenting hardship and the irrepressible heart. Haiti’s story, as we reported recently, is more textured than is often depicted, and about more than just victimhood.

Monitor journalists have regularly covered Afghanistan, too, looking for light and forging ties. They continue to support those who have supported us there over the past 20 years.

Canada has announced plans to resettle vulnerable Afghans. Other help will come. Strength will also emerge from within.

“What I can say about Afghans is that they are resilient, they are resourceful, and they will cope with the return of the Taliban and the sense of heartbreak at feeling abandoned” after the hope and progress that the U.S. presence brought, the Monitor’s Scott Peterson told me overnight as he was reporting today’s story.

Scott sees Afghanistan as being a different place than it was 20 years ago.

“Many more Afghans want much more than the Taliban can give them,” he says, “and this struggle will now likely play itself out for years to come – though now on Afghan terms.”

This article appeared in the August 16, 2021 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 08/16 edition
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