Afghanistan by Choice

For Afghans, the choice to leave or stay in Afghanistan right now is an unremitting dilemma. The deteriorating security in the last few years has already prompted many to leave. The resiliency of Afghans is being tested almost daily, with constant reminders that the situation has gotten decidedly worse. People will find themselves weighing the risks of staying versus the risks of leaving with every new explosion, kidnapping, or human rights injustice. Still, the choice to leave is not a simple one.

Filmed in in Kabul, Afghanistan in January 2016, "Afghanistan by Choice" serves as a portrait of how it feels to grapple with this decision day­-to­-day—interweaving the lives of five Afghans who are making the choice to stay, leave on a special visa, or plan to leave illegally. With a vacillating mixture of disappointment, pride, frustration, and hope—every individual stands to lose so much no matter what they decide.

See the related lesson plan.

Op-Docs: Afghanistan by Choice

For Afghans who are struggling with the question of whether to leave or stay in their country, the debate goes beyond wanting to improve their lives — it is about survival.

Meet the Journalist: Alexandria Bombach

Documentary filmmaker Alexandria Bombach talks about the making of "Afghanistan by Choice," a film that features the lives of five Afghans who are choosing to stay, leave on a special visa, or leave illegally.