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August 16, 2021

Daily News Lesson: After 20 years, Taliban returns to power in Afghanistan

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Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions below. To read the transcript of the video, click here.

Summary: The Taliban is set to return to power in Afghanistan, 20 years after being ousted by U.S.-led military operations. What will Taliban 2.0 look like for Afghans? For more on what kind of government will take over from the Ashraf Ghani government, Arian Sharifi, former senior advisor to Afghanistan’s most recent foreign minister, joins.

Discussion questions: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

    • Who is Ashraf Ghani, and what position did he hold?
    • What is the Taliban?
    • When did the U.S. military help push the Taliban out of power?
    • Why is the U.S. military leaving now after 20 years?
    • How will Taliban control change the lives of Afghans, according to this interview?

Focus questions: 

  1. Do you think it was a good idea for the U.S. military and diplomats to pull out of Afghanistan now? What do you think could or should have been done differently after listening to Sharifi?

Media literacy: This piece was an interview with one former official whose own life is deeply impacted by the Taliban coming to power, and did not include any footage or images from Afghanistan itself. Why do you think the producers chose to focus solely on the words of one individual for this piece?

Additional Resources:

  • For more on the story of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in recent days, see this AP news story.
  • Another perspective of a former Afghan official can be found here.

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