Episode 46: Raised on Ashes: What the ‘War on Terrorism’ Did to Us

When did you first learn about 9/11? What about the war in Afghanistan that followed—how much did you know about all that, at least until the past few weeks, when the U.S. military’s final withdrawal from Kabul was all over the news?

We grew up in a world defined by these tragic events, but most young Americans have only a vague understanding of the so-called War on Terrorism, and very little sense of the human costs of this 20-year conflict. In this episode, we talk with a Xavier University student who grew up in Afghanistan—his father was an interpreter assisting U.S. forces—and who still has loved ones in the devastated homeland now controlled by the Taliban.

We all have different perspectives on the tragic aftermath of 9/11, and different ideas about what might come next. But with improved safety, education, and understanding, we all hope to see a better world rising from the ashes.

The podcasters:

  • Harnoor Mann (host), University of Cincinnati
  • Mohammad Admadzai, Xavier University
  • Joyeuse Muhorakeye, Aiken H.S.
  • Enock Sadiki, Aiken H.S.

Learn more:

WVXU reporter Ann Thompson spoke with Mohammad Admadzai as the U.S. was pulling forces out of Afghanistan. Click here to read that story.

Click here for Tana Weingartner’s story on fostering better education and understanding around the 9/11 anniversary, with tips from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and links to resource guides specifically for parents and educators.

Click here for NPR’s extensive coverage of the 20-year aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, featuring a wide range of perspectives, and culminating with a special Morning Edition program to be broadcast this Saturday, Sept. 11, 8 a.m. to noon on WVXU and other member stations.

Want to better understand and support students like our podcasters, whose families are impacted and displaced by international conflicts? Check out our blog post on Welcoming Week, Sept. 10-19, a national effort to celebrate the contributions and cultures of newcomers to the United States, and to build more inclusive communities around them.