KSL Podcasts Launches “Stranger Becomes Neighbor: Afghan Arrivals”
Aug 15, 2023
SALT LAKE CITY—KSL Podcasts has launched a six-part series exploring what happened to some of the families forced to flee their homes when the U.S. pulled out of Afghanistan.
Two years ago, the world witnessed as a desperate sea of humanity rushed the Kabul airport. American military had begun mass evacuations from Afghanistan leaving many of their local allies behind to face the Taliban. More than 80,000 refugees eventually made their way to America where they faced other challenges.
“We wanted to know how well America delivered on its promise to help these new arrivals,” said award-winning journalist and podcast host Andrea Smardon. “Although grateful to have escaped almost certain oppression at home, they arrived here during a pandemic, an affordable housing shortage, and at a time when refugee agencies had been cut back to almost nothing.”
For the last two years, Smardon has followed their stories including the struggles of a young widow who served in a secret unit of the Afghan military working alongside U.S. special forces. Her need for affordable childcare made working at Walmart difficult. Another story follows a woman who was separated from her family at the Kabul airport and must now care for her younger sister and niece alone.
Designated as humanitarian parolees by the U.S. government, these families and individuals also face an uncertain immigration status while trying to make ends meet, adapt to a new culture, and become valued members of our communities.
Listeners to the podcast will also find inspiration and hope in the determination of caring Americans who have chosen to share time and resources to help their new neighbors.
“Somehow, they are reaching deep to find incredible energy and commitment, testing the limits of what one person can do. Along the way, they discover what it means to create a community that feels caring and welcoming to all its residents, both new and old,” said Sheryl Worsley, Vice President of Podcasting for Bonneville, and KSL Podcasts.
ABOUT KSL PODCASTS
With over eighty-five million downloads, KSL Podcasts produces chart topping podcasts including COLD, The Letter and Hope in Darkness. KSL Podcasts is owned and operated by Bonneville International Corporation. Bonneville International is an integrated media and marketing solutions company dedicated to building up, connecting, informing, and celebrating families and communities. Founded in 1964, Bonneville currently operates radio and TV stations, local websites, podcasts, and other digital distribution assets in six western U.S. markets. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Bonneville is a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corporation. For more information about Bonneville International, please visit www.bonneville.com.
ABOUT ANDREA SMARDON headshot
Andrea Smardon is a veteran journalist and audio producer. Most recently she produced The Letter, which reached #1 on the overall Apple Podcasts chart. Before joining KSL Podcasts, she ran her own podcast production company and was a contributor to National Public Radio, The Guardian, and US News & World Report.
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For more information about KSL Podcasts and its shows, go to kslpodcasts.com