Project

The Afghan exodus: oral histories of Afghan refugees during the 1980s Soviet occupation of Afghanistan

Afghans for most of recorded history have been an isolated and non-migratory people. This began to change in the late 1970’s when the government’s shift to communism and the Soviet invasion in December 1979 caused more than half of the population in Afghanistan to flee and eventually scatter all over the world. Many Afghans immigrated to the United States, and as with many immigrants before them Afghans are beginning to change the culture of America by mixing their traditions with the culture of their new home. This project involves recording the experiences of some of these Afghan refugees as they fled Afghanistan and as they settled in the United States.
 
 Sources of Data:
 
 Oral histories were obtained from interviews with four Afghan refugees who emigrated during this historical period of Afghan exodus in the 1980’s. Two of the interviewees are family members of the author. Secondary materials were obtained from the California State University Libraries and from the online archives of local and national periodicals and journal resources. 
 
 Conclusions Reached:
 
 This project provides additional research material for scholars interested in the events surrounding the migration of Afghans during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The project successfully recorded and preserved individual experiences to complement written documentation regarding the flight of Afghans to Pakistan and then to the United States.

Project (M.A., History) -- California State University, Sacramento, 2009.

Afghans for most of recorded history have been an isolated and non-migratory people. This began to change in the late 1970’s when the government’s shift to communism and the Soviet invasion in December 1979 caused more than half of the population in Afghanistan to flee and eventually scatter all over the world. Many Afghans immigrated to the United States, and as with many immigrants before them Afghans are beginning to change the culture of America by mixing their traditions with the culture of their new home. This project involves recording the experiences of some of these Afghan refugees as they fled Afghanistan and as they settled in the United States. Sources of Data: Oral histories were obtained from interviews with four Afghan refugees who emigrated during this historical period of Afghan exodus in the 1980’s. Two of the interviewees are family members of the author. Secondary materials were obtained from the California State University Libraries and from the online archives of local and national periodicals and journal resources. Conclusions Reached: This project provides additional research material for scholars interested in the events surrounding the migration of Afghans during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. The project successfully recorded and preserved individual experiences to complement written documentation regarding the flight of Afghans to Pakistan and then to the United States.

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