About the Book
Welcome to the website of From Kabul to Queens: The Jews of Afghanistan and Their Move to the United States.
From Kabul to Queens is the first historical work exploring the past of Afghanistan’s Jewish community together with its transition to the U.S. and American norms. From Kabul to Queens is also the only book originally written in English about the Afghan Jewish community, though hopefully this will change in the future.
From Kabul to Queens explores Muslim-Jewish relations; Afghanistan's Jewish daily life, from economics to Jewish women's education; and the timeless emigrant story of adjusting to a new land. The book ultimately analyzes Afghan political and social issues, including ethnic group conflict, underage marriage, and abysmal literacy rates for the overall population—and how the Jewish community did, or did not, follow these trends.
From Kabul to Queens was born from a research and writing journey spanning over 4 years, a journey that went from New York’s synagogues to German foreign policy documents to Afghanistan's Jewish folktales to Jerusalem’s archives.
From the Back Cover
'This engaging, innovative book brings to life the history of Afghan Jewry—from its earliest roots to the 21st century. Spanning from the community’s origins—which many Afghan Jews believe to be from biblical times—to the development of their Jewish communal institutions, From Kabul to Queens details the story of a small Jewish community that lived in relative peace with its Sunni Muslim neighbors. Sara Y. Aharon compellingly bridges the Jews’ experiences in Afghanistan to their successes and struggles in rebuilding a new life in the U.S. and among American Jewish society.'
Publishers: Decalogue Books; American Sephardi Federation
READ A BOOK EXCERPT
Literacy for Children in Afghanistan
Sara is donating part of her book earnings to UNICEF’s "Let Us Learn: Equity in Education Project" in Afghanistan to help bring literacy and education to children, especially girls, everywhere.
UNICEF’s Let Us Learn: Equity in Education Project in Afghanistan seeks to establish 110 accelerated learning centers in six priority provinces over 2015-2019, benefitting 2,200 children. Through UNICEF's partnership with the Afghan government and other organizations, the project aims to "ensure the necessary deployment of teachers to keep appropriate pupil-teacher ratios, train them and improve their education to be able to use pro-active learning and teaching methods in the classroom and create a child friendly environment."
From UNICEF's website:
- “Afghanistan has been in a state of complex emergency for over twenty years. About 70% of the population lives in poverty and the situation for girls is abysmal. Restrictions on mobility, cultural barriers, early marriage, shortage of female teachers, and poor educational facilities mean that 42% of Afghani children cannot attend school.”
For more information: UNICEF's Let Us Learn: Equity in Education Project
About the Author
Sara Y. Aharon is the author of From Kabul to Queens: The Jews of Afghanistan and Their Move to the United States. She earned her MA in history from NYU and her BA in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. She was named to The Jewish Week's "36 Under 36" honorees list of young leaders influencing and contributing to the Jewish community.