Hinshaw sidebar: Translator, Ambassador: Baktash Ahadi

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 29, 2016

Baktash Ahadi is one of the translators who worked on the documentary “Frame by Frame” and came to Salisbury to answer questions about the movie and Afghanistan. As an ambassador for the film, he travels to showings of the film around the U.S.

He has an interesting story himself. He was born in Kabul, the Afghan capital, in 1981. His family fled Afghanistan in 1984 with the Soviet invasion. They spent a year and a half in a Pakistan refugee camp before being given asylum in the U.S.  Ahadi served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. Then, he was a translator for three years with the U.S. military in Afghanistan.

His purpose during the six months of filming was to “bring worlds together.” He became involved when he realized how important this project was. The movie had its premiere in 2015 in Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Ahadi feels that the Taliban will return to Afghanistan in some form. They have continued to thrive in Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was killed. The Taliban has been able to exploit differences among the various ethnic groups, turning one group against another. The ethnic groups once lived side by side without fighting.

After 35 years of war, there is so much destruction in the country. To obtain higher education Afghan students still need to travel to the U.S. or other countries .

Ahmadi says that Afghanistan is a vitally important country in the region. He calls it the gateway to the east and west. He said the country was “located in a bad neighborhood in the region.”  With pro-Russia countries all around Afghanistan, he says it is important that the county remains pro-United States, but all the outside countries want to have a voice in the future of the country.

The Afghan people have changed so much since the Taliban was driven out.

The Taliban banned all photos and photographers. Now everyone in the country who wants a Smartphone can have one and take photos with the  phone camera.

They are now connected to the world with the phones, and in a sense everyone is a photojournalist.

— Wayne Hinshaw