Arts, Culture & Media

Conversation with Afghan cartoonist

HS says even though his cartoons are often dark, don't call him a pessimist: I'm trying to be a happy person but that doesn't mean all the surrounding people are happy. We are in a troubling time and I don't forget what's happening in my homeland. (You left Afghanistan in the early 90s and now you live in Czechoslovakia. How do you respond to allegations that you can't portray your homeland anymore?) In my heart and mind I never left Afghanistan. Also the world is getting smaller because of communications. (I'm wondering who is your audience?) I don't think I'm drawing just for Afghans. Our planet is getting smaller and smaller every day so I'm never thinking about just the people of Afghanistan, I think about everyone who can see my cartoons. My cartoons cover topics that belong to all of us. (U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is changing. Do you imagine a very situation in Afghanistan this coming year?) I think when Obama was elected, this was a glory of democracy and I'm looking at Afghanistan as a man of honor. But I'm not a politician, I'm an artist, but whatever the policy in Afghanistan, Obama said America is not powerful with the gun, it's powerful with diplomacy. I hope the U.S. and Obama tries to understand the Afghan people and culture, so I hope troops are not the only difference. Until Afghans see a change in their daily lives, it's going to be a difficult mission to accomplish.

Player utilities

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.