‘This is the Darkest Moment’: Afghans Flee a Crumbling Country

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The dusty city below and its snow-capped mountains whizzed by in a blur. Clutching his light blue passport, Jawad Jalali’s eyes filled with tears as the roaring engines lifted the plane higher into the sky. Leaving Afghanistan wasn’t easy for the 30-year-old photojournalist.

“War is so ugly,” he said. “It takes everything from you. Your job, your security, your hopes, and your dreams.”

After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, the United States is on the verge of packing up and leaving—and it isn’t the only one. The past…

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