Commonwealth National Podcast

Sarah Chayes, former reporter, NPR; author The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban (9/19/2006)


Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban

Former National Public Radio reporter for Paris, North Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East, Sarah Chayes, will tell us what inspired her to put reporting on the backburner and start a nonprofit in post-war Afghanistan. The founder of Afghans for Civil Society is steering the organization to help bring to Afghanistan some of the intellectual resources necessary for formulating constructive public policy. It is also sponsoring community-to-community projects, such as a sister-school initiative and the rebuilding of houses destroyed during the recent conflict. Based out of the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, Afghans for Civil Society is proving that Afghanistan and its people are ready, and capable, of creating a new country from the rubble of the past.

Author of the new book The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban, Chayes continues to live in Kandahar. She also runs Arghand, a small agri-business in the city. Prior to her stewardship at Afghans for Civil Society, Chayes covered numerous locales as a reporter for National Public Radio. Her reporting during the Kosovo crisis earned her the 1999 Foreign Press Club and Sigma Delta Chi awards.

Chayes also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. She holds a master’s degree in History and Middle Eastern Studies and Bachelors Degree from Harvard University. She received the Radcliffe College History Prize for best senior thesis written by a woman.

This program was recorded live on September 19, 2006