This week has been National Refugee Week on June 16-22 and Dave catches up with author Mark Isaacs who has written the book The Kabul Peace House
In 2016, refugee advocate, activist and acclaimed author Mark Isaacs embarked on a trip to Afghanistan as part of a small team of volunteer researchers, sent by the Edmund Rice Centre, to report on the safety of rejected asylum seekers returned to the country by the Australian government. While on his assignment he spent time with a group of volunteers – a multi-ethnic community living in a share house, whose mission is to bring change through non-violence, to try and achieve peace where many others have failed. Their ideology of equality, their compelling personal stories and the practical steps the group are making prompted Mark to make a second trip in 2017, to document how they have lived with war but have become a viable movement for peace
In The Kabul Peace House, Mark takes us inside a remarkable and unlikely peace project established in one of the most war-torn, violent countries in the world. Mark takes us on a journey to the streets of Kabul, where day-to-day life involves terror and extreme danger, and lives alongside these inspirational and courageous young people in ‘The Community’. Mark reveals their personal stories of trauma and loss that ultimately lead them to defy the risks and stand up to demand peace, a seemingly impossible dream. He witnesses their acts of non-violent protest, their small steps in making life better, their setbacks and struggles, but mostly their bravery and hope for a future that shines with peace.
The Kabul Peace House is based on hours of interviews and transcripts from his time spent in Afghanistan. The result is a story of hope and resilience in a country constantly under siege from within and without.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Isaacs is a writer, author, researcher and community worker. He tells stories of conflict and displacement, using his writing, his photography and his community work to connect people with issues all over the world, and to encourage and facilitate action. His first book, The Undesirables: Inside Nauru (2014), is an account of his work with asylum seekers in Nauru, one of Australia’s notorious offshore detention centres. His second book, Nauru Burning (2016), follows up The Undesirables with an investigative report on human rights abuses on Nauru. In 2016, Mark conducted an investigation into deportations to Afghanistan with the Edmund Rice Centre. The published report, titled ‘Responsibility to Protect’, paved the way for Mark’s later writings in Afghanistan. Mark appeared in Eva Orner’s 2016 documentary Chasing Asylum and has written for Foreign Policy, World Policy Journal, Huffington Post, New Internationalist, Mamamia, New Matilda and VICE