Pulitzer Center grantee Jeffrey E. Stern discusses his first book, The Last Thousand: One School's Promise in a Nation at War, on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, in Washington, DC. The talk comes a week after the book's publication by St. Martin's Press.

The book centers on the Marefat school, founded in 2002 in the Western slums of Kabul, Afghanistan, and built by one of the country's most vulnerable minority groups, the Hazara. It was known for being liberal, in comparison to the strict Islamic country around it. The school had co-ed classes and taught students to think critically and to question their leaders. Because of this, the school has been a beacon of hope for those who would like to see a more liberated Afghanistan, and a lightning rod for more conservative Muslims.

Stern's book considers the problems the school and its community members faced while they tried to maintain their way of life as American troops pulled out of Afghanistan.

"The Last Thousand tells the story of what we leave behind when our foreign wars end, presenting the promise, as well as the peril, of our military adventure abroad," Amazon writes on its The Last Thousand page. "Stern presents a nuanced and fascinating portrait of the complex history of Afghanistan, American occupation, and the ways in which one community rallies together in compelling, heartbreaking, and inspiring detail."

Jeffrey E. Strong
The Last Thousand: One School's Promise in a Nation at War
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
6:30 PM
Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe
1517 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036


Foreign troops are leaving Afghanistan. As the decade-long effort to secure the country draws to a close, how are Afghanistan’s most vulnerable communities preparing for the challenges that lie ahead?


February 18, 2016 /
Elana Dure, Jeffrey E. Stern
Review says Pulitzer Center grantee has gift for explaining confusing regional geopolitics with "blessed–and welcome–lucidity" in his debut book on Afghan minority community, U.S. troop withdrawal.
January 25, 2016 /
Jeffrey E. Stern
The Last Thousands examines Marefat School, its minority founders and the struggle to continue to extol more liberal values as foreign troops pull out of the country.