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Dr. Wahid Qaderi holds his daughter in his home in Kabul, Afghanistan. His wife, mother, mother-in-law and five children recently crossed by boat from Turkey to Greece, while he stayed behind to try and sell their home. Image by Alexandria Bombach. Afghanistan, 2016.

For Afghans, the choice to leave or stay in Afghanistan right now is an unremitting dilemma. The deteriorating security in the last few years has already prompted many to leave. The resiliency of Afghans is being tested almost daily, with constant reminders that the situation has gotten decidedly worse. People will find themselves weighing the risks of staying versus the risks of leaving with every new explosion, kidnapping, or human rights injustice. Still, the choice to leave is not a simple one.

Filmed in in Kabul, Afghanistan in January 2016, "Afghanistan by Choice" serves as a portrait of how it feels to grapple with this decision day­-to­-day—interweaving the lives of five Afghans who are making the choice to stay, leave on a special visa, or plan to leave illegally. With a vacillating mixture of disappointment, pride, frustration, and hope—every individual stands to lose so much no matter what they decide.

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Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees