first and deepest thanks go to the Afghan Americans and Pakistani Americans
who shared their memories, feelings and thoughts with me during the
course of my research for this report. Afghan culture and Pakistani
culture are not the same, but they share very strong traditions of hospitality
and storytelling. Rediscovering both those traditions, which I first
encountered while traveling in South Asia as a reporter nearly 40 years
ago, was a welcome bonus of my work on this project. I am grateful for
that and for all that I learned about the lives and experiences of the
men and women who spoke with me. Their stories included much that is
painful, but they also taught valuable lessons about resilience and
the human capacity for hope, and I am grateful for that too.
I also owe a debt of gratitude to the Okura Foundation, which supported the initial research. In particular I thank Dr. Bertram S. Brown of the Okura board, who was the first to encourage this idea, and board member Ford Kuramoto, whose support opened the way for the project to be approved. It is worth noting here that the foundation's original funds came from the compensation checks that its founder, the Japanese American psychologist Pat Okura, and some of his associates received for having been interned during World War II. That gives a kind of resonance to the foundation's support for this project, which looks at another Asian American population in a vastly different era but whose face, like that of Japanese Americans 70 years ago, looks to many Americans like the face of an enemy. In that sense, Okura's support for this inquiry is an example of the saying that while history may not repeat itself, it sometimes does rhyme.
I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Murtaza Pardais and Shela Qamer for allowing me to reprint several of their art works in this report. In addition, I am grateful for administrative assistance from the Ochberg Society for Trauma Journalism, "a global network of journalists who advance the compassionate and ethical coverage of trauma, conflict and social injustice."
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