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U.S. journalist poses as Afghan refugee to accompany interpreter on dangerous path to asylum

Author and journalist Matthieu Aikins (Kiana Hayeri)
Author and journalist Matthieu Aikins (Kiana Hayeri)

Here & Now listeners may remember Matthieu Aikins, the New York Times reporter who joined the show from Afghanistan after the ISIS bomb blast outside the Kabul airport in August, continued to provide updates on the country throughout the fall.

Today, he joins host Scott Tong to talk about his new memoir, “The Naked Don’t Fear the Water.” The book chronicles his unlikely decision to pose as an Afghan refugee to help his interpreter “Omar” escape the country in 2016 at the height of the refugee crisis.

It’s a story of smugglers and police, hope and terror, luck and ingenuity. And also one that raises questions about what it means to be a journalist and what it means to be a friend.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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