Afghan Ally Rescue Campaign

 


Client: The Kenneth & Nira Abramowitz Foundation
Site: AbramowitzFoundation.org
Category: 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit
Summary: A crowdfunding campaign I created to help rescue the families of two US allies in Afghanistan

Contents

(1) Overview

(2) Background: America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the consequences

(3) Why I got involved in helping to rescue America’s abandoned Afghan allies, and their families

(4) The key work tasks I performed to build and promote the AARC


(1) Overview

  • I conceived of the Afghan Ally Rescue Campaign (AARC) to help rescue the families of two US allies in Afghanistan, one of whom I knew personally, and pitched it to several nonprofits.  The The Kenneth & Nira Abramowitz Foundation (KNAF) funded my development of the campaign, and to launch it (it went live on March 27, 2022 on Twitter and Facebook).
  • The purpose of the AARC is to raise at least $125,000 to help rescue the families of two US allies in Afghanistan, who are being hunted by the Taliban.
  • The bulk of the money raised by the AARC will be given to another 501(c)3, that has been performing rescue operations in Afghanistan since September 2021.
  • Read the press release I wrote for about the AARC here.
  • Learn more about the campaign, and make a tax-deductible donation here.

Here is the overview video of the campaign that I wrote, designed, narrated and produced (3 minutes). My objective in producing this video was two-fold:

  • To use the first 90 seconds to give Americans a “crash course” in these shocking facts about President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, yet which are downplayed or ignored by the US mainstream media
  • To use the second 90 seconds to describe the AARC


(2) Background: America’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the consequences

I wrote the following copy for the AARC main page, here, which I’ve copied-and-pasted here.

America’s rushed, ill-conceived, poorly-executed departure from Afghanistan, in August 2021, led to the government’s collapse, and a cascade of negative consequences.

One particularly shocking consequence is that the US left an estimated 76,000 of our local allies behind. These are Afghans who helped us to fight the Taliban, and bring peace and civility to that war-torn nation. Another consequence is that the Afghan government’s intelligence databases — containing the identities and biometric data of these local allies — fell into the Taliban’s possession. Ever since, the Taliban has been using this intelligence windfall — along with the treasure trove of vehicles and weapons the US left behind — to locate, hunt down and execute anyone whom it alleges committed this “treason.”

The Taliban, however, publicly claimed it would not do any of these feared things, as documented by Germany’s DW News, on September 5, 2021:

In reaction to the US government’s failure to evacuate its Afghan allies before leaving the nation, a number of US combat veterans quickly formed volunteer groups (examples 1, 2, 3), to go back to Afghanistan, at their own expense, to rescue those who risked their lives to help them.

Several non-military US organizations also have been helping to organize rescues of US allies and their families — including the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit run by a noted terrorism analyst (details here).

UPDATE, FEBRUARY 27, 2022: According to a news story at VOA News (run by the US government) – Dari edition, the Taliban announced it is beginning to prevent Afghan citizens from leaving the nation. The following is the Google Translate version of the first two paragraphs:

“A Taliban spokesman said the group would not allow the evacuation operation to continue until what he said was an improvement in the situation of Afghans who had fled the country in the past six months and were now settling abroad.

“Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference on Sunday (February 27th) that the Taliban government was responsible to the people and that the evacuation operation would be stopped until it was guaranteed that the lives of the Afghan people were not endangered abroad. will be.”


(3) Why I got involved in helping to rescue America’s abandoned Afghan allies, and their families

There are many reasons for my decision.  Some of the main ones are:

  • I am ashamed of the US government, in the context of this botched withdrawal, and its betrayal of our allies.  In response, I became determined to do whatever I can to help get our Afghan allies and their families to safety.
  • I recently completed seven years of work to research and write my first motion picture — about a journey from Afghanistan to America, with quite a few unexpected twists.
  • Soon after the US copyright for my story was granted, I happened to meet an approximation of my story’s main character, and we became fast friends. Specifically, he served as a translator for US special forces in Afghanistan on four tours, and as a result, earned his US citizenship, and he was promised his family would be brought from Kabul to America, as well – but that did not happen.  Since the Taliban was given Afghanistan, I’ve been working to help connect him to the volunteer veterans groups that went back to rescue their allies and their families. Read about “Nick,” in this profile I created about him; also read his debut article for SaveTheWest:

Is the US govt releasing Taliban operatives onto US soil? An Afghan immigrant sounds the alarm. — Save The West

  • Through “Nick,” I also met “Nina,” who was a college student in Afghanistan when the US surrendered her nation to the Taliban, and was the only member of her large family to be able to board one of America’s evacuation planes. “Nina’s” father reportedly provided ongoing aid to US and Coalition forces for some years, as a leader in the Afghan government. Read about “Nina” and her father in this profile I created about her; also read her first two editorials for SaveTheWest:

Op-Ed: Afghanistan’s Taliban Declare War on the Individual – Save The West

Op-Ed: With the Rise to Power of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Thousands of Dreams Died – Save The West

  • I am the son of a Jewish Holocaust victim, who was one of the last Jewish children the Nazis allowed to leave occupied Vienna, 11 weeks after Kristallnacht.  Below: My mother’s Nazi-produced exit visa, stamped January 30, 1939.

  • In 2015, I created a quiet campaign to recruit a central Virginia farm owner, physicians, dentists and mental health specialists to help a female refugee from ISIS slavery to recover – and hopefully act as a framework to help others in her position; see the details here.

It was for all of these reasons, and others, that I began devoting more of my time and skills to effect these rescues.


(4) The key work tasks I performed to build and promote the AARC

The following items are, in sequence, what I did to create and launch the AARC:

  • Concept development: I became determined to create a platform through which the money could be raised to get “Nick’s” and “Nina’s” families to safety, and ultimately, provide housing, food and medical care for them until their US asylum applications are approved.
  • Proposal development: I created a proposal to develop the AARC, at a fraction of what I normally charge for advocacy work, and submitted it to several 501(c)3 nonprofits. The Abramowitz Foundation accepted it.
  • Logo development: The visual identity of the AARC had to instantly convey the essential message of the campaign, and it had to be created very quickly.  My ultimate mission was to visually convey this message even to those who (a) Know little or nothing about the Taliban, and what it is doing to the 39 million Afghans over whom it now brutally rules, and (b) Could be inspired to donate, and spread information about the AARC. I think I succeeded:

  • Copy writing: I researched all the content for, and wrote all the copy on the main AARC page.
  • Write, design, narrate and produce a 3-minute video to explain and promote the AARC: This was particularly challenging. as so few Americans have a functional understanding of how badly the Biden administration botched the withdrawal, and the tragic consequences, in terms of effectively handing one of the world’s worst terrorist groups a treasure trove of intelligence, weapons and vehicles.  I opted to devote the first 90 seconds of the video to delivering a “crash course” in the basics, with the remaining 90 seconds to discussing the AARC and how people can donate to it.  And to do so in a way that is crystal clear whether one views it on a phone or larger device. Here is the result:

  • Press release development: Visual layout and copy writing. See here.
  • Creation of profile pages for “Nick” and “Nina”: See here and here; this included editing their images to obscure their identities, with the bulk of this work devoted to “Nina”:

  • Creation of core social media copy, with which to promote the AARC: See this basic message framing here and here.

And now, I am working on the next phase of this project, to be unveiled in late July or early August 2022.


 

 

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