Thanksgiving in Kabul

Ambassador James Cunningham and Public Affairs Counselor Jean Manes serve Thanksgiving dinner to staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, November 22, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Janet Heg serves in the Cultural Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Just like any other American family, our pre-Thanksgiving discussions involved the question: “Your family or mine?” Yet the question was not whether we would go to his parents or my parents, but whether we would share the holiday with his office family (the Pol-Mil section) or mine (Public Affairs). In true State Department fashion, we reached a compromise and brought both sections together to create a memorable Thanksgiving celebration in Kabul.

At other overseas posts, my husband and I have delighted in sharing the Thanksgiving tradition with non-American expatriates and host country nationals. In Kabul, by contrast, everyone was able to indulge on the “giving” part of the day by preparing something for the meal.

Creating a family atmosphere at Thanksgiving is particularly important at an unaccompanied post, where so many people are living on their own… more »

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