by Northlight Theatre

On Friday, February 9, 2024, we hosted “Culture Makers: From Kabul to Chicago, Afghan Stories”, a panel discussion corresponding with Selling Kabul. Our panel aimed to show a glimpse into the real-life stories that inspired the character of Taroon, including those of the many Afghan interpreters who worked with the US military over the past few decades. Panelists explored how Selling Kabul resonates with current events, connecting the Kabul we see in the play to Chicago’s Afghan community today.


Our recent panel discussion inspired by Selling Kabul included attendees from the Afghan community in Skokie and was co-moderated by Kayenat Bahadu, an Afghan high school student and youth activist whose family recently arrived in the US from Afghanistan. She shared: “Thank you for giving us young Afghans the warm feeling of that our sadness and traumatized moments of thousands or millions of Afghans are still matter with sharing this great story with very successful actors/actresses and with a very deep and heartbreaking story. Thank you for listening to a very small part of our stories. As a young generation who escaped from a war-torn country and was under coercion, when I see that people show humanity and sympathy for my fellow countrymen and the country, I feel very hopeful for the future of myself, my sister, and my younger brothers. I hope we will see such great programs in the future.”



  • Diane Bou Khalil: Community Engagement Reporter, Borderless Magazine
  • Mohammad Salehi: Former Afghan US Army Interpreter and Founder, Heray Spice
  • Sahar Sediqi: Cultural Consultant and Dramaturg, Selling Kabul
  • Kayenat Bahadu (co-moderator)
  • Kristen Waagner: Artistic Programs Manager (co-moderator)