Dr Khan said: “I'm of mixed-race Eurasian heritage, I've lived in Pakistan, conducted research on migration in Karachi, and travelled in Afghanistan - so issues of migration and feeling out of place in my book also speak to my own experience. The book's stories speak not only to Afghanistan as the world’s second largest refugee producing country, but also more widely to all those living out minoritised lives in the ongoing aftermath of conflict.
“Four decades of war has seen a near-embargo on anthropological research in Afghanistan, and an over-reliance on studies from the 1970s, so we lack contemporary knowledge. This combines with persistent stereotypes revived in the 2001-14 war, alongside the view of Afghan migrants as Europe's immigration problem, driving ill-informed arguments about tribalism, the burqa, and the cultural codes of Pashtuns - the majority ethnic group in this book. While cultural codes are significant, they don't determine people's behaviour—they change as conditions change.”