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This paper explores National Geographic magazine's coverage of Afghanistan in 2002. In total, 7 of the 12 issues from 2002 have articles about Afghanistan regarding the war, continuous hardship and unrest, and an Afghan woman refugee with green eyes who was on the cover in 1985 and disappeared until 2002. Through a critical examination of these articles as textual representations of the Orient, I intend to draw upon Said's framework of Orientalism to explore how the discourse in National Geographic coverage of Afghanistan is embedded in a hegemonic reproduction of the indigenous other and the West's "benevolent" role in stabilizing and assisting those in the region.


This paper received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Booth Library Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creative Activity.

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