Exhibitionists·Video

From Kawa Ada's childhood flight from Afghanistan, a selfless gesture he'll never forget

In the 1980s, actor/writer Kawa Ada's family fled the Afghanistan/Russia war. His father and mother took different routes, headed for Pakistan. And for Kawa and his mother, it was a harrowing journey. He was very young, in disguise, and couldn't speak his own language for fear of being found out.

Actor and writer left war-torn country with his mother in the 1980s

Kawa Ada and the moment that changed his life

6 years ago
2:30
Kawa Ada tells the story of a harrowing journey and a kind gesture that he's never forgotten 2:30

Afghanistan in the 1980s was in turmoil. The Soviet-Afghan war left an unimaginable number of casualties behind, while many others were trying to flee the country for safer ground.

Among them were Kawa Ada's family. His father and mother took different routes, headed for Pakistan. And for Ada and his mother, it was a harrowing journey. He was very young, in disguise, and couldn't speak his own language for fear of being found out.

Today, he is an actor and an author based in Canada. He is currently appearing in Toronto in Factory Theatre's production of Bombay Black, and he is also planning the release of a book based on his play The Wanderers, that tells the story of a journey very much like his parents'.

In this clip, Ada takes you back to the most intense part of his family's escape, a moment he wasn't sure they would make it through. And he tells of a simple gesture that meant the world.

Bombay Black, starring Kawa Ada, Anusree Roy, more. Written by Anosh Irani. Directed by Peter Hinton. Factory Theatre,125 Bathurst, Toronto. To Dec. 6. Tue-Sat 8pm, Sun 2pm. $35; $30 seniors; $25 students, arts workers.

Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.

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