The fall of Kabul, August 2021

The fall of Kabul, August 2021

The fall of Kabul, August 2021

event Friday, September 27, 2024 schedule 2.00pm - 3.00pm BST
Sold out
Sold out
event Friday, September 27, 2024 schedule 2.00pm - 3.00pm BST
  • Fall of Kabul poster
In-person | £10
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Peter Richards Room, Hughes Hall | View details

Laurie Bristow, the President of Hughes Hall, was the last UK ambassador to Afghanistan. He will talk about what happened in August 2021 and why it matters.

On 15 August 2021, the world watched in horror as Kabul fell to the Taliban, 20 years after western-backed Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban in theaftermath of the 9/11 attacks. How did 20 years of trying to build a modern democratic society in Afghanistan come to nothing?

Laurie Bristow, President of Hughes Hall will talk about the looming collapse of Afghanistan as western military forces pulled out, the political intrigues among the Afghan elite, the indifferenceof western politicians, and the evacuation from Kabul.


Sir Laurie Bristow KCMG

Laurie Bristow

Laurie Bristow became President of Hughes Hall in October 2022, following a 32 year career in the UK Diplomatic Service. He served as ambassador three times: to Afghanistan (2021), to the Russian Federation (2016-2020) and to Azerbaijan (2004-2007).

Reading list

Kabul: Final Call. The Inside Story of the Withdrawal from Afghanistan, August 2021 (published April 2024)

A dramatic day-by-day account of the fall of Kabul to the Taliban in August 2021, the events that led to it, and the chaotic evacuation. Recounted by the lastBritish Ambassador to Afghanistan and one of the last civilians to leave in August 2021.

Booking information

Refreshments will be provided after the talk.


This event has sold out.


Peter Richards Room, Hughes Hall
Wollaston Road
United Kingdom


The Festival Team
Location information: 



The venue is wheelchair accessible.