An author whose latest work has garnered rave reviews will be talking in Ballarat on Monday night.
Mark Isaacs will speak about his new book The Kabul Peace House at the Central Uniting Church in Ballarat.
The book was praised by a Sydney Morning Herald reviewer as "a hope-filled, good news story from Afghanistan."
It tracks the work of a group of Afghani people dedicated to non-violence and peace.
Mr Isaacs told The Courier that seeing the group in action was inspiring.
"Everything else we heard was so pessimistic around NGO reports, the situation in the country and all these things.
"There is a civil society in Afghanistan that is trying to improving things. To have this group dare to dream, being brave enough to risk their lives for ideals that they may never have known, that is very optimistic."
The group was set up by an idealistic former doctor idealistic called Insaan in the book (the names are changed to protect their identities).
"He is a phenomenal guy," Mr Isaacs said. "He is kind of Ghandi-esque in his philosophies and his temperament."
It was a return to a country that he first visited in 2016, when he travelled with the Edmund Rice Centre to check on the wellbeing of people who had been deported by Australia.
He says he has been in conflict zones previously but said it was a different level in Afghanistan, where there bombings both times he was there.
"The first time, I didn't know what I was getting into. The second time I went back, it was a lot more intense because you knew what to expect," he said.
The Kabul Peace House is the latest in a series of Mr Isaac's work covering some of the world's most marginalised peoples.
Isaac's first book was The Undesirables: Inside Nauru, which told the tale of his work with asylum seekers in Nauru. He has also written about the migrant caravans in Latin America.
- Talk at 6 - 7.30pm, Monday July 15, Central Uniting Church, 103 Lydiard St. South. Gold coin entry. Light refreshments. Organised by the Ballarat branch of Rural Australians for Refugees
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.