Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fwd: Amin Jaan Afghan project , Buffalo NY

-----Original Message-----
From: Samangan72

Sent: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 08:34:18 -0500
Subject: Amin Jaan Afghan project , Buffalo NY

Amin Jaan Salaam u Aliekum,
If your ideas are impressed by the Tablighi then you are sustained by the purest living waters, the source of your nourishment is the fountainhead of God's river of life. What Mustan probably can't appreciate is how deeply his conclusions are influenced by the rigidity of interpretation imposed on helpless refugee children (he may have been one himself) by the Saudi mentors of the Taliban in thousands of Madrasas in Pakistan during the Soviet invasion and the Civil War years.
He would also be baffled that the Compassionate and Merciful allows Hindus and Buddhists as well as Christians, Jews, Muslims and others, to drink from this river that is known as Sufism in Islam and by other names in other traditions. Your critic seems to have been ripped away from the tolerant Afghan Hanifi traditions that I experienced more than a generation ago, when I lived in a peaceful pre-war Afghanistan and was a respected guest and teacher in Samangan Province. I may be waxing somewhat nostalgic, but rather than Afghans being taught Islamic principals by Imams from other Islamic nations, the beautifully accommodating principles of the Islam practiced for centuries in Afghanistan that united a nation of diverse cultural, linguistic and ethnic origins should the measure for rebuilding a tolerant, civil Afghan society once again.
"More Deeds than Words" reading the various servers and sites leads me to the conclusion that everyone has an opinion about the best course of action for our beloved Afghanistan. Let's try to agree that action has power that can help transform the world. Malcom X sited education as the passport to the future. Lets offer Afghan children the opportunity to get the best education possible. Let's try to build a broad consensus and build an action initiative that unites concerned individuals in North America, Europe and beyond to actively provide the means for Afghan children to take charge oft heir own destinies.
My students in the Buffalo, NY area have raised sufficient funds (with a large contribution from Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Laureate) to transform an elementary school into a middle school in Wardak Province this summer. They have also received a communication grant of $1,000.00 to instruct other schools in NY State and North America about the steps that we have taken to provide educational equity projects for Afghan children in four provinces Kabul, Kandahar, Ghazni and Baghlan.
Are there schools in the Toronto area that would be interested in contributing to an international effort to build schools for Afghan children? How can my students contact them? Are there other Canadian groups interested in this type of initiative? If not how can we make them interested? Would any schools be interested sending students to the Buffalo area to hear a presentation from an Afghan exchange student from Mazari e Sharif?
Encourage articulate young Afghan-Canadians to spread the word about educational needs in Afghanistan, and please have them contact me and join with American and European students as we continue to expand our international effort to provide educational opportunity for Afghan kids.
Faith is better measured in kind deeds than in the most brilliant rhetoric, Shakespeare said, "Action is eloquence." Let me know if there are contacts in Toronto or Southern Ontario interested in supporting the new Canadian initiatives in Afghanistan by, "building schools for Afghan children so they can build futures for themselves."
Peace, Tony Agnello
President, Friends of Afghanistan
Director, Schools and Futures, Inc.
Advisor, Western New York
Sister School Coalition
Peace Corps, Afghanistan 1972-75

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