Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fwd: FW: EMERGENCY ACTION for AFGHAN CHILDREN: an appeal to you for support on behalf of orphans countrywide.

Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:27 PM
To: Barbe Chambliss; Joanne Allen; Ehsan Entezar; Bronwyn Kelch; Deborah Harrison; Dianne Crowdis; Marci Krivonen; Mary Clement
Subject: EMERGENCY ACTION for AFGHAN CHILDREN: an appeal to you for support on behalf of orphans countrywide.

Dear friends and colleagues:

The situation in Afghanistan is becoming critical for the growing number of orphas and for the the orphanages that have been struggling to operate. This is not an appeal for money, but for advocacy -- to tell our leaders that this is a problem of the Government of Afghanistan. The lady making this appeal, Marnie Gustavson, is the director of PARSA, a special project that was set up several years ago to assist orphanages the orphage managers and the governmment of Afghanistan build the capacity to develop and sustain the system of support and vocational training for orphans. PARSA's work has been focused on educate and assist governement authorities and orphanage management to establish standards and improve care, training and management so that the system will be more effective in helping orphans and be accountable and sustainable.

Below, Marnie describes the current situation, conditions and needs of orphans and orphanages nationwide. As we enter the holiday season, please consider getting involved by sending a letter as a "donation" of attention and concern to the President-elect and his designated Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton), the current Secretary of State (Condoleeza Rice) and to our Representatives and Senators, on behalf of the most vulnerable group in Afghanistan -- and prevent yet another disaster for these children, Ask them to put pressure to encourage action by the Afghanistan Government and Parliament.

If you want more info. on Afghanistan and/or its people, feel free to contact me.

The Afghanistan government has the funds and the "infrastructure" to take appropriate action to deal with this problem, but only lacks the focus and the sill to do so. You can help by telling our leaders that this is what needs their urgent attention. Throwing money at the problem will not solve the problem -- it reauires responsible action by those best placed and empowered to do the job!

Thank you for your interest and support.

Most sincerely,

John Barbee

John W. Barbee, Senior Advisor
Assistance for Civil Society & Democracy Programs for Afghanistan
1202 Walz Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 (USA)
Tel/FAX: 970 928-0173

Begin forwarded message:
From: Marnie Gustavson
Date: December 15, 2008 5:04:46 AM MST
Subject: From Marnie Gustavson, PARSA appealing to you for support on behalf of orphans in national institutions.

Dear Friends,
I have been updating you regularily on the current conditions of the 32 national orphanages and as you may know there has been a funding shortage that appears to now be at an emergency level. Directors from the 32 orphanages around the country are now appealing to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs for funds for food, warm clothing and wood for the orphans. Without these funds children all over the country will be evicted from the orphanages in the dead of winter. PARSA has averted this inevitability in Chagcharran with the help of international donors. International donors have stepped forward to provide funds that will feed, cloth and keep 150 children in the orphanage over the winter. Long term ANDS plans include transitioning children back into the villages and supporting families to care for them but without social workers, trained case managers and an assessment process, sending children out of the orphanage at this time is called an eviction in the dead of winter.

PARSA has been working on this emergency issue for over three months. It is our strong belief that the proper care of the children in these institutions is the responsibility of the Executive Office and the Afghan government. Our finance officer has examined the financial issues in Chagcharran in detail. She has determined that the problem is not corruption except at a very small scale, but in fact, poor planning, and the unwillingness to release funds promised by the executive office. Wasel Noor, Deputy Minister of MOLSA, has assured us that the planning problems have been altered for next year. However, no person that we have appealed to on behalf of the orphans who are now facing eviction has stepped forward to provide a solution.

It is our strong belief that Afghan leaders have spoken about their commitment to the children of Afghanistan and they need to be held to account for action on this. This issue needs to be elevated to an emergency and nternational donors need to be appealed to for support. But international donors need reassurance from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and the Executive Office that the problems that we are facing will be addressed and corrected.

We have PARSA staff calling the orphanages to report on the conditions they are experiencing: Government staff responded not knowing how public we want to make this issue.
MolSA staff in these provinces report the following:

In PARWAN Province- Nasiruallah Akbari: 150 children and they have no food, clothing or wood for the children. He is asking permission as of today to close the orphanage. The police in the area are supporting this decision because they have determined the children in the institution are in terrible condition.

KAPISA- Mr. Kohistani: All children in the national orphanage-110- have been sent out of the orphanage.

KUNDUZ -Yacquoob Estanikzi: There are 70 children in the orphanage. He reports that they need food, warm clothing and wood.

GHAZNI- Shafiq: 120 children- Last year children had to be evicted from this orphanage. This year, the director was very careful with his money and has managed to save enough to keep the children over. They have no access to electricity.

MAIDAN WARDAK- Eslan Hossaini: All children have been sent home as of last month-100 children.

KABUL- 600

PAKTIA- Mohammed Yar Khan: 32 children- no food, warm clothes and wood. Staff are trying to keep the orphanage open through their own resources.

BADGHIS- Abdul Alem Mojadidi: 110 children -children are homeless and attending the orphanage during the day as there are no blankets.

NIM ROZ-Said Mohammed Ki: 30 children registered. They are living in orphanage without heat and warm clothing.

FARAH- Nasirullah Amini: 38 children are staying in the orphans- with 78 children are attending day school and eating lunch. This facility has no heating or clothing for the children.

TAKHAR- Naziri Shah: 120 children registered-80 have been evicted. 40 children are staying. They have enough food because they are collecting 120 children's allowances and have saved money for this time.

Parliamentarian, Dr. Roshank Wardak, on the parliamentarian Committee to oversee the Ministry of Social Affairs, has agreed to hear about this problem with constituents Wednesday 2:00 pm. She has agreed to bring the issue to the parliament. We invite you to this hearing which will be held in parliament If you cannot come please feel free to call Dr. Roshanak with your comments on this issue.

This summer President Karzai called for a raise in the daily allowance for orphans in national institutions from 50 afs to 75 af. This money has never been released. Incompetence, poor planning and indifference are intolerable when it comes to Afghanistan's children. We ask that you register your opinion and support through Dr. Roshanak. Her number is 0799276972.

If you can be at the meeting please e-mail me or call Yasin Farid, PARSA National Director 0700284286 to give your name so that we can put you on a list to clear security.

Warm regards, Marnie

Marnie Gustavson
Executive Director

Webjournal at:
Web site at:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PARSA Afghan crafts at World Jubilee Fall Market this Saturday








From Crosstown Highway 62 exit on Tracy Avenue. Go one block north. Turn right, go one block west.

Edina MN (suburb of Mpls)

TWJ, formerly Third World Jubilee, is a registered non-profit organization, providing alternative marketing for economically disadvantaged groups from around the world since 1979. Profits are directed back to the groups. Visiting with the project representatives, as you shop, gives you the opportunity to learn more about each of the groups.

Jane M Willard
RPCV Afghanistan '72-74
612/961-3489 (cell)
FAX 866-755-2501 This number is new.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Photo publication of Afghanistan

Dear Friends of Afghanistan,

I am a former Peace Corps person (Nigeria 61-64) who is now a free lance photo journalist. A recent visit to Afghanistan, working with a number of ngos there, inspired me to publish a book of my photographs. You can read the story on my website: I have mainly made the books available to the organizations at cost, to resell for fund raising. But I am also selling them on my website. with 10% of the profit donated to the organizations.

I hope you will be willing to circulate the attachment to your membership, and/or publicize it in your newsletter. It would make a great holiday present!

Thanks, Ginna Fleming

Ginna Fleming
207 Scott Street
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Memorial Service and other news about Dennis Hamilton

Subject: Memorial Service and other news about Dennis

Thanks again for the portion on Dennis in your last edition of Afghan Connections. I'm very happy that you and the other members of your organization are involved in the process to commemorate this great man's life. You all were indeed very important to him.
As promised, I'm writing the members of Afghan Connections with the information concerning the Dennis' memorial service. Please forward to others.
William and Dennis Hamilton, Dennis' two surviving sons, welcome you to a Memorial Service to honor the life of Dennis Raymond Hamilton. The service will be held at 2:30 pm on November 14th at the 1st Presbyterian Church on Whitney St in New Haven, CT. A reception at the church will follow the service.
Amman Imman: Water is Life, the project for which Dennis served as Assistant Director will begin a campaign to raise funds for a borehole well, which will be built in his name. The cost of a borehole is $175,000.
We hope the Friends of Afghanistan will help us continue Dennis' legacy of service by helping the cause that gained most of his attention and love.

With hope,
Julie Snorek

Terry Dougherty

Friday, September 26, 2008

Afghan Connections: Memorial Edition

Afghan Connections

Memorial Edition


It is my sad task, as I deliver this first edition of our new electronic newsletter, to inform you of the passing of our good friend and FoA Treasurer, Dennis (Bones) Hamilton. It seems to me somehow fitting that the vehicle bringing this news to you is a new, high tech communication. Bones never shied away from the latest tools to further his passions. I know that he would approve of Afghan Connections delivering this news to his Peace Corps friends in the quickest, cheapest way possible. He always worked to conserve financial resources so they could be put to use for the common good. This communicaton is dedicated to remembering Dennis's life of service to us and others.

The following information is provided by Dennis's good friend and collaborator in the Amman Imman: Water is Life project, Julie Snorek. As Associate Director and mentor to the founder, Ariane Kirtley, Dennis litteraly poured his heart out into this project. I know that it would please him, if you felt inclined to donate to this worthy cause as a memorial to him.

To the memory of Dennis (Bones) Hamilton, PBUH "Peace Be Upon Him"

The Dua for the departed has been said for centuries in Afghanistan. Let's offer it to our community of Peace Corps brothers and sisters in remembrance of our brother Dennis "Bones" Hamilton and in honor of the halcyon days that we shared with him (before, during or after) in the land of the great adventure of our youth. Inna lillahi wa Inna Ilahi Rajion. "May the lord grant him paradise, and offer comfort those who loved him.

From: the Executive Committee of Friends of Afghanistan

Dennis (Bones) Hamilton 1942 -2008

Dennis Raymond Hamilton 1942 - 2008

September 20, 2008

Poem for Dennis

Your Flowing Heart

dedicated to Dennis Hamilton, 1942-2008

Those who know you were not surprised

that your heart ruptured and overflowed.

We felt it flow all over us whenever we were with you.

We saw it well up on your face when you spoke,

trickle down your sleeve when you held out your hand,

and drip onto your shoulder when you rocked a baby.

Your heart seeped through your smile,

leaked into your compliments,

and soaked through your hugs.

You wrote letters about why you stand for peace

and we read your heart.

You told stories about people

who have no water,

and it was your heart

that moved other hearts to give.

You set up photo exhibits

that displayed generosity and love

residing where little else lives,

but it was your heart that

showed us generosity and love.

You even got a preacher from Texas

to invite you to his family home,

and dedicate his website to the thirsty,

only your heart, your heart.

That your heart flowed all over is no surprise,

not to friends who bathed in your love,

drenched in your generosity

and oozed in your care.

Your heart was like a boat on a river,

a vessel of safety and care

for your dear friend.

It was no surprise that

all that was in your heart

burst out.

It always did

Poem posted by Debbie on the Amman Imman Montessori blog

Please visit our new Afghan Connections Publications site to leave your comments about this communication: 

Also note that you can "Forward to a Friend" and "Manage Your Subscription" information by clicking on the links below.

Please visit our new Afghan Connections Publications site to leave your comments about this communication:

Forward to a Friend

Dam It /News from Trust In Education

Trust In Education Newsletter


Pictured below is a dam project currently under construction in Lalander.
In the Spring, the dam will prevent the snow run off from flooding land farmed by over 50 families. TIE was asked to pay the cost of rebar, concrete, wire and a "technician", who was paid $300 to supervise construction. The word from the site is that they "won't need a technician next time:"
This was a perfect project to fund. It was their project, they did the work, they learned new skills, the number of families impacted was larg
e, and it cost $1424, less than $30 per family. This project was funded as part of a larger grant provided by the Los Altos rotary club. Thank you Los Altos Rotarians!
I learned very quickly that the best way to determine what villagers need is to ask them. At first they were surprised we asked. Now they listen carefully for the magic words, "put it on the wish list." Making it to the "wish list" is one step away from funding.
In developing the "wish list" we and they engage in a complicated cost/benefit/prioritization budgetary process that strives to allocate resources fairly. There are three buzz words used in evaluating humanitarian aid pro
grams- transparency, accountability and verifiability. The easiest way to achieve all three is to include the villagers in the process. It's also an excellent way to raise our approval rating.
We believe strongly in the bottom up approach to economic development. Top down, trickle down dollars often don't make it to the bottom and incur substantial overhead costs while working their way down. Whoever is engaged in the war for hearts and minds would be well advised to apply more resources to the bottom rungs of the ladder. That's where the overwhelming majority of hearts and minds live.
I share what I've learned, only becau
se readers are interested in more than factual reports. Besides, someday one of you may be President. Why not? The upcoming election is proof positive that the road to the Whitehouse is wide open.

Matt Van Etten, a TIE volunteer, wades in to lend a hand or perhaps supervise. You be the judge.

Enjoy tonight's debates and the weekend


Join Our Mailing List

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

University of Nebraska at Omaha: Conference on Afghanistan Development

Global Studies Conference:
Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East

31st Annual

2-4 October 2008

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska

Conference on Afghanistan Development

Where do we go from here? Past failures and political missteps are not nearly as interesting as problem solutions and new approaches that might offer better chances of success to the essential rebuilding and reconstruction of Afghanistan . Do you have any ideas, data, opinions, or mission directives that might contribute solutions? If you want to help in any way, or if you want to meet and mingle with any of those people who are actively involved with the reconstruction of Afghanistan , please consider attending this conference. We are expecting The Honorable Ambassador Jawad from Afghanistan, as well as a full contingent of Afghanistan cognoscenti from academia, the governments, the military, the United Nations, and others with interests in the progress of redevelopment and reconstruction of Afghanistan. If sufficient high-quality papers are presented, a book of conference papers may be possible.

A small amount of grant money to host this conference will enable full or partial financial support to attend and present papers. To apply, please email name, address, and abstract of proposed paper as soon as possible, and in any case by 15 September, 2008. For more information, please contact Professor Jack Shroder (


The conference plan looks like this right now, although the Friday and Saturday schedules may be reversed or combined (papers followed by panel and audience discussions).

It will be a Conference Within a Conference: The plan will be to have Afghanistan featured within our annual Global Studies Conference.

On Thursday 02 October for the Omaha World Affairs Council evening dinner, the Honorable Ambassador Jawad from Afghanistan to the U.S.A. will be giving a speech.

On Friday 03 October there will a round table discussion on Afghanistan, with special foci on solutions to the resurgent Taliban, the ‘narco-state’ and corruption, the loss of optimism in the future, and the best means to recover from these blows.

Afghanistan Reconstruction: The Future will take place on Saturday 04 October with two AM and two PM panel sessions. Below is a list of the panel sessions we have planned.
  • AM Panel 1 Afghanistan Earth Sciences and Natural Resources
  • AM Panel 2 Reconstruction and Provincial Reconstruction Teams
  • PM Panel 1 Community-Based Reconstruction
  • PM Panel 2 Looking to the Future

Please send ideas for topics that you would like to present or discuss.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fwd: AC and FoA Miscellany

From: Tony Agnello
Date: Sat, Sep 20, 2008 at 2:03 PM
Subject: AC and FoA Miscellany


I recently returned from Toronto where I met with about twenty former Afghan exchange students who are now studying in Canada. One of my past students, Ghufran Tarin from Mazar e Sharif coordinated the reunion of the Afghan students at the request of Ted Achilles, who recently left his post as Country Director or the US Department of State's official student exchange program with Afghanistan, to start up a new NGO in Kabul. Ted's organization SOLA, pronounced like the Dari word for Peace, is focusing on providing post exchange educational opportunities for the YES students selected by the program.
With Ted Achilles stationed in Kabul along with Jim Emery who was introduced to us by Randy Biggers and with Yaseer's cooperation via the University of Nebraska at Omaha's ongoing presence in Kabul we are uniquely positioned to continue our Starfish Initiatives that will directly assist Afghan women, children, families and small communities. We have conceptual agreements to fund Cedric & Norma's Afghan urology project, buy a sewing machine for a woman in Kabul and modestly assist a family enabling a brilliant Afghan girl to accept a four year scholarship to an American Universit y. We have a number of other projects, including sponsoring a reforestation program, proposed and awaiting action by the FoA Executive Committee. We will keep you posted regarding our actions in country. Please do the same and send us any newsworthy information hat can help our efforts in Afghanistan and promote the Peace Corps' Third Goal at home.

Terry Dougherty

Vaccinators Documentary

Jill Vickers has produced a new movie about the Afghan Group 15 vaccinators. It was shown to the volunteers at the Fort Collins reunion in August, and will premiere officially on October 16 at Castleton State College, Castleton, VT, at 3:30 and 7:00.

70 minutes


"We walked in on weddings, on funerals - whatever was going on - and vaccinated everyone." Group 15 volunteers were members of Afghan male smallpox vaccinator teams in 1969 and 1970. The women's stories with their photographs bring that time of relative peace and prosperity to life. Travel with them to remote areas meeting incredible hospitality as well as open resistance to the vaccination program. The movie takes you behind the high compound walls to a place where people of completely different backgrounds could recognize one another in spite of their differences. In a world in which messages of hate travel faster than ever before, this is a message of understanding.

For further information:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tolo TV, Afghanistan's most widely viewed television station. We would like for one of the first shows of the series to feature former PCVs

Ilana Weinberg
Associate Producer
America Abroad Media

I am working on a groundbreaking new series that will be produced by America Abroad Media from Washington for Tolo TV, Afghanistan's most widely viewed television station. We would like for one of the first shows of the series to feature former Peace Corps volunteers who worked in Afghanistan in the 60s and 70s, and see how some of the volunteers are still currently involved with Afghanistan. The goal of this program will be to look at US involvement in Afghanistan in a more prosperous era, compare and contrast the relationship with the US and Afghan culture, and see what has changed today.

I was hoping to learn a bit more about each of you and see if anyone would be interested in participating in the program on September 24 or 25 in our studio in downtown Washington DC? For those who might be interested, if you wouldn't mind answering a few questions below:

.When did you first go to Afghanistan?
.When did you work for the Peace Corp in Afghanistan?
.What did you do there?
.What parts of the country did you visit?
.How long were you there?
.What were your impressions of the country? Of the people?
.Have you been back to visit since 9/11?

Below is some more information about the show, America Abroad Media, and Tolo TV. I would be happy answer any further questions, and look forward to hearing back from you about your availability!

Best regards,

Ilana Weinberg

Associate Producer
America Abroad Media

More about the program:

We'll be producing approximately 26 half hour episodes in the United States on issues important to the Afghan people. The show will be hosted by Mariam A. Nawabi, a prominent Afghan-American activist, attorney, and social entrepreneur. She will be interviewing a variety of leaders, experts, writers, artists, performers and entrepreneurs, including prominent members of the U.S. foreign policy community. The show will focus on issues related to policy, education, music, the arts, health, agriculture and business. It will serve to bridge the U.S. and Afghanistan through media.

America Abroad Media, (AAM), is a non-profit, non-partisan DC based organization producing a variety of radio and television programming on key international issues. On radio, AAM's monthly program is distributed internationally by NPR Worldwide and heard on 225 public radio stations in the United States. On television, AAM's international partners include CNN Turk, Metro TV Indonesia, Geo TV Pakistan, and Tolo TV. AAM also sponsors a fellowship program providing training and reporting opportunities for visiting foreign journalists. (

Tolo TV is Afghanistan's largest television network, producing cultural, educational and informational programming viewed by millions of Afghans. It is part of the Moby Group headed by Saad Mohseni, often referred to as "the Rupert Murdoch of Afghanistan". Moby's media outlets reach about eight million Afghans daily, or 60% of the total media audience in the country. Tolo is now transmitted worldwide, making it possible for Afghans and Afghan-Americans to view its programming. At a recent National Press Club gathering, Saad Mohseni stressed the importance of freedom of speech, expression, and the rights of journalists and an independent media in Afghanistan during these challenging times.
( )

Friday, July 25, 2008


On September 6, 2008, the MorePeaceCorps campaign will be throwing100 House Parties across the United States. Our goal is to build a bigger, better, bolder Peace Corps – one that is doubled in budget and worldwide volunteer base by 2011, the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps.

Can you help us achieve this goal?

We are asking local MorePeaceCorps volunteers on the ground to rally their communities in support of this crucial campaign. September 6th is a night for supporters of MorePeaceCorps to gather with returned and prospective Peace Corps volunteers, friends, and family, for drinks, snacks, dancing, movie screenings, letter-writing and live music.

There are numerous ways to help us out, whether by hosting a party, arranging for donations, coordinating publicity, writing letters and/or op-ed pieces, or simply attending your local house party! Are you a natural-born leader? Become an official MorePeaceCorps local organizer. We will send you a house party organizer’s kit, connect you with volunteers in your area, and plug you into our website.

The success of 100 House Parties is essential to catapulting our campaign forward.
We need your help to make this happen! To host a MorePeaceCorps House Party or to learn more about 100 House Parties, please contact May, MorePeaceCorps Communications/Events, at

Please visit our website at and sign up today to receive newsletter updates.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sent: Mon, 21 Jul 2008 10:01 pm
Subject: Starfish Initiative

July 21
Albuquerque, NM

I would like to propose that FoA thru the Starfish Initiative fund a small village initiative. In 1986, or there abouts when I was a Vice Consul at the US Consulate General in Istanbul an American guy walked up to the AmCitizens window to talk about his plans to go to Peshawar and he hoped into Afghanistan to write article on the Soviet jihad. I invited him to my home that night and we had a nice talk about the place all the readers of this message love. Time passed, much time actually. Then about a year or year and one half ago he called me out of the blue and over the phone and email we got reacquainted. He is now an anthropologist civilian embedded with a US military unit in Afghanistan.
One of his mandates is the find worthwhile projects that the military can implement on a village by village and even person by person level for civic development projects. He has found a village woman who has lost two children and has a young amputee daughter. The husband is in Iran looking for some kind of work, probably a hamal.
The gentleman's name is Jim Emery(kachin2001@). He would like to get the woman a sewing machine and a supply of cloth and thread, etc. so she can earn a pitance of a living for her and the little girl from her home. He thinks he can do this for about $50 or $100. I think this would a worthwhile project for FoA or your student group to fund.
I strongly suggest that you contact him on behalf of the groups mentioned and determine exactly how much he thinks he needs. Since he is out in the field, he is good source of information on needy people and needy villages. He and his unit can deliver school supplies, or tools, etc. and the donors can have 100% assurance that what they are paying for gets into real human hands.
Thanks for looking into this. All the best to Yaseer and Ted Achilles.
Randy Biggers
Kabul 74-76

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul

National Gallery of Art

On the National Mall at 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Admission is always free. Monday–Saturday, 10–5, Sunday, 11–6.

General Information: 202-737-4215 TDD: 202-842-6176

Opening Day Celebration - Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul
Film 11:30 AM

Lost Treasures of Afghanistan
(National Geographic Society, 56 minutes, 2006)
East Building Auditorium

Concert 1 PM
Traditional Afghan Music
West Building, East Garden Court
Renowned Afghan composer and musician Vaheed Kaacemy and ensemble

Lecture 2 PM
Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul
East Building Auditorium
Fredrik Hiebert, exhibition curator and National Geographic Archaeology Fellow
Book signing follows immediately

Concert 4 PM
Afghan Children’s Songbook
East Building Auditorium
Vaheed Kaacemy and local Afghan children performing
Welcome and introductions by Shamim Jawad, wife of Afghan Ambassador to the
United States and founder of Ayenda Foundation: The Afghan Children Initiative, and
Louise Pascale, former Peace Corps volunteer and editor of songbook
Book signing follows immediately

The exhibition is organized by the National Geographic Society and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

It is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

At the National Gallery of Art the exhibition is made possible by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. It is also supported by The Charles Engelhard Foundation.

The works in the exhibition are the sole property of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Metro stops: Judiciary Square (Red Line),
Archives/Navy Memorial (Yellow/Green Lines),
and Smithsonian (Blue/Orange Lines)
Metrobus stops: 4th Street and 7th Street
DC Circulator bus stops: 7th Street and Constitution Avenue

For free Calendar of Events,
call (202) 842-6662 or e-mail

The Gallery is accessible to visitors with special needs. Call (202) 842-6690
TDD: (202) 842-6176

To learn more about the exhibition, visit:

Saturday, May 03, 2008

FW: Alive and Well in Kabul

Alive and Well in Kabul


I arrived in Kabul last Friday, to be greeted by three times the security I've previously experienced at the airport. My luggage made it, thereby inciting the first battle. There are at least 5 bag handlers for each passenger likely to request help. I stand back and observe while the tug of war over my luggage unfolds.
Forty five chaotic minutes later, I found Raymond, hundreds of yards away, where greeters are corralled. It required two different sets of bag handlers to reach Raymond. I don't have the energy or temperament after 35 hours of traveling to argue. Besides, who wants to start the day as an "ugly American".
I then learned that on Sunday there would be an anniversary celebration of the mujahideen's seizing control of Kabul. Armed soldiers were everywhere, including at least 30 at the two checkpoints leading to our hotel. Our hotel is, according to sources, on the hit list. But, it has great showers and Western toilets.
You know more about the attempt on President Karzai's life than I. The question I am asked most often is whether I'm afraid? The answer is no. I have a defensive mechanism that includes profiling. I look for bearded men wearing loose fitting clothes, that could conceal guns or explosives. This narrows the field down to 75% of those on the street. I smile at whoever looks my way. Only a crazy man would be that engaging. I have adopted the persona of a village idiot. That worked in the cowboy and Indian movies I saw as a child. Worked then and seems to be working now.

I met with the governor of the Char Asiab district. After explaining in detail the programs we have undertaken, he offered the full support of his office. This includes support from the "Commander", who is in charge of "security". In other words, "the guns". This has eliminated the complaint by some that TIE "doesn't have permission". The "Commander" later called to assure us he would provide security, whenever requested. In the past he has provided security without being requested.
The governor toward the end of our meeting proudly announced that he had two wives and fourteen children. I then advised him that we should let him go so he can help his wives prepare dinner for his family. He loved that joke. He then asked if I could help him get a visitors visa to the US. I agreed to help but said I needed a photo of him without his beard. We bonded.

Last Winter we provided four computers and started an after school computer program. It was very popular, as was expected. Today we learned that someone from the Ministry of Education came to the school, and concluded that four computers were too many. The solution was to take two away and use them in the ministry's office. Sixteen students now have two computers to work with instead of four. The governor has agreed to make inquiries. The right to confiscate will be resolved before we provide any more computers. Every day it's three steps forward and one back. It used to be two forward and one back.

The over 5500 pounds of clothes and other donations gathered last year will be distributed on Friday. We have asked that the women and the children be allowed to come to Kabul to select what they need. Several men have already advised "it is difficult for women". The problem is that it is difficult for women in the village to go anywhere, including within the village. We will distribute what we can and go to plan B with whatever remains. What's plan B? Who knows? Stay tuned.

The hunt for 300 sheep starts Saturday. I should observe the price negotiation process behind a tree using a mirror. The price of everything goes up when merchants see me. One of these days I may order a XXX large burqua.
All in all most issues are being resolved. The anvil continues to move through the sand. Let's face it, TIE's programs are tailor made for Afghan farmers. We're right at the bottom rung of the ladder raising incomes and providing investment capital they don't have. At the same time we are providing education to Afghans of all ages and genders. Our greatest challenge is prioritizing needs and determining who will receive what we can provide. The needs are infinite and our ability to provide is finite. We work together to resolve allocation and distribution issues. The people to people grass roots process works!

I have been asked by hundreds of Afghans to tell you how much they appreciate what you have done and to let you know that "you are in their prayers". The rewards from being the messenger far outweigh security concerns. That is, at least for now.

Best Regards,


p.s. The governor told me that there are no other organizations in the area providing fruit trees to the farmers or providing seeds and fertilizer. Apparently the war on opium does not include providing farmers with alternatives. Does this make any sense? Not to the village idiot.

Send Off Assembly held at Corte Madera

Corte Madera School in Portola Valley held a send off assembly for Budd on April 22, the day before he flew to Afganistan. This is the third year Corte Madera has supported the villagers in Lalander. They are currently condugirls hands on heartcting a Spring Cleaning Drive for Afghanistan that will be shipped to Afghanistan this summer.

Two girls from Corte Madera school
practice the message most often in Afghanistan in lieu of a handshake.

girl with hand up Children never run out of questions.
Thank you Corte Madera for your continuing support.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Afghanistan 101: Understanding Afghan Culture

I am happy to inform you that my book, Afghanistan 101: Understanding
Afghan Culture, is now available for sale. At the moment, it can be
looked at and/or purchased from the publisher's website

In about seven weeks, it
will also be available at and Barns and Nobles.

Ehsan Entezar

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Fwd: Google Alert - afghanistan

Did you know that Google will send you a daily summary of news about any topic?
Here's the message I got today about Afghanistan. Things seem to be going south in the "war on terror."

Perhaps it is time we tried developing the country again................

Google News Alert for: afghanistan

NATO allies must do more in Afghanistan: Development Secretary
LONDON (AFP) — Britain wants some of its NATO allies to start pulling their weight more in Afghanistan, International Development Secretary Douglas ...
See all stories on this topic

Canadian takes command of troops in Southern Afghanistan - Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
Marc Lessard took command Saturday of 12000 troops operating in Regional Command South in Afghanistan. "I see two priorities; firstly, to increase security ...
See all stories on this topic

New NATO commander in S. Afghanistan vows to maintain initiative ...
Xinhua - China
3 (Xinhua) -- The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) officially transferred authority of the Regional Command in southern Afghanistan ...
See all stories on this topic

Taliban, Al-Qaeda in the shadows in eastern Afghanistan
SHARAN, Afghanistan (AFP) — Using tactics from executions to threatening late-night visits, the Taliban and their Al-Qaeda allies may work largely in hiding ...
See all stories on this topic

NATO says insurgency is not spreading in Afghanistan
International Herald Tribune - France
AP KABUL, Afghanistan: The Taliban insurgency is not spreading and 70 percent of the violence last year occurred in only 10 percent of the country, ...
See all stories on this topic

Layton wrong to admit defeat in
Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada
His erroneous reference to the history of Afghanistan and his assumption that we are doomed to repeat history is a huge disservice to our soldiers who are ...
See all stories on this topic

Report: NATO urges Germany to expand deployment in S Afghanistan
Xinhua - China
3 (Xinhua) -- NATO has urged Germany to send more troops to volatile southern regions in Afghanistan, according to a German newspaper report. ...
See all stories on this topic

Afghanistan says it appreciates efforts to save student journalist - USA
A protester holds a picture of Parwez Kambaksh during a rally against his death sentence in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan "appreciates the concern ...
See all stories on this topic

The world can't ignore the Al Qaeda and Taliban threat in Afghanistan
Christian Science Monitor - Boston,MA,USA
A triple alarm sounded on Afghanistan last week. Three reports by reputable, nonpartisan groups in the US concluded that it's a country verging on failure. ...
See all stories on this topic

Afghanistan: Kabul Siege Underscores Warlord Threat To Rule Of Law
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty - Prague,Czech Republic
Dostum has been accused by international groups of involvement in numerous human rights abuses dating back to Afghanistan's civil war in the 1990s. ...
See all stories on this topic

Google Blogs Alert for: afghanistan

By DownWithTyranny(DownWithTyranny)
Earlier in the week we looked at Afghanistan again, something most Americans have been unwilling to do. A growing crisis there will soon force our hands. The press in Canada, England and the rest of the NATO countries is alive with ...
DownWithTyranny! -

Afghanistan - A War We Can Never Win?
By Capn_Birdseye
They have no strategy for the continuing occupation of Afghanistan. They are hanging on for dear life and praying for something to turn up. Britain is repeating the experience of Gordon in Khartoum, of the Dardanelles, Singapore and ...
Wired New York Forum -

Insurgencies spread in Afghanistan and Pakistan
By bubba2
Islamic insurgents are expanding their numbers and reach in Afghanistan and Pakistan, spreading violence and disarray over a vast cross-border zone where al Qaeda has rebuilt the sanctuary it lost when the United States invaded ... Do No Evil Stories -

NATO winning battles, losing Afghanistan
By travellerev
You cannot win a war as a foreign invader in a country like Afghanistan or Iraq or Iran for that matter. But that doesn't matter to the Bush Cabal. When the wars end as all wars must end they will have made all the money they wanted to ...
All you need is a crazy rich... -

A Grim Outlook for Afghanistan
By Alex Thurston
Years of misguided strategy in Afghanistan may soon put us back at square one. As our NATO allies balk at the idea of increasing - or even maintaining - their current troop numbers, the Taliban are stepping up their attacks and inching ...
The Seminal :: Independent Media... -

This once a day Google Alert is brought to you by Google.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Trust In Education NBC Press Announcement



art in afghan








                                    --- "AN EVENING WITH KHALED HOSSEINI" ---


art in afghan

Trust In Education | PO Box 936 | Lafayette | CA | 94549

Terry Dougherty