PROUD TO BE AN AFGHAN!

This video is for every afghan, and for the world to know that we are from a pure and brave land and what our forfathers were…yes we are all proud to be afghans..although some westerners say that we afghans still living in 14th centure….but yet we are happy of what we are,Thanks to ALLAH…MAY ALLAH bring peace and security to our land..”Ameen”

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AFGHANISTAN’S FIRST SKATEPARK MIXE’S RICH & POOR!

Afghanistan’s first skateboarding park and school open in kabul on Tuesday 30-December-2009with a boarding showdown between dozens of youngsters — ranging from ministers’ children to streetkids — that it aims to bring together.

“Skateistan” started two years ago in a dried-up fountain in the heart of the Afghan capital, when two Australians with three skateboards started teaching a small group of fascinated kids.

Now dozens of boys and girls from across all social classes can mix in a giant indoor park that looks like a cross between a military hangar and an urban hangout, festooned with the names of fashionable skating brands that have sponsored the park.
Classes are free, and at the back of the skating section are neat changing areas and classrooms where children can study everything from basic literacy to advanced computing when they put down their boards and take off their helmets.
Sports such as football are seen as men’s activities, but skateboarding is novel enough to be open to women.
The head of the Afghan Olympic Committee, which has donated the land for the park and is providing water, power and security, officially opened the indoor park and launched an enrolment drive. An outdoor area will follow.

“We managed to bring together about 200 street children, this sport is not only entertainment for them, it is also giving them hope for their future,” said AOC head Mohammad Zahir Aghbar.

“I am working hard to expand this process, not only in the capital but further out, in the provinces also.”

The children he hopes to help are those like 11-year-old Fazila, who used to sell chewing gum on the street, but was allowed to go to school and skate classes after Skateistan arranged to pay her parents the $1 a day she used to earn.

“I want to be a professional skateboarder in future like my teacher, and help other children learn how to skate,” said 10-year-old Mahro, a star student who seems undaunted by either traditional ideas about women or the steepest ramps in the park.

She has been skating for a year and would like to come every day, she says, shrugging off grazes on her hands from tumbles.

NOWRUZ IN PICTURES

afghan women

The vast majority of Afghanistan’s population professes to be followers of Islam. Over 1400 years ago, Islam demanded that men and women be equal before God, and gave them various rights such the right to inheritance, the right to vote, the right to work, and even choose their own partners in marriage. For centuries now in Afghanistan, women have been denied these rights either by official government decree or by their own husbands, fathers, and brothers. During the rule of the Taliban (1996 – 2001), women were treated worse than in any other time or by any other society. They were forbidden to work, leave the house without a male escort, not allowed to seek medical help from a male doctor, and forced to cover  themselves from head to toe, even covering their eyes. Women who were doctors and teachers before, suddenly were forced to be beggars and even prostitutes in order to feed their families.

Since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, many would agree that the political and cultural position of Afghan women has improved substantially. The recently adopted Afghan constitution states that “the citizens of Afghanistan – whether man or woman- have equal rights and duties before the law”. So far, women have been allowed to return back to work, the government no longer forces them to wear the all covering burqa, and they even have been appointed to prominent positions in the government. Despite all these changes many challenges still remain. The repression of women is still prevalent in rural areas where many families still restrict their own mothers, daughters, wives and sisters from participation in public life. They are still forced into marriages and denied a basic education. Numerous school for girls have been burned down and little girls have even been poisoned to death for daring to go to school.

Two by two the women walked down the impromptu catwalk in the hotel gardens, showing off their well ironed, shiny-buttoned uniforms.

The fashion show featured policewomen from across the Muslim world, in Kabul to give advice and a morale boost to the Afghan women outnumbered by the men in their force by 250 to one.

Getting policewomen out on the beat is a long way off in this traditional and conservative society, but there is a lot more they could be doing.

“It’s a chance for all the women to see each other’s uniforms, to be able to compare notes and to see what is appropriate for women doing policing in an Islamic society,” said Tonita Murray, the senior police and gender advisor for the Afghan Ministry of Interior.

Sometimes wearing the uniform is hard for us – if we wear it some people may attack or kill us

Khadeja Shojai
She is leading the policewomen’s conference which is designed to help Afghan women gain confidence through sharing experiences with those from places like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Some of the uniforms have head covers built into their peaked caps or are long and baggy – to be acceptable in a place where just a few years ago women were beaten in the streets by the Taleban for being unaccompanied or not totally covered from head to toe.

Even today many women in Afghanistan still wear burkas, or are almost completely covered.

Society’s rules make it difficult for women to be independent, but Khadeja Shojai is a young policewoman who is determined to do her job well.

She trains recruits at the Police Academy, teaching them the basics, and even leads Kung Fu classes.

“Sometimes wearing the uniform is hard for us,” she says. “If we wear it, some people may attack or kill us, but I like to wear my uniform to go to the office because our society needs to understand we have female police officers.

“If they want to kill me they can.”

There are around 62,000 policemen in Afghanistan and just 240 women.

The meeting highlighted women’s contribution to the force
The Afghan force does not have a good reputation outside the capital.

Corruption is a huge problem within the poorly paid ranks, and despite the billions being spent by the international community, there has been little progress.

Encouraging more female officers is part of that remit, and Tonita Murray acknowledges it has to be a gradual process in such a conservative country.

“Afghan policewomen are beginning to have an impact but at the moment they are still not being utilised to the degree they could be,” she said.

“They could be in intelligence, criminal investigation, forensic science or most importantly doing community policing and working with women and children, but still
Society’s rules make it difficult for women to be independent, but Khadeja Shojai is a young policewoman who is determined to do her job well.

She trains recruits at the Police Academy, teaching them the basics, and even leads Kung Fu classes.

“Sometimes wearing the uniform is hard for us,” she says. “If we wear it, some people may attack or kill us, but I like to wear my uniform to go to the office because our society needs to understand we have female police officers.

“If they want to kill me they can.”

There are around 62,000 policemen in Afghanistan and just 240 women.
The Afghan force does not have a good reputation outside the capital.

Corruption is a huge problem within the poorly paid ranks, and despite the billions being spent by the international community, there has been little progress.

Encouraging more female officers is part of that remit, and Tonita Murray acknowledges it has to be a gradual process in such a conservative country.

“Afghan policewomen are beginning to have an impact but at the moment they are still not being utilised to the degree they could be,” she said.

“They could be in intelligence, criminal investigation, forensic science or most importantly doing community policing and working with women and children, but still they don’t have the independence.”

It will be a long time before there are women out on the beat in Kabul, and there are only a handful in senior roles, but after decades of war and repression suffered under the Taleban it was always going to be a slow process.
The Afghan force does not have a good reputation outside the capital.

Corruption is a huge problem within the poorly paid ranks, and despite the billions being spent by the international community, there has been little progress.

Encouraging more female officers is part of that remit, and Tonita Murray acknowledges it has to be a gradual process in such a conservative country.

“Afghan policewomen are beginning to have an impact but at the moment they are still not being utilised to the degree they could be,” she said.

“They could be in intelligence, criminal investigation, forensic science or most importantly doing community policing and working with women and children, but still they don’t have the independence.”

It will be a long time before there are women out on the beat in Kabul, and there are only a handful in senior roles, but after decades of war and repression suffered under the Taleban it was always going to be a slow process.
This artical is can from…..http://www.bbcnews.com

NOWRUZ IN AFGHANISTAN

Nowruz is the traditional Iranian new year holiday celebrated in Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Georgia, the countries of Central Asia such as Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan, as well as among various other Iranian and Turkic people in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, Northwestern China, the Caucasus, the Crimea,the Balkans and Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nowruz marks the first day of spring and the beginning of the Iranian year as well as the beginning of the Bahá’í year.[1] It is celebrated on the day of the astronomical vernal equinox (start of spring in northern hemisphere), which usually occurs on the March 21st or the previous/following day depending on where it is observed.

As well as being a Zoroastrian holiday, it is also a holy day for adherents of Sufism as well as Bahá’í Faith. In Iran it is also referred to as an Eid festival, although it is not an Islamic feast. Shia Nizari Ismaili muslims, who trace their origins to Iran, celebrate the festival under the name Navroz. In their religious protocol, Navroz is officially recognized as an Eid, as with Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, although it involves a distinct set of religious ceremonies. Alawites also celebrate Nowruz.

The term Nooroz first appeared in Persian records in the second century AD, but it was also an important day during the time of the Achaemenids (c. 648-330 BC), where kings from different nations under the Persian empire used to bring gifts to the emperor (Shahanshah) of Persia on Nowruz.
It is pro bably celebrated with the most vigor in Mazar I Sharif in Afghanistan, where a huge fertility pole is raised with ribbons tied to it. Each ribbon represents someones prayers.

In Northern Afghanistan the feritliy pole is a pre-Islamic celebration seen as a phallic symbol. Arounf 20 to 21 March, the winter snows starts to melt and the celebrations and prayers are in the hope that the spring will bring plenty of water to nourish the crops and bring fertility to land and people.

Nowruz and the Spring Equinox

In Afghanistan, Nowroz festival is traditionally celebrated for 2 weeks. Preparations for Nowroz start several days beforehand, at least after Chaharshanbe Suri, the last Wednesday before the New Year. Among various traditions and customs, the most important one is :

Haft Mēwa: In Afghanistan, they prepare Haft Mēwa (Seven Fruits) instead of Haft Sin which is common in Iran. Haft Mewa is like a Fruit salad made from 7 different Dried fruits, served in their own syrup. The 7 dried fruits are: Raisin, Senjed (the dried fruit of the oleaster tree), Pistachio, Hazelnut, Prune (dry fruit of Apricot), Walnut and whether Almond or another species of Plum fruit.

Along with other customs and celebrations, normally a Buzkashi tournament is held. The Buzkashi matches take place in northern cities of Afghanistan and in Kabul.
In Mazar I Sharif they play Buskashi for the week following Nowroz

So happy Nowruz. The reason it is so important to me is that i want everyone wether afghani or non afghani to know about Nowruz,till last year i my self didnt have enough knowledge about Nouwruz so now i want all to know wish all a happy and a peacful coming year.

ATTAN

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A HUMANITARAIN PROSPECTIVE ON THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

Last week, Bill Moyers interviewed Greg Mortenson, a man who has worked on the front lines of the war in Afghanistan not as a soldier, but as a humanitarian. Mortenson’s non-profit organization, the Central Asia Institute, has constructed dozens of schools in the region in an attempt to provide education to the very people that can best lead toward a better future for Afghanistan. He is also a co-author of the book “Three Cups of Tea” which, according to Moyers, “has become required reading for our senior military commanders and Special Forces in Afghanistan.” His perspective is invaluable because of the unique insight he has into the conflict. Here are some highlights from the interview.

Mortenson’s work

While Mortenson has built schools for boys and girls, the majority of his work has been dedicated to educating girls. The success of Mortenson’s strategy of focusing on girls’ education speaks to the power of gender equity and non-violent approaches to uprooting the source of extremism. (Emphasis mine throughout)

The education of girls has very powerful impacts in a society. Number one, the infant mortality’s reduced. Number two, the population is reduced. The third thing is the quality of health improves. And, from my own observation, when girls learn how to read and write, they often teach their mother how to read and write. Boys, we don’t seem to do that as much. They also, you’ll see people, kids coming out for the marketplace, have meat or vegetables wrapped in newspaper. And then you’ll see the mother very carefully unfolding a newspaper and ask her daughter to read the news to her. And it’s the first time that woman is able to get information of what’s going on in the outside world around–very powerful to see that. And another compelling reason is when women are educated, they’re not as likely to condone or encourage their son to get into violence or into terrorism. In fact, culturally when someone goes on jihad, they should get permission from their mother first. And if they don’t, it’s very shameful or disgraceful. So when women are educated, as I mentioned, they are less likely to encourage their son to get into violence.
written by chen lin from http://www.ow.ly

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