Peace Corps Afghanistan: 2005

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Peace Corps was active in Afghanistan from 1962 to 1976. Although President Bush proposed returning the Peace Corps to the country in 2002, the security situation in the country has not allowed a return to Afghanistan but the legacy of the Peace Corps' fourteen years in Afghanistan lives on in the many RPCVs who lives were deeply affected by their work in the country and in the many RPCVs who served in other countries but who now work in Afghanistan in civil affairs, diplomacy, as aid workers in NGO's and as journalists. RPCVs with an Afghan connection include Thomas Gouttierre who became Director of the Center of Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1974; Sarah Chayes (RPCV Morocco) who since 2002 has been responsible for rebuilding homes and schools, creating employment for about 300 people and launching today's most popular local radio station in Kandahar; James Rupert (RPCV Morocco) who has reported on on Afghanistan since the 1980's for Newsday, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post; and Ben Rosen (RPCV Iran) who since 1995 has worked with Teacher's College to produce textbooks, design curriculum, recruit teachers and help local ministries take over these tasks and who returned to Afghanistan in 2003 to help reopen the college.

Peace Corps was active in Afghanistan from 1962 to 1976. Although President Bush proposed returning the Peace Corps to the country in 2002, the security situation in the country has not allowed a return to Afghanistan but the legacy of the Peace Corps' fourteen years in Afghanistan lives on in the many RPCVs who lives were deeply affected by their work in the country and in the many RPCVs who served in other countries but who now work in Afghanistan in civil affairs, diplomacy, as aid workers in NGO's and as journalists. RPCVs with an Afghan connection include Thomas Gouttierre who became Director of the Center of Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1974; Sarah Chayes (RPCV Morocco) who since 2002 has been responsible for rebuilding homes and schools, creating employment for about 300 people and launching today's most popular local radio station in Kandahar; James Rupert (RPCV Morocco) who has reported on on Afghanistan since the 1980's for Newsday, Bloomberg, and the Washington Post; and Ben Rosen (RPCV Iran) who since 1995 has worked with Teacher's College to produce textbooks, design curriculum, recruit teachers and help local ministries take over these tasks and who returned to Afghanistan in 2003 to help reopen the college.


Contents

2005

2005: Afghanistan RPCV John E. Greisberger is President of Association of International Educators

John E. Greisberger became president of NAFSA: Association for International Educators on January 1, 2004. Greisberger has been the director of the Office of International Education at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio since 1986. Prior to working at Ohio State, he was a foreign student advisor and co-director of the Intensive English and Orientation Program at Iowa State University from 1976-84, and deputy director of the Harvard International Office from 1986-88. Greisberger also served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan from 1973-1975. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Nafsa. "Nafsa: Association Of International Educators" January 5, 2005.


2005: Burkina Faso RPCV Dr. Guy Fipps takes a 12-month assignment as the senior water advisor for the Afghanistan Reconstruction Group

He will help develop water resources, treatment and delivery systems and policies in a country that has been ravished by more than two decades of war, he said. He plans to analyze irrigation needs and determine what is needed to rehabilitate existing systems Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: AgNews. "Irrigation Engineer Pumped Up About Afghanistan Assignment" January 5, 2005.


2005: John Borel provides a perspective of Afghanistan from his experiences there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1963 to 1965

John Borel, a longtime member of ALR and leader of several ALR programs, provides a perspective of Afghanistan from his experiences there as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1963 to 1965. After his stint in the Peace Corps, he stayed on in Afghanistan to serve as director of the Afghan-American Educational Foundation, a Fulbright Program, from 1965 to 1967. Borel's experiences in Afghanistan pre-date the Communist take over in the 1970s and later the Taliban take over in the late 1990s. As a result, he brings to the course a sense of what Afghanistan was like as a sovereign state, with its own culture, traditions and desires. Borel plans to set the stage and help students place 'The Kite Runner' in perspective with help from the photographs and slides he made while in Afghanistan. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Saratogan. "Alr Takes An Afghan Journey With 'The Kite Runner'" January 15, 2005.


2005: Afghanistan RPCV Stephen Smith is new US consul-general in Sydney Australia

Before Sydney and Baghdad, he'd worked in Washington and throughout the Middle East. Serving in the US Navy, and in the US Peace Corps in Afghanistan, before joining the diplomatic service, Smith has undertaken various management and personnel positions in Jordan, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iran and Egypt. One earlier task provided him with at least some experience for the role he undertook in Baghdad - essentially to turn the office of a military occupier into a US ambassadorial structure. In the early 1990s he headed US efforts to set up new embassies in the dozen or so countries created by the collapse of the former Soviet Union. "In many places the concept of renting a building was an alien concept," he said. "Setting up security, co-ordinating from Washington and finding places for embassy staff to live as there were no housing markets in places like Belarus or Kazakhstan or Turkmenistan ... it was quite something." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Sydney Morning Herald . "Listening Post Of A Diplomat Down Under" January 17, 2005.


2005: Aghanistan and Ecuador RPCV Richard Hobbs appointed director of Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations.

Before joining the county in 1996, Hobbs spent six years with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, taught English as a second language at colleges in the region and served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan and Ecuador. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: San Jose Mercury News. "Immigrant Services Chief To Lead Human Relations Office" January 26, 2005.


2005: In the early '70s, Jim Rumford was in Kabul as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching co-ed classes, where, he recalls, his female students were filled with ambition that no one questioned

Like Ahmadi, Jim Rumford -- also a Manoa resident -- cherishes the time he spent in an Afghanistan of a different era. In the early '70s, he was in Kabul as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching co-ed classes, where, he recalls, his female students were filled with ambition that no one questioned. "So many were multilingual. They could recite poetry in Persian or French. So now I have to wonder what happened to them with all this ..." his voice hesitates, "... all this craziness," he finishes, shaking his head. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin. "Isle Advocates Aid Afghan Women" February 11, 2005.


2005: Centenial Dinner will feature Thomas E. Gouttierre, Dean of International Studies and Programs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and the Director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at UNO

Gouttierre speaks, reads, and writes Afghan Persian (Dari), Iranian Persian (Farsi), and Tajiki Persian (Tajiki)fluently; he has also studied Arabic, French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. His publications include numerous articles about Afghanistan society, culture, and politics; a co-authored, two-volume language textbook (Dari for Foreigners); original Dari poetry; translations of Persian poetry; and a variety of magazine and newspaper articles concerned with other international topics. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Southwest Nebraska News. "Rotary Dinner To Feature Afghanistan Scholar" February 21, 2005.


2005: Thomas Gouttierre says: People of Afghanistan want U.S. Involvement

During his presentation, Gottierre discussed the history of the region, Afghanistan’s ethnic diversity and post 9/11 democratization. Gottierre also discussed his relationship with prominent Afghan figures Ahmad Shah Massoud and Hamid Karzai. Gouttierre emphasized his belief that the fates of the Afghan and American people are interconnected and that U.S. involvement in the region was accepted by the majority of Afghanistan’s citizens. “There is no ambiguity in the minds of the Afghans about weather or not they want the United States in Afghanistan” Gouttierre asserted, adding that if there were any complaints at all, it is “that we dumped them once and they are concerned that we might dump them again.” Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Southwest Nebraska News. "Gouttierre: People Of Afghanistan Want U.s. Involvement" February 27, 2005.


2005: A one-page information sheet prepared by Thomas Gouttierre, director of UNO's Afghanistan Studies center, said that the center is proud of its record in assisting Afghans to rebuild their education sector

The UNO center was awarded three major contracts by the United States Agency for International Development covering 1974-1978, 1986-1994 and 2002-2004, Hawks said in the letter. More than 50 faculty and staff members at UNO and UNL worked on the projects, under which more than 30 million textbooks were produced for Afghanistan children and adults, Hawks said. At Friday's meeting, officials distributed a one-page information sheet that was prepared by Thomas Gouttierre, director of UNO's Afghanistan Studies center, according to NU administration official Dara Troutman. The unsigned statement said that the center is proud of its record in assisting Afghans to rebuild their education sector. The statement does not address Olson's claims, but instead lists what are described as highlights of the center's work, including the development of maps, writing chapters for encyclopedias on Afghanistan and making thousands of appearances to talk about the country. Gouttierre was out of the office Friday and did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Olson's appearance before the board is the latest in a series of communications Nebraskans for Peace has had with the university related to the Afghan Studies program dating back to January. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Casper Star Tribune. "Peace Group: Uno Textbooks Distributed In Afghanistan Contributed To Terrorism" April 15, 2005.


2005: The majority of the controversial textbooks were written to help Afghan refugees in Pakistan educate their children while the Soviet Union occupied their country, Thomas Gouttierre said

Turn to the back cover of one of several million of these books, published in the late 1980s, and see a familiar logo – that of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Paul Olson, a Nebraskans for Peace member and University of Nebraska-Lincoln English professor, uses the words “propaganda,” “covert” “operations,” “terrorism” and “violence-and-jihad-promoting” when describing these textbooks. At the University of Nebraska Board of Regents’ meeting on Friday, Olson said these textbooks were used to educate grade-school children and UNO’s involvement indicates a lack of ethics. “We provided the violence-laden propaganda to the Taliban-era Afghan children,” Olson said. “The 9/11 terrorists emerged from this context.” Nebraskans for Peace, a statewide peace group, has asked the board to conduct an investigation of these textbooks, develop a university-wide ethics policy and strengthen existing policies on the matter. Regent Howard Hawks of Omaha, chairman of the board, said the center followed university policy at the time, and there is no need to change those policies now. Thomas Gouttierre has been the director of the UNO Center for Afghan Studies since 1974 and said historical context has to be taken into consideration when looking at these textbooks. “While their intentions may be good,” he said in a phone interview, “their interpretation of history is out of context.” Since 1974, the center has received three contracts from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to help develop education in Afghanistan. The most controversial books were produced at UNO between 1986 and 1989, using USAID’s funds and rules – which said all content of the textbooks was left up to the Afghans. “We were told explicitly that we were not to have any input into the content,” he said, adding that the center has never denied that several of these books were militantly anti-Soviet. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Daily Nebraskan. "Controversial Textbook Topics Oked By Uno" April 20, 2005.


2005: Uzbekistan RPCV Jake Dinneen on "Golf in Afghanistan"

Thank you, Steve Kelley, for your piece on golf in Afghanistan (Seattle Times, April 28). I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bukhara, Uzbekistan, in 1999-2000 and I often went near the Afghan border. My heart is still strongly connected to that region, and I sit and wonder when the international community will build a strong effort in places like the -stans. The sad reality of Afghanistan is that it really has never really experienced true unity as a country, and with the insanely powerful warlords it will likely never be peacefully unified. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Seattle Times. "Golf In Afghanistan" May 1, 2005.


2005: Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, is coming to Nebraska in late May. The Afghan president, a longtime U.S. ally and a one-time student of Thomas Gouttierre, the director of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Center for Afghanistan Studies, will receive an honorary degree from UNO, Gouttierre said

Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, is coming to Nebraska in late May. The Afghan president, a longtime U.S. ally and a one-time student of Thomas Gouttierre, the director of the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Center for Afghanistan Studies, will receive an honorary degree from UNO, Gouttierre said Tuesday. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Lincoln Journal Star. "Afghanistan President To Visit Nebraska" May 4, 2005.


2005: Afghanistan RPCV Richard Hobss has lived a lifetime of tireless activism

``I've experienced or witnessed a lot of pain and suffering, says Hobbs, new director of the Santa Clara County Office of Human Relations. ``Some in my personal life. Some in Santa Clara County, and a lot in Third World countries. When you see people dying of hunger, malnutrition, lack of health care, it's a huge motivation to fight that pain and suffering. But three short months in 1974 as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan exposed him to the worst suffering. "I saw the deepest poverty I ever saw in my life, he said. ``One of every two babies died before the age of 5. There was no concept of basic sanitation. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Mercury News. "A Lifetime Of Tireless Activism" May 8, 2005.


2005: Anti-U.S. protests spread in Islamic world reports RPCV James Rupert

The uproar was ignited by a recent report in Newsweek magazine that U.S. troops had thrown a copy of the Koran into a toilet as part of their interrogation of Muslim prisoners. Afghan prisoners released from Guantanamo and other U.S. military prisons also say soldiers abused the Koran to horrify or humiliate prisoners. In four provincial Afghan towns, violence broke out as crowds of men filled streets after the midday prayer. At least four police were reported killed in Ghazni province and another person in the city of Gardez, both southwest of Kabul, and a protester was reported shot to death in Qala-I-Nau, in the northwest as the violence spread from southern to northern Afghanistan for the first time. Afghan officials suggested opponents of the country's painstaking democratic rebirth were stirring up this week's trouble, while the U.S. government appealed for calm, The Associated Press reported. Rice said that if the allegations "are proven true, we will take appropriate action. Respect for the religious freedom for all individuals is one of the founding principles of the United States." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Chicago Tribune. "Anti-U.s. Protests Spread In Islamic World" May 14, 2005.


2005: Aid worker kidnapped in Kabul reports RPCV James Rupert

Police said four unidentified men with AK-47 assault rifles forced the woman's car to halt in a street of Shahr-i-Nau, a neighborhood where aid agency offices are concentrated. They forced the woman - an employee of CARE International identified as Clementina Cantoni, 32 - into a car. She had been working in Kabul for about three years on a program helping widows, CARE said. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Newsday. "Aid Worker Kidnapped In Kabul" May 17, 2005.


2005: In 1968, Jonathan Greenburg joined the Peace Corps, and was stationed in Darweshan, Afghanistan. He taught English to Afghan children

In 1968, Greenburg joined the Peace Corps, and was stationed in Darweshan, Afghanistan. He taught English to Afghan children. No plumbing. No electricity. The school stood in the desert, three hours from the nearest city, and from the closest American community, where the business people “had no contact with the people other than giving orders.” “I didn’t think of what I was doing there in the political sense,” Greenburg said. “I was not looking at the big picture. I was just imbued with the Kennedy spirit – I was young and idealistic and trying to do something positive. Who was I kidding? I was an agent for American imperialism.” But the humility of the people, their generosity and “Middle Eastern hospitality” prevailed. They played basketball together, students and teacher - the students playing barefoot. They farmed and learned. “Most of the kids went on to the university in Kabul to study agronomy,” said Greenburg. “I remember this one boy, he couldn’t distinguish between ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ after one year of studying English.” But goodbye came nonetheless, and as hard as it was to go to Afghanistan in the first place, it was harder to leave. The two-year assignment served as the basis for Greenburg’s continuing passion for the Middle East and for world cultures. From the 1960s to 2001, “this stuff was dormant in me,” he said of his background in Afghanistan. “It suddenly came to the forefront after 9/11,” he said. As part of the curriculum for his Middle Eastern Studies course, he and the students each year went to an Islamic Mosque in Paterson not only to observe – but also to take part in the rituals of that religion. “You’re going to come out of the Middle Eastern Studies class knowing 99 percent more than the rest of the community knows about Islam,” the teacher told his students. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Chatham Courier. "History Teacher Greenburg Urges His Students To Engage" May 19, 2005.


2005: Thomas Gouttierre says believes there is still reason to be positive about the security situation in Afghanistan, mostly because three and a half years after the Taliban regime was brought down, things are finally getting back to normal.

Gouttierre, who heads the Centre for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska, believes there is still reason to be positive about the security situation, mostly because three and a half years after the Taliban regime was brought down, things are finally getting back to normal. "People are busy about their work and business, they want to provide for their families and get things on track again and that's all most people are concerned about in Afghanistan, and that, in some ways, is the most important asset...just the restoration of normality has introduced discipline to the society," he told Adnkronos International (AKI). Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Aki. "Afghanistan: Kidnap Damaging To The Country's Confidence, Says Expert" May 19, 2005.


2005: "The fact is, in Afghanistan the name 'Nebraska' is very well known," said Thomas Gouttierre, who is of Belgian ancestry but was introduced to Afghanistan after serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer

For 33 years, the UNO Center for Afghanistan Studies has been the most comprehensive U.S. resource center on that country, devoted mostly to exchanges of students and educators and improving educational opportunities in Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai and 24 Afghan officials will arrive today and leave Wednesday night after Karzai is awarded an honorary UNO degree. "This makes a statement about how much President Karzai and the people of Afghanistan respect our state because of their relationship with the UNO Afghanistan Study Center," said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. Karzai's visit is especially timely for the UNO center, which is facing new challenges. The center has been criticized by a UNO professor for not being more academically oriented or offering courses on Afghanistan. A peace group also repeatedly has criticized the program for publishing Afghan textbooks that included military themes. In addition, as Afghanistan has risen in worldwide prominence, other institutions have emerged to compete with UNO for federal grants. But in the early 1970s, Afghanistan seemed to appeal only to UNO scholars trying to find a niche for international studies. They were responding to a request by then-Chancellor Ronald Roskens to bring an international flavor to the campus on Dodge Street. But why Afghanistan, over other nations around the globe? Because Christian L. Jung, who was on the UNO geography/geology faculty, was a former Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan. Because the Fulbright Foundation in 1972 had a director in Afghanistan -- Thomas Gouttierre -- who knew Jung's father and was encouraged to help UNO with an educational exchange. Because the younger Jung died in 1974 and Gouttierre was recruited to leave Kabul and replace Jung as head of the new center. That same year, UNO created a Department of International Studies, and Gouttierre became dean. Since then, the department has been awarded $80 million in federal grants, more than $60 million of that to the Afghan studies center. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Omaha World-Herald. "Afghans Feel A Kinship With Omahaa Uno Program Began Focusing On Afghanistan In 1972, When The Country Was "Not On The Radar."Uno And Afghanistan Timeline" May 24, 2005.


2005: Mark Schneider says joint declaration of the United States-Afghanistan strategic partnership is "pretty thin gruel"

Bush and Karzai signed and released a joint declaration of the United States-Afghanistan strategic partnership. The partnership's goal, it said, would be to "strengthen U.S.-Afghan ties and help ensure Afghanistan's long-term security, democracy and prosperity." But some analysts said the document did not include specific commitments that Karzai may have hoped to get. It gave no hint of how long the U.S. would be willing to stay in the country. "This is a pretty generic document," said Mark Schneider, a former U.S. development official who is senior vice president of the International Crisis Group in Washington, a nonprofit organization that deals with conflict resolution. "It's pretty thin gruel." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: LA Times. "Bush Refuses Karzai On Troops, Captives" May 24, 2005.


2005: Because of Dr. Thomas Gouttierre, who founded the Center for Afghan Studies at UNO, Nebraska has ties with Afghanistan that stretch back to a more peaceful and prosperous era in the early 1970s

Afghanistan has a chance to return to agricultural productivity. Thanks to U.S. and international intervention that drove the Taliban from power and created the conditions for a successful election approved by international observers, Afghanistan is on the road to stability. But, as the visit this week to Nebraska by Afghan President Hamid Karzai made clear, the country still has a long distance to travel to sufficiency and security. Struggling to survive, Afghan farmers have returned to raising poppies, which can be sold for the illegal production of opium. They need to find better options. The United States can help by sharing resources and the wealth of agricultural knowledge found in places such as Nebraska. Because of Dr. Thomas Gouttierre, who founded the Center for Afghan Studies at UNO, Nebraska has ties with Afghanistan that stretch back to a more peaceful and prosperous era in the early 1970s. Then the former Soviet Union invaded. The U.S. backed rebels, and finally the Soviets withdrew. But in an error that became painfully obvious in retrospect, the U.S. government lost interest in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban it became a training ground for terrorists who launched the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. America should learn from that mistake. The risk is that the United States will be distracted by other pressing problems and once again turn its back on Afghanistan now that the immediate threat has been eliminated. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Lincoln Journal Star. "Nebraska Can Help Afghans" May 27, 2005.


2005: The Coyne Column: Love and War in Afghanistan

Klaits knows Afghanistan and the problems of development there. Back in May of 2003 he spoke at an event sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and the U.S. Institute of Peace, and said that nongovernmental relief organizations such as Child Fund Afghanistan (where he was program manager) oppose the provisional reconstruction teams, which were established in several Afghan regions earlier this year, because they put military forces in charge of relief work. "Many of the NGOs are going bankrupt but the military has lots of funds," he said. "We believe the NGOs are capable of doing this work." More practically, Klaits said that the military teams, which are made up of Army special operations soldiers, regular ground troops and Army personnel trained in reconstruction, have failed to tap local resources and have botched construction projects. The teams have hired Afghan construction companies to rebuild schools and hospitals, he said, but don’t have engineers on staff capable of overseeing the work. "The schools being built are already falling down." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: PCOL Exclusive. "John P. Coyne" May 28, 2005.


2005: Husband and Wife team, Alex Klaits and Gulchin Gulmamadova-Klaits, will read from and share stories about their new release Love and War in Afghanistan

Husband and Wife team, Alex Klaits and Gulchin Gulmamadova-Klaits, will read from and share stories about their new release Love and War in Afghanistan, a unique and unparralleled collection of oral narratives of unspeakable tragedy and unconquerable love from twelve ordinary Afghans. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Radicalendar: Baltimore Area. "Love And War In Afghanistan" June 1, 2005.


2005: Morocco RPCV James Rupert writes: A bombing in a Kandahar mosque killed at least 20 people Wednesday, including a top Afghan police official, in the latest and deadliest of a wave of attacks that has underscored Afghanistan's volatility despite U.S. efforts to stabilize the country.

A presumed Muslim militant disguised in a police uniform joined the crowd of mourners and, after the prayers, walked up to Gen. Akram Khakreezwal, police chief of the capital, Kabul. "That was when he detonated his bomb," said Muhammad Afzal, 35, a witness. "It was a terribly big explosion" that also killed the chief's bodyguards, Afzal told the Agence France-Press news service. The blast shattered the courtyard. "I was knocked unconscious," a survivor, Nanai Agha, told The Associated Press. "When I woke up ... people were running around. Some were lying on the ground, crying. Dead bodies were everywhere." Kandahar officials said the bomber was an Arab, but their evidence and any details about him remained uncertain. With the killing of Fayaz, the bombing appeared to represent a new escalation in Afghanistan's wave of violence this spring, both in its targeting of a mosque and in the number of casualties. Government and hospital officials told reporters anywhere from 40 to 70 people were injured Wednesday. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Newsday. "20 Dead In Suicide Bomb At Mosque" June 1, 2005.


2005: Hamid Karzai's visit was prompted by a long-standing relationship with Thomas Gouttierre and as part of a weeklong tour of the United States, which also included stops in Boston and Washington D.C.

On Wednesday, May 25, inside of an unassuming aircraft hangar and under the watchful eyes of several dozen Secret Service agents, Hamid Karzai, the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan, began his daylong tour of the Omaha area. He spoke to about 300 airmen at Offutt Air Force Base at 9:15 a.m. before moving on to the Harry Knobbe Farm and Feedyards in West Point and then to UNO to receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters. At UNO, Karzai viewed the Arthur and Daisy Paul Afghanistan Collection and the Luke Powell Photographic Collection in the University Library and then received his degree from the university in a ceremony at the Strauss Performing Arts Center. Several members of UNO faculty and administration including UNO Faculty Senate President Hollis Glaser, Thomas Gouttierre, and Chancellor Nancy Belck attended the Conferral of Degrees ceremony. UNO Student President/Regent Elizabeth Kraemer, University of Nebraska President James B. Milliken, Mayor Mike Fahey and Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy were also in attendance. During her opening statements, Belck said, "This is, indeed, an extraordinary day for the state of Nebraska, the city of Omaha and the University of Nebraska. It is a day we have long awaited." Karzai's visit was prompted by a long-standing relationship with Gouttierre and as part of a weeklong tour of the United States, which also included stops in Boston and Washington D.C. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Gateway. "Uno, Omaha Welcome Afghan President Hamid Karzai" June 7, 2005.


2005: Morocco RPCV James Rupert writes: An estimated 40,000 to 60,000 children survive in Kabul these days by hustling on streets made dangerous by aggressive drivers, thieves and even kidnappers. But in the downtown school called Aschiana ("nest" in Persian), more than 800 of them find a miracle in every room.

On a good afternoon, Rukiya, 11, can make 30 Afghanis (60 cents) by selling bags. Then she might spend a couple of coins to ride a bus to her home 3 miles away. Often, she walks. Rukiya and three siblings live with her uncle's family of eight in a pair of ragged tents pitched in the bombed-out shell of the former Soviet Cultural Center. The family says Rukiya's parents are dead. Her uncle, Hakim Khan, said he moved the family to Kabul three years ago from Pakistan, where they took refuge during Afghanistan's years of war. In Pakistan, "we were as poor as here ... and the weather was very hot," he said. Khan sells vegetables on the street near the family's camp. Rukiya and her older brother, who hauls water to sell by the cup in a bazaar, are the family's other income earners. She and one of Khan's daughters are the only two of the 10 children to attend school. Aschiana once ran a temporary school in a tent for refugees at the cultural center but moved it to a bigger camp at the edge of town. Four men at the center approached a foreign visitor last month to plead that Aschiana return. They pointed to dozens of kids chasing each other around the debris-littered grounds. "Our children have nothing," said one man. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Newsday. "A Bitter Lesson In Capitalism" June 19, 2005.


2005: Haiti RPCV Alonzo Fulgham as its new Mission Director in Afghanistan

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the swearing in of Alonzo Fulgham as its new Mission Director in Afghanistan. Administrator Andrew S. Natsios presided at the event and administered the oath to Mr. Fulgham. When the USAID office re-opened in January 2002, the first objective was to prevent a major humanitarian crisis. The USAID/Afghanistan Mission is now building on achievements such as the building of schools and clinics, the immunization of children, the development of infrastructure and the introduction of a new, stable currency. The six building blocks of the current program are infrastructure; agriculture and rural development; education; economic governance; health care; and reconstituting the basic organs of governance. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: USAID. "New Usaid Mission Director For Afghanistan Sworn In" June 21, 2005.


2005: RPCV Thomas Gouttierre says Afghan militants may be desperate to interfere with the upcoming elections because they know they could not hope to win any seats in the national assembly

Much of the fighting has been along Afghanistan's rugged border with Pakistan, including the battle that downed the helicopter Tuesday. The area is home to anti-American terrorists and drug traffickers who want the Afghan government to fail, said Thomas Gouttierre, director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Drug traffickers and insurgents have joined forces, Gouttierre said, "because they recognize that a stabilized Afghanistan is not in their interest." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: USA Today. "U.s. Sees Fighting Rekindled In Afghanistan" June 29, 2005.


2005: Haiti RPCV Alonzo Fulgham named mission director in Afghanistan for the US Agency for International Development

The agency reopened its office in Afghanistan in January 2002 after the US military helped oust the Taliban following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. USAID has a $623 million budget this fiscal year for Afghanistan. Despite the violence in the war-torn country, Fulgham said he isn't afraid, but rather is honored to get the aid agency's second-biggest job, behind only Iraq. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Boston Globe. "Foreign Service Worker Inspired By Childhood In Boston" July 3, 2005.


2005: Iran RPCV Michael Metrinko writes about Diplomatic Life in Afghanistan

"The funny thing is, there are lots of diplomats like me in places like this in Afghanistan. Americans and Europeans and many others who have left their cuff links and silk ties and dark suits back home. We tend to show up for meetings with back packs and wearing jeans. And funnier still, we think we have the best of worlds here. I know I wouldn’t trade my tent for the biggest Ambassadorial residence in London, Paris or Rome. If any of the recent critics of the State Dept and other countries’ foreign services care to make the 3 day overland trip here (via a very bad dirt road from Herat) I would be happy to introduce them to this version of the diplomatic life." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: US Center on Public Diplomacy. "Foreign Service Life - On The Front Lines In Herat Afghanistan" August 6, 2005.


2005: A former Peace Corps volunteer, Terry Dougherty left Afghanistan in 1975 never dreaming it would be nearly 30 years before he could go back, before he could bring Afghans to the United States and show them his culture

Now, he has helped bring four Afghan students – two boys and two girls – to Fort Wayne for a year. For the girls especially, this is the educational experience of a lifetime. Under the Taliban, the former government that the United States helped to overthrow, girls were kept from attending school. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. "Afghan Youths Arrive To Spend Year In City" August 8, 2005.


2005: Tom Brokaw proposes a Peace Corps on Steroids

The Special Forces concept has worked well for the military. Why couldn't it work as well for the Foreign Service? The State Department could recruit young men and women who want an adventurous life and train them as the Diplomatic Special Forces, a kind of Peace Corps on steroids. Put them through crash courses in local dialects and skills relevant to the areas where they will be assigned. Give them extra pay and set the bar high so they have the same elite status as the Pentagon's Special Forces. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "A Peace Corps On Steroids?" August 20, 2005.


2005: Afghanistan RPCV John A. Behnke named county judge in Mendocino

Behnke graduated from Lawrence University in Wisconsin in 1971. For the next two years, he volunteered for the Peace Corps in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Ukiah Daily Journal. "Behnke Named County Judge" September 19, 2005.


2005: Baktash Ahadi fled Afghanistan with parents - now heading for Mozambique as Peace Corps Volunteer

Basear and Marzia Ahadi of Carlisle risked their lives to escape Soviet-backed Afghanistan with their two toddler sons in 1984. Now their oldest son, Baktash, is going back overseas as a member of America's Peace Corps. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Carlisle Sentinel. "Peace Corps Tour His ‘Calling'" September 28, 2005.


2005: Afghanistan RPCV Mary Pat Robinson dies

She was a retired English teacher, having taught in Columbia, South America, and for the Peace Corps in Kabul, Afganistan. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Daily Standard. "Mary Pat Robinson" September 30, 2005.


2005: “A Progress Report on Afghanistan” will be given by Lt. Col. Stephen D. Tableman (RPCV Philippines)

Tableman will discuss the recent election, relations with tribal warlords, and the importance of the work of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in winning the war against terrorism. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Southern Pines Pilot. "Tableman Speaks At League Luncheon" October 22, 2005.


2005: Niger RPCV Clark Fleege helps rebuild Afghanistan's forests

Fleege, who directs the Lucky Peak Nursery for the Boise National Forest, will make his second trip to Afghanistan to continue working on a United States Department of Agriculture project to plant native tree species for reforestation, soil improvement and beautification. The country has lost a lot of its forests to a drought that has plagued the area for the past several years. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The Idaho Statesman. "Nursery Manager Helps Rebuild Afghanistan's Forests" October 28, 2005.


2005: James Rupert writes After 3 years, Afghan writers freed from Gitmo

Badr Zaman Badr and his brother Abdurrahim Muslim Dost relish writing a good joke that jabs a corrupt politician or distills the sufferings of fellow Afghans. Badr admires the political satires in The Canterbury Tales" and Gulliver's Travels," and Dost wrote some wicked lampoons in the 1990s, accusing Afghan mullahs of growing rich while preaching and organizing jihad. Journalist James Rupert, head of Newsday's international bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan began his career abroad as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching mechanics and welding in Morocco. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Boston Globe. "Ironic Twist Landed Afghan Satirists In Jail" November 6, 2005.


2005: Gouttierre explains roots of terrorism in Afghanistan

"Osama Bin Laden trained the Arabs living in Afghanistan in terrorism," Gouttierre said, "they first targeted the Saudi monarchy and then the U.S. because they were somehow connected." According to Gouttierre, Bin Laden believes that the U.S. is on a crusade to undermine Islam. Thomas Gouttierre, dean of International Studies and Programs and director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan in the 1960's. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Current . "Speaker Explains Roots Of Terrorism In Afghanistan" November 14, 2005.


2005: Kazakhstan RPCV Sara Buchanan makes women's voices heard in Afghanistan

"In Afghanistan, it's really backwards as far as women's rights," she said. "Only 15 percent of women read; only 35 percent of students are women. Women aren't mobile. I knew about some of it [before joining CARE], but when you see it, it really hits home. CARE increased the number of women employees to work with Afghan women in areas where men can't. I make sure women are given opportunities for promotion, make sure our policies are fair, and make sure women have the chance to voice their opinion." Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Kingsport Times News. "Kingsport Native Makes Women's Voices Heard In Afghanistan" December 18, 2005.


References

  1. Nafsa. "Nafsa: Association Of International Educators" January 5, 2005.
  2. AgNews. "Irrigation Engineer Pumped Up About Afghanistan Assignment" January 5, 2005.
  3. The Saratogan. "Alr Takes An Afghan Journey With 'The Kite Runner'" January 15, 2005.
  4. Sydney Morning Herald . "Listening Post Of A Diplomat Down Under" January 17, 2005.
  5. San Jose Mercury News. "Immigrant Services Chief To Lead Human Relations Office" January 26, 2005.
  6. Honolulu Star-Bulletin. "Isle Advocates Aid Afghan Women" February 11, 2005.
  7. Southwest Nebraska News. "Rotary Dinner To Feature Afghanistan Scholar" February 21, 2005.
  8. Southwest Nebraska News. "Gouttierre: People Of Afghanistan Want U.s. Involvement" February 27, 2005.
  9. Casper Star Tribune. "Peace Group: Uno Textbooks Distributed In Afghanistan Contributed To Terrorism" April 15, 2005.
  10. Daily Nebraskan. "Controversial Textbook Topics Oked By Uno" April 20, 2005.
  11. Seattle Times. "Golf In Afghanistan" May 1, 2005.
  12. Lincoln Journal Star. "Afghanistan President To Visit Nebraska" May 4, 2005.
  13. Mercury News. "A Lifetime Of Tireless Activism" May 8, 2005.
  14. Chicago Tribune. "Anti-U.s. Protests Spread In Islamic World" May 14, 2005.
  15. Newsday. "Aid Worker Kidnapped In Kabul" May 17, 2005.
  16. Chatham Courier. "History Teacher Greenburg Urges His Students To Engage" May 19, 2005.
  17. Aki. "Afghanistan: Kidnap Damaging To The Country's Confidence, Says Expert" May 19, 2005.
  18. Omaha World-Herald. "Afghans Feel A Kinship With Omahaa Uno Program Began Focusing On Afghanistan In 1972, When The Country Was "Not On The Radar."Uno And Afghanistan Timeline" May 24, 2005.
  19. LA Times. "Bush Refuses Karzai On Troops, Captives" May 24, 2005.
  20. Lincoln Journal Star. "Nebraska Can Help Afghans" May 27, 2005.
  21. PCOL Exclusive. "John P. Coyne" May 28, 2005.
  22. The Radicalendar: Baltimore Area. "Love And War In Afghanistan" June 1, 2005.
  23. Newsday. "20 Dead In Suicide Bomb At Mosque" June 1, 2005.
  24. The Gateway. "Uno, Omaha Welcome Afghan President Hamid Karzai" June 7, 2005.
  25. Newsday. "A Bitter Lesson In Capitalism" June 19, 2005.
  26. USAID. "New Usaid Mission Director For Afghanistan Sworn In" June 21, 2005.
  27. USA Today. "U.s. Sees Fighting Rekindled In Afghanistan" June 29, 2005.
  28. Boston Globe. "Foreign Service Worker Inspired By Childhood In Boston" July 3, 2005.
  29. US Center on Public Diplomacy. "Foreign Service Life - On The Front Lines In Herat Afghanistan" August 6, 2005.
  30. Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. "Afghan Youths Arrive To Spend Year In City" August 8, 2005.
  31. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "A Peace Corps On Steroids?" August 20, 2005.
  32. Ukiah Daily Journal. "Behnke Named County Judge" September 19, 2005.
  33. Carlisle Sentinel. "Peace Corps Tour His ‘Calling'" September 28, 2005.
  34. The Daily Standard. "Mary Pat Robinson" September 30, 2005.
  35. Southern Pines Pilot. "Tableman Speaks At League Luncheon" October 22, 2005.
  36. The Idaho Statesman. "Nursery Manager Helps Rebuild Afghanistan's Forests" October 28, 2005.
  37. Boston Globe. "Ironic Twist Landed Afghan Satirists In Jail" November 6, 2005.
  38. Current . "Speaker Explains Roots Of Terrorism In Afghanistan" November 14, 2005.
  39. Kingsport Times News. "Kingsport Native Makes Women's Voices Heard In Afghanistan" December 18, 2005.
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