Peace Corps Afghanistan: Pre-2001

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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

1969

1969: RPCVs remember Peace Corps Volunteer Henry Farrar who died while serving in Afghanistan in December, 1969 at Age 23

The cause of death was deemed to be Accident-motor vehicle. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Dayton Daily News. "Henry Farrar Served In Afghanistan And Died In December, 1969." December 13, 1969.


1974

1974: RPCVs remember Peace Corps Volunteer Denise Blake who died while serving in Afghanistan in May, 1974 at Age 24

The cause of death was deemed to be Accident-drowning. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Dayton Daily News. "Denise Blake Served In Afghanistan And Died In May, 1974." May 31, 1974.


1974: Afghanisan Peace Corps Volunteer Denise Blake had gone fishing with her husband, also a volunteer, and according to the Peace Corps, she "slipped on rocks into rapids while fishing."

Denise Blake's family, according to Peace Corps records, questioned the official explanation. The deaths of Bahler and Blake, like the deaths of other volunteers, were not thoroughly investigated by local police. Blake said he was never interviewed by police about the circumstances of his wife's death, and Follstad said he doesn't recall police questioning any of the 20 to 30 volunteers who were on the scene when Bahler disappeared. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Dayton Daily News. "Mystery Deaths" May 31, 1974.


1993

1993: My Body Is My Own Business - Why one woman wears the Burka

I OFTEN wonder whether people see me as a radical, fundamentalist Muslim terrorist packing an AK-47 assault rifle inside my jean jacket. Or may be they see me as the poster girl for oppressed womanhood everywhere. I'm not sure which it is. I get the whole gamut of strange looks, stares, and covert glances. You see, I wear the hijab, a scarf that covers my head, neck, and throat. I do this because I am a Muslim woman who believes her body is her own private concern. Young Muslim women are reclaiming the hijab, reinterpreting it in light of its original purpose to give back to women ultimate control of their own bodies. The Qur'an teaches us that men and women are equal, that individuals should not be judged according to gender, beauty, wealth, or privilege. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: The True Religon. "My Body Is My Own Business" June 29, 1993.


1999

1999: Afghanistan RPCV Branwen Adams-Denton works in Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology

Branwen Adams-Denton '67, a new member, writes: "After ACS, I attended Bryn Mawr College sporadically until 1978, when I finally managed to get my BA. During the intervening years, I did a stint in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan, and taught school in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. After graduation, I taught in Iran and in Saudi again. In 1981, I went be to BMC, where I earned an MA in 1984 and a PhD in 1991, both in Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology. Most of my research during graduate school and thereafter has concentrated on artifacts dating to the middle of the 2nd millennium BC from the Persian Gulf. I do most of my work in Bahrain. In 1993, I was the Assistant Director of the American Center of Oriental Research (ACOR) in Amman, Jordan. In 1994-1995, I was Fulbright Professor of Archaeology at the National University of Bahrain. 1996-1997 was spent as Professor of ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology at the Institute for the History of Ancient Civilizations, Changchun, P.R. China. At the present time, I am working as a waitress and finishing up my analysis of the pottery from the French excavation on Bahrain for which I am an official consultant. I have a 22-year old daughter who models in New York. In January, I am planning to take a course leading to a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, in Istanbul. Who knows what will happen after that?" Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Alumni Newsletter of the American Community School of Beirut, Lebanon. "Branwen Adams-Denton '67, A New Member" March 1, 1999.


2000

2000: Sherlock's French Files by Richard T. Gannon, Afghanistan RPCV

Like Dr. Watson, I, too, served in Afghanistan, but not in the military corps, rather, in the American Peace Corps, prior to their terrible war with the Russian imbeciles and prior to serving in the Peace Corps in Mali, French West Africa. Having worked in Afghanistan and the former French Sudan in French West Africa, I speak Pushtu, French and Bambara, in addition to English. In Afghanistan, Pushtu is a beautiful language of the nomads that I learned. Like Pushtu, Peuhl of Africa is also a nomadic language, the most beautiful language on Earth. It is spoken by nomads in Mali and across the African Sudan. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: Tutt Group. "Sherlock's French Files By Richard T. Gannon, Afghanistan Rpcv" June 28, 2000.


2000: Thomas Gouttierre went to Afghanistan in 1964 as a Peace Corps volunteer

Gouttierre went to Afghanistan in 1964 as a Peace Corps volunteer. He returned to the United States in 1967 and earned a master’s degree in Islamic Studies at Indiana University. In 1969 he went back to Afghanistan as a Fulbright Scholar. He stayed on to work for the Fulbright Foundation’s Afghan-American Education Commission after the conclusion of his two-year fellowship. In 1974 Gouttierre became director of the Center of Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, which has become the leading institution for Afghan studies in this country. Gouttierre has testified on the Afghan War before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations and the U.S.-Russian Task Force on Regional Conflicts. He also has appeared before committees of the British Parliament, the French National Assembly and the Norwegian Sorting and the United Nations. Click this link to read more.

  • Original Source: BGSU. "Thomas Gouttierre Went To Afghanistan In 1964 As A Peace Corps Volunteer" June 29, 2000.


References

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