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Posted on Mar 21, 2008 in Uncategorized

Interesting Article on Afghanistan

Unfortunately, there isn’t too much that you hear these days about the progress that is being made in Afghanistan. If you listen closely to the Democrats seeking the Presidency, while they continue to bash the President’s policy in Iraq, there doesn’t seem to be much opposition to the actions taken in Afghanistan.

Even so, the MSM has done very little to cover the progress that is being made there. When we do hear about Afghanistan, its usually only about the negative things, but this article presents a true sign of progress in the war torn country.

From an AP article that ran today:

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Last year the streets in parts of the old city dropped by nine feet.

The reason? A massive garbage haul. Just about every unemployed man in Murad Khane was recruited to clean up years of litter and mud piled on top of the streets. By the time they were done, the streets and alleys were lower.

This news is huge. While it doesn’t say what Americans really want to hear “We’ve caught Bin Laden,” or “the Taliban is no more,” this shows that the people of Afghanistan are starting to take more pride in their country, their capitol, and make it look better than it has in the last few decades.

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The garbage project is part of an effort to clean up and restore old Kabul, after six years of relative peace and with millions of dollars from foreign donors.

The Turquoise Mountain Foundation, which is dedicated to traditional Afghan arts and architecture, has spent $1 million on conservation and clean-up in the Murad Khane neighborhood since last year. The Kabul organization is financed by both Western and Middle East donors.

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The very fact that an organization like this, a non-government run organization, is able to succeed shows that only great things are in the future of Afghanistan if they continue at this rate.

Streets that were once muddy puddles of open sewage have been paved with stones. Mothers told the Aga Khan Trust for Culture that the most important improvement is the drainage installed to keep the neighborhood – and their children – clean and healthy.

Rather than bringing in international experts, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture used local craftsmen to do the restoration work, honing their skills while keeping costs down.

“In a city of billion-dollar (development) programs, it’s quite nice to be a bit more modest,” said Jolyon Leslie, who manages the organization’s program in Afghanistan.

I’m confident that we will see more and more quotes like this coming out of Afghanistan and hopefully sooner than later form Iraq.

While there is a great deal of progress and growth happening in Afghanistan, this article also mentions the desire amongst the Afghani people to preserve their history and heritage. Just as with any community, the one thing that holds them together is their history, and in a country like Afghanistan that has been ravaged by war, its amazing to see how the people there are fighting to preserve what remains.