Red Bulls patrol area around COP Najil

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Capt. Jason Merchant, the company commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman from Dysart, Iowa, hands out cards Dec. (click for more)

64th MPs: Brothers, sisters in arms

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Lauren Hyman of Texarkana, Texas, armored vehicle driver for the 64th Military Police Company based at Combat Oupost Fortress, says hello to an (click for more)

Iowa town showers small Afghan school with supplies

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Taylor Gingrich, an infantry officer from Cedar Falls, Iowa, with Task Force Ironman, draws a smile from an Afghan boy as Gingrich (click for more)

TF Knighthawk Soldier prepares for recording contract during deployment

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Brian Stowe, a human resources specialist from Elkmont, Ala., with Task Force Knighthawk, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, sings a ballad he wrote and (click for more)

Guard team partners with Afghan security forces

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Servicemembers defend the wall after an improvised explosive device detonates on Forward Operating Base Lightning Dec. 5. (click for more)

French forces support Afghan troops in Kapisa

KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan and French military chiefs conduct a briefing before deployment during a security operation. Afghan National Security Forces and French Task Force Richelieu conducted Operation Montevideo (click for more)

Panjshir PRT engineers inspect Paryan road

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Phil Compton, Doty, Wash., Panjshir PRT engineer, and PRT local Afghan engineer Abid Wardak check the structural integrity of the retaining (click for more)

TF White Eagle saves lives of mother, infant

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan family looks at their new family member after she was delivered by the Polish Army medical team at Forward Operating Base Warrior Jan. 3. (click for more)

1st Bn., 187th Inf. Regt., patrols Sabari District

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, maneuver through Sabari District during patrols to disrupt insurgent activity in the (click for more)

Freedom Restoration Center helps troops get back to duty

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Shawn Fouste, Decatur, Ill., noncommissioned officer in charge of the Freedom Restoration Center with the 455th Expeditionary Wing, Task Force Med, plays with (click for more)

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A young Afghan boy from Sangin Primary School here reads a literacy book Sept. 27. The Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team delivered 4,000 illustrated books written by Afghan author, Idries Shah, to the district directors of education, where they were distributed to the children throughout the districts of Shutol, Anaba, Rohka, and Bazarak. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew Ryan, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Civil Affairs)


PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Civil Affairs and the Anaba District governor conducted a school supply distribution at the Sangin Primary School here Sept. 27.

The Panjshir PRT, as part of a Commander’s Emergency Response Program bulk fund’s project, purchased 4,000 illustrated books written by Afghan author, Idries Shah.  

Shah is an Afghan-born, British-educated novelist dedicated to preserving Afghan culture.

The team purchased four of the six titles available and delivered them to the Shutol, Anaba, Rohka, and Bazarak District Directors of Education to be distributed.

The books are published by Hoopoe Press, an educational non-profit organization founded more than three decades ago. According to their website, they are dedicated to helping children develop an understanding of themselves and the world around them.

The books are printed locally in Kabul and are based on several traditional Afghan folklore tales that are not ethnic specific, but illustrate learning-based stories.  

According to Hoopoe Press, “These stories are a part of Afghanistan’s rich oral tradition, told by campfire and candlelight for more than 1,000 years.  Selected and written especially for children by the Afghan author and [academic], Idries Shah, these universal tales have been commended by Western educators for their ability to foster thinking skills and perception.”

“The books have been met with a lot of enthusiasm, even amongst grown men,” said U.S. Army Spc. LeAnne Kwait, Panjshir PRT Civil Affairs team member and Levittown, Pa., native.

They are illustrated in a humorous and colorful way and are written in both Dari and Pashtu, said Brother Khan, the Shutol Director of Education, through an interpreter.

“It is good that these are written in both languages; it adds to the student’s knowledge of their culture,” said Khan.

“The children who can read are bringing them home and reading them to their families who can’t read,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael O’Neill, Panjshir PRT Civil Affairs team leader and Narberth, Pa., native. “This promotes literacy and gets their family excited about reading. Additionally, it allows the teachers another avenue to promote Afghan social values through these stories.”

O’Neill said that the project began at Merion Elementary School in Ardmore, Pa.

“It began as a community-service fundraiser at the elementary school,” said O’Neill. “Sally Mallam, the director of Hoopoe Books, also found a corporate sponsor who matched the amount raised, doubling the first order.”

Based on the Afghan response to the initial donation of the literacy books, additional books were purchased by the Panjshir PRT.

The Panjshir PRT Civil Affairs team intends to purchase another 24,000 books to distribute across the province.


Last Updated on Monday, 18 October 2010 18:16


Related Links

Bagram Airfield

The Flood





Fallen Heroes

Language Selection

Press Releases

Afghan forces, TF Bastogne continue operations in Sherzad District

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Bastogne, continued operations in the Sherzad District Jan. 8 clearing the village of Toto of insurgent fighters to reinforce a foundation of security in the area.

TF Iron eliminates insurgent IED team

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers form Task Force Iron Rakkasan and members of the Afghan Uniformed police, using the Precision Threat Detection System blimp at Forward Operating Base Andar, identified a group of insurgents with weapons and explosives Jan. 3.

TF Iron Rakkasan uses PTDS to prevent highway robbery


GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Recently, Soldiers from Task Force Iron Rakkasan watched a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police conduct an illegal checkpoint on the route between Ghazni and Sharana. Using the camera system on the Persistent Threat Detection System, Soldiers observed a man standing in the road collecting money from vehicles. The practice is common by insurgents who fund their attacks by taking money from locals.

Joint operation helps clear Sherzad of insurgent activity


NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from Task Force Bastogne began operations in the Sherzad District Dec. 23.