50 graduate Fatima Girls High School

Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)

Polish and US Forces bond through weapons

Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)

TF Duke Soldiers volley for peace

U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)

Nurgaram District leaders electrify Nangaresh schools

Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)

10th CAB Soldiers bring communications to Bagram’s east side

U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)

ANA, Red Bulls search Parwai during Operation Brass Monkey

An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)

Female engagement teams trained to aid communication with Afghan women

U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)

ANA, TF Storm break trail, make difference in Kharwar

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)

Ky. ADT II begins Panjshir sheep parasite project

Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)

Engineer Soldiers deliver aid to Afghans

An Afghan carrying a child approaches U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Peter Moeller of Atkins, Iowa, a medic with Task Force Red Bulls, for humanitarian aid at Qale-Mussa Pain Middle School (click for more)

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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. linguist Shafiqa Ansary (left) of Union City, Calif., reunites with Qadrie, her sister’s husband’s sister, after a 48-year separation. The two reunited during an animal care training seminar for women conducted by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team in the Chowkay District Jan. 31. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – It took 48 years and an unusual set of coincidences, but a U.S. linguist born here found her sister-in-law during an animal care training seminar for Afghan women in the Chowkay District Jan. 31.

U.S. linguist Shafiqa Ansary, 54, of Union City, Calif., attended the training in her capacity as an English-Pashto interpreter. She normally works for the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team, but was detailed that day to assist the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team, which conducted the animal care training.

According to Ansary, she did not know the training would take place in Chowkay until she arrived at the training site. During introductions at the beginning of the class, Ansary mentioned her brother-in-law was from Chowkay, and that she had spent a considerable amount of time in Chowkay herself until the age of 6. Ansary then began recalling the names of family members she had spent time with in Chowkay, including her sister’s husband’s sister, Qadrie.

A woman attending the class told Ansary, “Qadrie still lives here! I’ll go get her.”

Less than a half-hour later, Qadrie arrived, and the training briefly stopped amid a flurry of hugs, kisses and tearful remembrances. Qadrie quietly attended the remainder of the training, and afterward, she and Ansary reminisced.

“When I was just a little girl, I would sit by Qadrie’s (oven) for hours, and she would bake me the most delicious corn bread,” Ansary said. “I never dreamed that I would see her again.

“My family moved to Kabul when I was 6,” Ansary continued. “I married when I was 18, and my husband and I lived in the U.S. for several years in the ‘70s while he finished his doctorate. We left Afghanistan for good when I was 23, after the revolution,” she added. “When I decided to become a linguist, I had no idea I would come back to this place and find dear Qadrie.”

Qadrie expressed equal astonishment at becoming reacquainted with Ansary, and she reflected on the reunion’s larger personal implications.

“So many of my family were killed or became refugees during the revolution and civil war,” Qadrie said. “When I look at Shafiqa, I see my entire family.”

Qadrie also described the reunion with Ansary as a symbol of the positive nature of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

“If the U.S. had not come here, I would never have seen Shafiqa again,” Qadrie said. “We are poor people, and we need so many things that only the Americans are helping us with.”KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. linguist Shafiqa Ansary (left) of Union City, Calif., embraces Qadrie, her sister’s husband’s sister, after a 48-year separation. The two reunited during an animal care training seminar for women conducted by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team in the Chowkay District Jan. 31. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. linguist Shafiqa Ansary (right) of Union City, Calif., and U.S. Army Master Sgt. Darla Sheasley of Everly, Iowa, veterinary technician for the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team, answer questions while providing basic animal care training to 22 women from the Chowkay District Jan. 31. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 February 2011 00:42


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Coalition forces engage insurgents in Kapisa

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed seven insurgents in defensive operations in the Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, March 29.

Coalition forces and aircraft responded to an insurgent attack. Four insurgents were killed by air strike and three were killed by direct fire from coalition forces.

All rounds were reported safe and on target. There were no reports of injuries or damages to civilians in the area.

ANSF, ISAF begin major operation in Laghman valley

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Security Forces, partnered with U.S. Task Forces Red Bulls and Phoenix and French Task Force La Fayette, began operations in Galuch Valley, Laghman Province, March 25.

Soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 201st Corps, Afghan National Police’s 202nd Shamshod and the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, TF Red Bulls, supported by the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Phoenix, conducted an air assault into the valley to remove enemy forces. Battle Group Richelieu, TF La Fayette, provided artillery support from Kapisa Province.

While conducting operations, the forces found multiple weapons caches including assorted rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, Russian rockets, materials to make homemade explosives, various other ordnances and communication equipment.  

While moving through the valley, unit leadership met with village elders to discuss the security situation and to allow them to give up insurgents still in the area.

The operation will assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in establishing the valley as a new district giving the Afghan people in the area freedom from the insurgency.   

President Hamid Karzai approved the creation of the additional district and hopes the new district will help improve the security of the area and support the reconstruction effort.

Mohammad Iqbal Azizi, Laghman Province governor, held a press conference March 7 announcing the establishment of a new district located in the valley.

ANSF, TF Bastogne continue operations in Kunar


KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and coalition troops from Task Force Bastogne continued operations in the Shigal District March 18 after clearing the village of Lawsin and the surrounding area.

Afghan leaders, coalition forces look forward

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Leaders from across eastern Afghanistan attended a security conference March 9 at Forward Operating Base Thunder, the home of the Afghan Army’s 203rd Thunder Corps.