How one man makes a difference in Afghanistan

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Ghouse Loynab, human terrain analyst with Human Terrain Team, TF Red Bulls, takes notes as he talks to a villager about governance and development issues Feb. (click for more)

Guardians of Peace produces results in Paktya

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clint Koerperich of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, squad leader for 2nd Platoon, Company C., 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, patrols with ANA soldiers (click for more)

Working together to put Afghan heroes back together again

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Gheiratullah, an Afghan medical soldier, practices self aid and buddy care at the Paktya Regional Medical Center Feb. 13. (click for more)

Bidder’s conference places Afghans in control

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Crystal Sims (right), from Duncan, Okla., a project manager for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, assists an Afghan with registering at the bidder’s (click for more)

Panjshir women strengthen communication skills

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, TF Red Bulls, shows Rohubza Dousti, a trainer and supervisor at the United Nations Habitat and a Panjshir youth group (click for more)

Ghazni PRT assesses village, builds relationships

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Ghazni PRT members walk among the locals engaging in conversation during a village assessment in Touheed Abad in Ghazni Province Feb. 6. (click for more)

Iowa ADT inks deal for orchard training farm

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Haji Hazrat Ali Gull, a fruit producer, explains improvements he already made to a proposed orchard training farm site he owns to U.S. Army Master Sgt. (click for more)

Co. A makes successful return to Shebatkyl

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A team of Kiowa helicopters provide overhead security for U.S. Army Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, and Afghan National Army Soldiers from (click for more)

Delegation conducts market outreach mission in Zormat

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Mohammad Masood, Paktya Agricultural Department advisor, and U.S. Army Col. Robert Roshell, 2-45 Agribusiness Development Team commander from Lawton, Okla., examine spices during a mission to (click for more)

Kunar PRT medics help healing at Asadabad Hospital

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lynn Redman of San Antonio, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team nurse practitioner, examines a female Afghan patient with Afghan Dr. Ismat Shinwary, Asadabad (click for more)

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PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Mahtab Farid, a U.S. State Department public diplomacy officer, critiques a woman’s review of the Women’s Communication Conference held at the Department of Women’s Affairs located in Bazarak District here Feb. 8. The two-day training had more than 20 women in attendance and covered writing, photography and public speaking classes. Panjshir Deputy Gov. Abdul Rahman Kabiri presented the women with certificates and congratulations on the second day. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Ashcraft, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - In a small classroom in the Director of Women’s Affairs office, more than 20 women gathered, mostly teachers, for a two-day communications workshop held in Bazarak District here, beginning Feb. 8.

Shoes were placed outside the door of the classroom, and inside, the room lit up with not only the morning sun pouring through the large-paned windows, but of excited chatter and giggling from the women inside.

 

Mahtab Farid, a native of Santa Monica, Calif., and public diplomacy officer for the U.S. State Department, was full of energy as she began the training. Farid, who normally works out of Bagram Airfield, came to Panjshir, as she does with many provinces the Regional Command – East supports, to build capacity for Afghan women.

Farid knows the Afghan culture well. She not only has worked in Afghanistan for nearly a year now, but she was also born in nearby Iran.

“Iran and Afghanistan are neighbors, and they share religious and social cultures,” she said. “Also, in Iran we speak Farsi which is very similar to Dari, just a different accent.”

Farid began the class with a lesson on introductions. Farid, who is fluent in Farsi, introduced herself, and the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team and Task Force Red Bulls public affairs servicemembers who assisted in the workshop. To learn more about the attendees, Farid had the women pair up and introduce each other to the rest of the group, an exercise requiring them to use their interviewing and public speaking skills.

“The conversation exercise really helped us out,” said Naziya Rizai, the principle for Sangona High School in Panjshir, through an interpreter. “The best activities are those that have practical application.”

“This session was rough on them. It is hard for them to speak in public,” Farid said. “It is important for them to learn good public speaking skills, so that when they need to present themselves in front of important people, they can do well and get the jobs, or grants, or accepted into schools.”

Other classes for the workshop included photography and writing skills. By day two of the workshop, the women completed their first assignment: a written proposal on a goal they are working for in their life, whether that was a job request, school attendance, or grant proposals.

“This was a learning opportunity,” explained Rizai. “I could use the skills taught to write and speak … the class resolved some of the written issues the women had.”
Farid said she was very proud of the women for working so hard on the assignments.

“Communication in Afghanistan in general is very ineffective due to the wars, the lack of transparency and censorship,” said Farid. “When it comes to women affairs, it is much worse because women are not allowed to express themselves freely.”

Teaching courses like this two-day seminar is a passion of hers, Farid said. She explained that she loves to visit the communities and help these women in any way she can to give back to Afghanistan and to truly make a difference in their lives.

“My hope is that we can build capacity and provide these women with educational tools,” said Farid. “They can use these tools and make something of themselves with what they’ve learned.”

After lunch the second day of the workshop, the women were presented certificates of training. To show community support for the class, Panjshir Deputy Gov. Abdul Rahman Kabiri gave a small speech and thanked Farid and the others for teaching the course.  He said he appreciated the respect displayed for their culture by ensuring that the class was for women, by women.

After the men left, the women swirled around the room, sharing laughs and taking pictures before they had to leave.

“If there are classes in the future, on topics like these,” said Rizai, “I would most definitely attend again.PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Abede Hakimi, a college student and literacy teacher at the United Nations Habitat, practices professional writing during a Women’s Communication Conference at the Department of Women’s Affairs located in Bazarak District here Feb. 8. The two-day training had more than 20 women in attendance and covered writing, photography and public speaking classes. Panjshir Deputy Gov. Abdul Rahman Kabiri presented the women with certificates and congratulations on the second day. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Ashcraft, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, Task Force Red Bulls public affairs noncommissioned officer-in-charge, and Chandler, Minn., native, shows Rohubza Dousti, a trainer and supervisor at the United Nations Habitat and a Panjshir youth group leader, how to take a proper news photo during a Women’s Communication Workshop at the Department of Women’s Affairs located in Bazarak District Feb. 8. The two-day training had more than 20 women in attendance and covered writing, photography and public speaking classes. Panjshir Deputy Gov. Abdul Rahman Kabiri presented the women with certificates and congratulations on the second day. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Ashcraft, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 February 2011 02:02
 

    

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The security and safety of Afghan civilians is an important part of every coalition operation. All weapons caches found during these operations are destroyed to ensure they do not harm civilians or military personnel.

“Mines are indiscriminate killers. They don’t distinguish between Soldiers or civilians, between men, women or children. We must all work together to eliminate the threat posed by these deadly weapons,” said U.S. Army Col. Ben Corell, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls.

If you see any suspicious activity or know of a weapons cache in your area, please report it. Call the Operations Coordination Center Provincial Tip Line at 079-662-0193 or at 079-397-0975.