March 17th, 2010
08:35 AM ET
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. steve

    True, I am the first to admit that I could spend more time trying to improve my simplistic view of this country and Islam...But I am sure that my multiple years of being embedded in 2 Muslim countries holds far more weight than a Wednesday reading session at the local library. My views may be "simplistic" but they are first hand knowledge and that doesn't come from a book! With that said, what LMAO is saying is correct, more individuals need to educate themselves from multiple sources.

    On a side note, good story, good discussions and keep it going

    March 24, 2010 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. LMAO

    OK, I have to admit. The CNN news piece is great as it tells us a story that we seldom hear beside the guns and wars. Nonetheless, an important reminder of how complex and long-term is a rebuilding process.

    On the other hand, the comments below, which I read accidently reminded me of how much more work needs to be done. Perhaps, ironically, through more education/knowledge, as the Afghan teacher tells us. Folks like Barry, Steve, and others who have simplistic views of Islam, definitely needs to do their home work. The ignorance is abundant and to contain it, I suggest picking up few books in the public library. (mind you, it is a socialist thing – that public library; if you are one of those Glenn Beck followers, perhaps book stores will offer even more of a choice and variety.

    Adios giringo amigos.

    March 23, 2010 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Iraq Paramedic

    Ladies & Gentlemen,
    There is bad & good in every country, race & religion in the world. We all need to do as GOD has commanded & love & care for our nieghbors as we do for our selves. The Q'uran accually has most of the old testament Holy Bible in it. As little as 30-40 years ago Muslims, Jews, Arabs, Christians, ect. all lived & worked side by side without all the extremism. I believe it was & is greed, immorality & hunger for power that is causing most of the problems we see today. May GOD Bless & keep us all!!!!!!!!!!

    March 23, 2010 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. ramkhelawan

    If the government and the peoples of Afganisthan really want to become citizens of the world – a world of the TWENTIFIRST CENTURY, by WANTING to CHANGE, wanting to be FLEXIBLE and WANTING to ADAPT. to the world, there is always a million ways, yet THEY have to EARNESTLY want to do so. If they do not want to get out of their own holocaust, the entire world will not be sufficient to get them out.

    March 22, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. In Kabul

    In respect to the argument of Hodge and D Rod, Many of the young suicide bomber are actually purchased. Much like a car in reality.. Depending on the age. here in the AFPAK region children from the ages 11-14 are the most desirable and sometimes fetch the families 11-14k in cash. Which i can assure you here is enough to live on for a while. Once purchased they are indoctrinated. Most likely without their families permission Lol. Education does have alot to do with it. However when a family of say 10 sees an opportunity to sacrifice one to provide for the rest often many families will react in such a way based on survival instinct. Most of the People doing the purchasing are not telling the families that they are going to me suicide bombers, but rather that they are being trained as soliders in the Jihad against the west.

    March 22, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hodge

    Um, D-rod, how much power do you think a woman's word has in Afghanistan? Do you really think a jihadist is going to make sure a boy has his mother's permission to join? How old are they when they're considered men capable of making their own decisions...16?

    March 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. steve

    Young Muslim boys are taken, and/or kidnapped from there families and forced into the jihad, not sent into the jihad with a note from mommy approving his membership, as "D-Rod" would have you believe...Many factors contribute to the lack of evolution in Afghanistan, religion being the biggest one!

    March 22, 2010 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ramkhelawan Maniram

    Why not try WORLD-WIDE RECIPROCAL EVOLVING TEACHING SYSTEMS. Get your government to 1) Publish its educational programs through its Ministry of Education.

    2) Break down said programa in semestres – terms – months – weeks – days.
    3) Let private companies sponsor said programs on the mas media.
    4) Begin with maths or geography – Primary level.
    5) In maths – begin with the very simplest operations and then follo up daily throughout the entire school year for the subject.
    6) In geography – begin by publishing a daily map of your country. Map 1 – ask for the boundries. Map 2 – gives the boundries and presents the states without naming them – then ask for the names of the states. Map 3 – gives the boundries, names the states and now asks for the capital city of each state. And you could go on and on and on. Please contact me for more.

    March 21, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. seth

    I would luv to donate my books to your country but they are all in english and some french books. Perhaps your country should start the work of translating the body of existing knowledge. Lots of work ahead but one pc in each classroom would allow the whole class to access the pool of knowledge. Whether they will comprehend it is a whole new question.

    March 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. In Kabul

    I have been living here in Kabul for the last year. Mostly what i have seen in the area of education is graft. Monies allocated for the build up of infrastructure in he area which includes education has been pilfered by the organizations that are tasked to provide it. The various Government Ministries here in Afghanistan are rife with corruption . You can see it from the numerous brand new vehicles parked in the parking lots of government agencies. Until you reign in the corruption from within providing proper education as well as other services will always just be alot of hot hair.

    March 21, 2010 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    you can try to whitewash it all you want, but Muslims burn down female-schools and thoroughly discourage females from being anything but baby machines for jihad. That isn't Barry77's fault, that's reality.If Muslims want to be seen differently, they need to fix their behavior.

    March 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. toni

    barry77 just so you know.. people like you.. IGNORANT.. to me are worse than being uneducated.!

    March 20, 2010 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. D-rod

    Can you be any more ignorant Barry77? That is precisely the kind of uninformed mentality that exacerbates problems in the Muslim world and breeds extemism within the UNeducated Muslim world. Before a young Muslim boy can join jihad he must get his mother's permission. Which scenario do you suppose plays out better from security standpoint? An undeducated Muslim woman or an educated woman making such a decision?

    March 19, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. D-rod

    I strongly believe more emphasis should be put on the work of Greg Mortenson ("Three Cups of Tea" & "Stones into Schools") and the schools he is building with the work his Central Asia Institute is doing in the remote regions of northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. I urge everyone to read Greg's books and contribute to CAI.

    March 19, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Nathanael [desert voice]

    Continuing with this uncommon spirit of melancholy, I am reminded of a strory that brought tears to my eyes ten minutes ago (it does not happen often). It is a story of certain Patty Webster, who once visited Brasil as a tourist, but who ever since that time became the Brasil's "Mother Teresa," bringing medicines and healing every child she could. She is not a nurse or a doctor, but she brings doctors and nurses to where the sick children are, as tourists. It's her genuine simplicity that caught my attention. I immediately thought: how beautiful soul this person has! Just think, how many doctors and nurses and teachers go on their vacations each year, abroad. Could not they have a national travel agency, which books such "healing vacations," instead of going to the congested and polluted "centers of world tourism"? These doctors could go to countries like Afghanistan, carrying a suitcase with basic medicines, books, and scalpels, protheses instead of banjos and violines! How many children could see and learn and be happier, if there existed in the world such a travel agency!

    March 19, 2010 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  16. Barry77

    There are vast numbers of poor people in the world. The problem is not poverty. The problem is Islam. Islam doesn't want people (especially women) to be educated. Once people become educated they can easily see how morally bankrupt Islam is and the evil Islamic terrorists lose control. They would rather keep everyone trapped in the 14th century than to lose their power.

    March 19, 2010 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  17. Greg

    I have been living in Kabul, Afghanistan for the past 3 years. Teachers are dedicated but they mostly wind up selling out because the U.S. Military and other NATO Militaries are paying top dollar for interpreters. $600 or more a month for an interpreter with the opportunity to apply for a US visa after 2 years is much more appealing to them. Look at the immigration stats for the last few years, the U.S. is allowing all the smart people to levae Afghanistan.

    March 19, 2010 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  18. Bay

    Compare this to the situation of the Philippines. Most of its leaders are educated in the United States, but the winner of the 2010 CNN Hero of the Year is a Filipino teacher who pushes a blackboard and a cart to educate poor children.

    The Philippines is America's test tube of democracy. For freedom and peace to thrive in Iraq and Afghanistan it must learn from Mindanao.And for education to thrive in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US must also learn (pun intended) from Mindanao.

    March 18, 2010 at 7:08 am | Report abuse |
  19. abek

    Is there any plastic surgeon who would find it in his/her heart to help restore Bibi Aisha' beautiful face? Aside from being the right thing to do, it would also ge a great goodwill gesture.

    March 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Nathanael [desert voice]

    It's a tough situation, in Afghanistan. I have never been there, so my coment is based on life's experience i many other countries. We must be careful when we evaluate forejgn countries' particular situations! There are many things that the article doesn't say. One is: in Afghanistan, the cost of food is minimal. This is uniquely true for people who, like very likely this teacher, own homes and gardens in the countryside! Then, there is clan-structured family where often many members work for free, for the common good of the family. I am not trying to excuse poverty. I wish everyone in Afghanistan earned five times as much as the teacher does. But, to tell the truth, I would focus on those who lack own homes and families, first! Those people are the ones in real difficulty in countries like Afghanistan! They stand on the streets looking for work every day. But the only work that is offered is being a jihadist for different warlords! I don't excuse them taking those "jobs." But neither do I condemn them. These people need help, first! All said, my sense is that the Afghan government is not doing enough. There should be alternative jobs for these people, well-paying jobs! I wish I were wealthy, like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Ophrah – the list is long – to create some jobs for these people, myself. But I sincerely cannot: I have given my own home to the poor, and there is only coins which I now can give. But we must raise consciences of the rich (there are 1,011 billionaires in the world), so that everybody feels morally obligated to help countries like Afghanistan, which need so little to succeed, so that they can overcome their adversities, and become prosperous members of the human society!

    March 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |