03 May 2005

Waves of change part 1

There are those who think Iraq and Afghanistan are worse off now than before their totalitarian governments were overthrown by U.S. and Coalition forces. To these doubting liberals I offer the following stories: I will look to post a list like this about once a week or once every two weeks at the latest. So grab a drink, relax in your chair and check out these waves brah.


Afghanistan

Afghan religious leaders call for end to ethnic strife

HERAT, April 9 (Pajhwok Afghan News) -- Following three days of discussions, some 150 provincial Ulema Council leaders or Islamic Religious scholars, agreed to put an end to racial, tribal and factional discriminations, which were the root causes of many of the factional fighting under the leadership of the Taliban and the Mujahideen, officials said at a seminar.

Afghan girls do it for the kicks

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – From the corner of a Kabul basement, next door to a barber shop, come high-pitched and most unusual sounds. A small posse of Afghan girls shout "heey-ya!" as they practice karate jabs, kicks, and punches.
The eldest of the bunch, Nargas Rahimi, returned to her Afghan homeland last year after growing up in Iran. "I saw that Afghan women didn't have the faintest idea about exercise. So I came here to act as an example for Afghan girls and to help them take part in Afghan society," she says.

In Afghanistan, comedians joke their way to civic renewal

KHOST, AFGHANISTAN – Mubariz Bidar would give Robin Williams a run for his money. He's an Afghan comic who has this city - once ruled by severe Taliban - howling at their former oppressors.
His spot-on impressions of everyone from a Taliban soldier to an Afghan drug addict would have even Mullah Omar giggling into his turban.

Burqa no barrier for women in Taliban heartland

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - She can’t leave the house without an all-covering blue burqa, many of her relatives are scandalised, but Shahida Hussain is preparing to stand for parliament anyway.
The 50-year-old women’s rights activist who lives in the Taleban spiritual heartland of Afghanistan is one of at least two women in the southern city of Kandahar who are preparing to stand for elections in Afghanistan’s parliamentary polls on September 18.

Persian New Year puts aside differences

MAZAR-E SHARIF, Afghanistan -- "Looking at the audience, I see that you are all Kandaharis," the singer said into the microphone as he surveyed a sea of heads sporting the sparkly caps and long-tailed turbans common to that southern city. "But my Pashto is not strong, so I hope you will enjoy our music in Dari." The tourists crowded into the Ahmadi Supermarket and Restaurant applauded encouragingly.This northern city might seem an odd destination for travelers from Kandahar, which, after all, is the ethnic Pashtun stronghold where the repressive Taliban movement originated. Mazar-e Sharif, a city dominated by ethnic Uzbeks and Tajiks, was one of the last holdouts against the Taliban.

Karzai seeks ban on forced marriages

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday called on the country’s Islamic clerics to help stop forced marriages of young girls. At a religious gathering in Kabul, Karzai urged Afghan scholars to follow the lead of Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, who earlier this month termed forced marriages un-Islamic and said violators should be jailed.

That's all for now, next week we shall check out the waves from Iraq, I bet those buggahs will be huge.

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