Saturday, August 29, 2009

Minister in Town

In our leadership seminars' graduation for official government at the Institute for Leadership Development, we had the minister of Economic handling the diploma to the graduates. The minister of the economic with his wife was invited with his delegation to the ceremony and after giving a speech, he distributed the diplomas. The minister emphasied the importants of the ILD work for the government and leaders in community from the bottom - up level, building thier capacity and empowering them through the leadership seminars can be an important element in building the future organizations of the government. He also promised to teach few classes for ILD students and also leadership seminars at ILD for the government officials. In this photo three of the ILD instructors - Mr. Petrus, Mr. Pete and Aref are with the minister and his wife at the institute for leadership development, Herat Afghanistan.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Institute for Leadership Development

Institute for Leadership Development is an American higher education center in Herat Afghanistan. It was established in 2003 by Mr. Philip Adams and is the first post graduate training for Afghan young and emerging leaders in Afghanistan, especially in Herat. Here we teach and train the people on leadership, personal development, mentoring and coaching, and peace and conflict resolution studies. We have a mixture of Afghan and American instructors doing a two-years program. Beside of our normal classes, we conduct leadership seminars for governement officials from many different department yearly by bringing teams from the state. Our program is very popular and really supported and well received by the government and the people from NGOs, University, Government, Business and Locals. We have graduated more that 100 young leaders during the 4 years and more than 12 of them are following thier education in many different educational centers in the state by being granted fulbright scholarships. This is a photo in one of our training for the official governments which I am also teaching with one of our guest speakers from the state.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

After the August 20 - the Election day

Recently, we had the elections for presidential and provincial Shura in Afghanistan. Right before August 20th, fear and mistrust, uncertaninty, no hope for future, and doubt were among the whole population. No body believed that the election is about to happen. People did not want to go on election day and vote becaus the fear of insecurity was all over and very common. But, fortunately every thing went well and there were no major incidents in most part of the country. People voted and now are waiting to hear the final results. People have a little hope for thier future and are very optimist for a better future. This is a photo taken from a fruit market yesterday. You can see the guy selling his product. This is very common for farmers and people from the villages to bring thier products to the city to sell. Some times they them selves sell and most of the time they sell to the people whom are at the market and thier job is selling the products received from villagers with a little profit.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nomadic Life

On my way to the villge last week, I saw nomadic people living in black tents and busy with animal husbandry to support thier needs with a peacefully way of living. This is a normal way of living for this group of people in Afghanistan. All they posses is few sets of tents, few camel, sheeps and very basic utensils for cooking. They always travel from places to places. They stay in palces with having enough greens and garsses for thier animals as food. When there is not enough greens and grass as food to the animla, they travel to the other palces with enough food for the animals. This is thier life. Very simple but peacefully. They sells some of the animal products as milk and the wool to buy thier basic needs. I took this phot 4 days ago when I was going to my village during the elections. There is another photo which shows the sun set and its beauty in the village.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Afghan Dish

Afghan people pay much respect and give honor to their guests when some one is invited or come to us as a guest. We try to prepare the best food and dishes and welcome the guests. What we cook for the guests usaully includes rice, kabab ( lamb, beef ), meatball, plus salad, coke, and fruits. It is very important in an Afgham culture that the best food and dishes shoube be prepared for the guests otherwise there is a sense of not respecting and giving honor to the guest. We always sit on the ground instead of table and eat the food with hands instead of fork and spoons. But this is an optional to eat with hands or with fork and spoons. After every one finish and stop eating we pray and thank God for his blessings. We wash our hands before serving the food even a person eats with fork and spoon and wash again after we finsh the food. This is a photo taken recently from one of my friends house in a garden in the country side of Herat.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Herat City Wide Soccer Team

First of all, I apologize for not posting in the last 5 days. I had gone to the village during the elections with my family. We stayed there and till Saturday August 21st. everything went well during the election with no major incident in Herat and its 14 districts. People were able to vote for the presidential and provincial council at the same time.
In this posting I wanted to post a photo from Herat City Wide Team involved in ‘Peace’ tournament in Jalal Abad Province.
Recently, Herat City Wide Soccer Team had participated national tournament in Jalal Abad province in north – east of Afghanistan, very close to Pakistan border. The tournament was called ‘peace tournament” and aimed to choose Afghanistan football national team’s players. 8 provinces who were able to be champions in their zones had the right to be a part of this big tournament. The results ended with Kabul as the champion team, Jalal Abad the second and Herat got the third position among all provinces in Afghanistan. The governor of Jalal Abad – Mr. Gol Agha Shirzai did a great job in hosting the best 8 provinces while they were in Jalal Abad. He is one of the best and closet friends for President Karzai and President Obama and one of the best governors in Afghanistan as %99 of the population believe so. I was the head coach for Herat City Wide Team in this tournament.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mom and the Daughter

After the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, women's life quite changed. The rights of freedom and education were two main issues which gave them more hope for a better future. The new government considered women as a major element for developing the country, because they believe if we have educated mother and sisters in our families, they can grow sons with a culture of non-violence that can prevent the next generation from going into another war. A part of Afghan old tradition is the way women wear. Some of the women, especially in villages, they still wear " Bughra " to hide thier faces and mostly the whole body under it. I can say that there is no obligation on this and this is the women's choice. In towns, women especially in educated families do not wear "Bughra" any longer. This is a photo from a mom and her daughter sitting on a bench in a park in Herat city. The mom still is wearing Boghra but the daughter is not wearing that any longer.