Quality of Life Improves for Afghanistan’s Women

The situation of the republic’s women has significantly improved since the Taliban’s fall nearly a decade ago.  It certainly was nothing to be sniffed at when Farida Tarana had the opportunity to enter Afghanistan’s very own version of American idol (Afghan Star).  The fact that she didn’t win first place wasn’t really important for the republic’s development as a whole; it was how she used the publicity she gained there to run in her council elections.  Her popularity was obvious: she came in second out of 524 other wannabe politicians.  This was the beginning of evidence that matters for women were perhaps finally beginning to improve in Afghanistan.

Tarana’s achievement was an amazing victory for her personally but also gave hope to so many other young women in Afghanistan.  Once they saw what she could achieve, they realized life in Afghanistan for women would be sure to improve as well.  If it was possible for a woman in the region to come this far, they reasoned, surely the sky was the limit.

And indeed it has been.  Today there are many organizations working towards improving matters for the people of Afghanistan, with a special focus on its women.  Individuals like American-Afghan activist Hamed Wardak are likewise working towards seeing better conditions for the entire population of Afghanistan.  As well, many more girls are now, more than ever, attending educational institutions.  Public health has seen vast, unprecedented improvements.  Social change is a big part of the program too and the Afghanistan government is seeking out the involvement of religious leaders to help actualize this.  Things definitely seem to be looking up.

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Afghanistan Taking Cricket by Storm

Not all the news coming out of Afghanistan is political and difficult.  In recent sports news, The Afghan cricket team is about to make their debut among the cricket elite at the Twenty20 World Cup.

“We have started playing cricket after watching cricketers from South Africa and India on television and now it’s like a dream come true that we will be competing against them,” Mangal told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from the team’s training camp at Pakistan’s National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Afghanistan will open its T20 World Cup against India on May 1 in St. Lucia.  They will then play South Africa at Barbados on May 5.

This is the type of event that Afghan leaders such as Hamed Wardak find refreshing and important.  Afghanistan is a living, breathing country just like any other, and one that deserves to experience everything from sports to economic prosperity just like any other nation.

Inspiring Leaders for Hamed Wardak

Hamed Wardak, the founder of the political movement Fedayeen-e-Sol and the founding vice-president of the Afghanistan-American Chamber of Commerce, has drawn inspiration from many sources.

He sees a great deal of thinkers, political leaders and civil right activities as shining examples that have helped him to define his own political movements and visions.  Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N and Georgetown professor, is described by Wardak as his “guiding inspiration.”

In addition, Hamed Wardak draws inspiration from Ahmad Shah Durrani, the 18th-century Afghan King; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Mahatma Gandhi; Nelson Mandela and others.