Land of tragedy
SIR – Yes to HG Eames (Letters, Time for Peace , Herts Advertiser November 19) – every soldier s death in Afghanistan is one too many and a tragedy. But I was shocked to learn the following about Afghanistan: more than two thirds of people over the age
SIR - Yes to HG Eames (Letters, 'Time for Peace', Herts Advertiser November 19) - every soldier's death in Afghanistan is one too many and a tragedy.
But I was shocked to learn the following about Afghanistan: more than two thirds of people over the age of 15 cannot read or write; children are growing up seeing nothing except fighting (Afghanistan has been at war for 36 years and the average life expectancy is 44); many school textbooks teach counting in bullets and grenades not apples and oranges and boys as young as eleven are taught to fire a Kalashnikov; many girls still do not go to school and will never have jobs or status; life for millions is almost medieval in its poverty; the welfare of ordinary men, women and children is utterly lost in the struggles for power going on around them.
One young female politician, Malalai Joya, wrote: "I come from a land of tragedy called Afghanistan."
And then I found Greg Mortenson and his book Three Cups of Tea.
Mortenson was an American mountaineer. Now he raises funds and builds schools. To start with in the remote villages of Pakistan (82 in the 10 years to 2003).
Now in Afghanistan. He is giving his life to this work.Why? Because he sees that a country has no chance of success if its children, especially its girls, are uneducated. His aim is peace - one school at a time.
- 1 Former Harpenden primary school teacher jailed for 138 years
- 2 Man seen walking 'naked from waist down' in Harpenden
- 3 Elderly woman chased knife-wielding stranger from her bedroom
- 4 US star George Clooney spotted directing new film in Hertfordshire
- 5 Taxi stopped with ‘tyre below legal tread depth’ on A41
- 6 St Albans skatepark inviting newcomers to join community
- 7 Armed police seize machete from Sandpit Lane in St Albans
- 8 Police probe into death of man in 20s at 'Kinky Towers' in Hertfordshire
- 9 The latest court results for the St Albans area
- 10 Rapist jailed for 15 years after kidnapping teen in Hemel Hempstead
He is a true inspiration, a good news story in the midst of war and mistrust.
The decision to keep or withdraw our troops from Afghanistan is not mine.
What I do know is that this country cries out for help.
Greg's new book, Stones into Schools, about Afghanistan is published here in early January 2010. Proceeds from both books go to his charity The Central Asia Institute. I humbly recommend you to read them.
Saxon Road, Wheathampstead