Problog

Hello and welcome to my blog. It is a blog about an Air Force Physician that was reluctantly deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan for 6 months.

I have to admit, I did not exactly volunteer for the deployment, and I was a little anxious about how it would all turn out. I ended up making the best of it, and surprisingly, I actually had a pleasant, life changing, experience.

I decided to keep the blog up and running because I kept on hearing, "Why is it that you only hear the bad news coming from Iraq and Afghanistan." I figured that I was helping spread a positive message about what we are doing over. Even more important, I wanted to continue to spread the word about the plight of the Afghan people, 99.9% of which are the most incredibly friendly people that you will ever meet. The title picture is a great example of that. I have never encountered such genuinely warm and friendly people. It was so strange to see so many people with so little material objects, yet at the same time, filled with so much of the joy that comes with close family ties, abundant friends, and a close knit community. We could definetly learn a lot from them.

You may notice, as you read the blog in its entirety, my arc. I shift from focusing on myself and my personal comforts, to shifting my focus on the Afghan cause. It is very easy to get distracted by the hustle of daily life and the comforts that the U.S. provides. It is really a challenge to awake from that coma and to start to care and think about the welfare of other people unrelated to you. I think it really took me about 4 or 5 months before I really opened my eyes and became personally affected by what I was experiencing. I hope I was able to recreate it.

I have tried to keep the blog squeaky clean so as to not offend anyone (or get me in trouble-I am still in the military). Even though I am a political junky with very strong personal opinions I have been steadfast in keeping this site free of any politics. I was called to do a job and I tried to do it to the best of my ability regardless of my political stance.

I recreated the blog to read more like a book, or should I say blook (get used to the corniness it only gets worse from here) just to make it an easier read. I have removed some names and pictures just to keep it more anonymous. I hope that it helps in making it less about me and more about the cause.

Lastly, in the spirit of the blog, I decided to include the Chipin Widget that I used to raise money for Nazia. If I get any additional money I will send the funds to The Women of Hope Project and someone over in Kabul will discretely give it to her (unless I hear otherwise). You can also contribute directly to the Women of Hope Project website. They are a wonderful cause. If you enjoy this blog then feel free to contribute. I am sure that once you read her story you will be very moved.

So kick back. Get ready to hopefully laugh and definitely cry.
If you like what you read then post a comment. I will be continuously editing this site in an attempt to improve it. Who knows maybe one day it will become a book!

Enjoy. Thanks for reading.

-Shazdoc

Today Show Clip

Chipin Widget

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Malalai Joya

"They will kill me but they will not kill my voice, because it will be the voice of all Afghan women. You can cut the flower, but you cannot stop the coming of spring."

I want to introduce you to Malalai Joya. Her story is so compelling and powerful that I thought that it deserved mentioning. It is not a secret that women do not exactly have equal rights as men in Afghanistan. This young girl has been so incredibly brave in speaking out on issues that effect women and children.
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My purpose is not to show support towards her political views or opinions, I just am just interested in showcasing someone that has taken a great risk to make Afghanistan a greater place. It is a great example of how one brave young person can literally change a country.
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You have got to watch this video. It is the moment when Malalai was "born." It is classic. It takes place at a Jirga which is counsel of tribal elders that took place in 2003. As you could imagine the room was overwhelmingly filled with older men with their typical opinion of the proper place for women. Malalai was trying to get to the microphone to speak. The speaker, having no idea what kind of Pandora ’s Box he was about to unleash, said something to the effect, we have a young girl that has come very far to speak, how cute, let’s give her 3 minutes to speak her mind. I am sure if he had any idea what kind of ripples her speech would make then he would have never allowed it.
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“... When her time came to make her 3-minute statement, she tugged her black headscarf over her hair, stepped up to the microphone, and with emotional electricity made the speech that would alter her life.
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After she spoke, there was a moment of stunned silence. Then there was an uproar. Male mujahideen, some who literally had guns at their feet, rushed towards her, shouting. She was brought under the protection of UN security forces.
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In a nation where few dare to say the word "warlord" aloud, Joya had spoken fiercely against a proposal to appoint high clergy members and fundamentalist leaders to guide planning groups. She objected that several of those religious leaders were war criminals who should be tried for their actions—not national heroes to influence the new government.”
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Here is the clip from the documentary Enemies of Happiness:
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I can not imagine what kind of guts it took to get up and make that 3 minute speech. I get nervous just speaking in from of a small room with people that are friendly to me, let alone, a room filled with hundreds of people that have guns and want to kill me. How many young kids today would not only have similar conviction but also the guts to do something like that. I know I couldn’t.
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Here is a Wikapedia article on her
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malalai_Joya
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Here is an excerpt from the article
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"Joya was elected to the 249-seat National Assembly, or Wolesi Jirga in September 2005, as a representative of Farah Province, winning the second highest number of votes in the province.
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The BBC has called Joya "the most famous woman in Afghanistan." In a January 27, 2007 interview with BBC News Joya commented on her personal political mission amid continuous death threats.
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Never again will I whisper in the shadows of intimidation. I am but a symbol of my people's struggle and a servant to their cause. And if I were to be killed for what I believe in, then let my blood be the beacon for emancipation and my words a revolutionary paradigm for generations to come."
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Here is another clip from the documentary Enemies of Happiness
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Thanks for reading.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know Malali Joya, you need to go back to your country and help build schools, help women and children to get off opium, help abuse women, protest against your president who is for the Taliban and warlords. Look how many American soldiers died and the cost of American tax dollars for a corrupted country that was corrupted long before we arrived. I hate muslim men because they keep their women and children. illiterate while they are cheating on them spreading AIDs. Muslims are hippocrates. They dictate we are sinners of the world while they are entertained with children (boys)dancing dress like women. Very perverted, don't you think. See if you get medical treatment for women and girls. If you are so brave go back and fight. I would like to the U.S. pull the troops out of Afganastan and also put a leash of muslim immagrants to the U.S. since they are terrorists. I am a good hearted American women who believe in God. You will not get donation from me since you are an Afganastan women. I would like to have a blog conversation with you.

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