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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 16, 2010 / 4 Tamuz 5770

The real gold in Afghanistan

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Amid all the dark news from Afghanistan, every now and then a sliver of light slips through the cracks.

Afghanistan, it turns out, is rich in minerals. Trillions rich. It's going to become the Saudi Arabia of lithium, they say. Thanks to vast stores of that resource, plus iron, copper, cobalt and gold, this impoverished, war-torn nation could become a wealthy nation.

No more wars, no Taliban, no heroin, no Osama bin Laden.

Too good to be true, right?

The deposits are real enough, but the question remains: Can a country without mining infrastructure and populated by people who've never known prosperity or possessed the collective memory of self-direction (70 percent of Afghans are under age 30) put its resources to constructive use?

Although the potential is "stunning," according to Gen. David Petraeus, the sidebars and footnotes to this heartening story are full of caveats and "yes, buts."

There's also potential for corruption, for fights between the central government and the provinces, for conflict along the border with Pakistan, where some of the richest deposits are located, and for a resurgent and enriched Taliban.

Moreover, turning deposits into a functioning mining industry will take decades. But speculation naturally leads to the hope that Afghanistan could begin to fund its own reinvention and liberate other nations, notably ours, from that burden.

The key, it seems, lies in educating the rising generation of Afghans -- in the liberal arts as well as in the technologies needed to advance this new economic potential. There is hope there, too, not least because of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), the nation's only private, nonprofit university.

The school was launched with the help of a substantial grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development and built on 48 acres in Kabul. Instruction commenced in 2006, and the first class graduated last month. The school has 500 students, 20 percent of them women, and it hopes to expand to 800 students next year and to 2,000 in five years.

Most Afghans can't afford the tuition -- 70 percent receive financial aid -- and are being educated in large part through American donations. Some of those donors attended a dinner in Washington recently to hear from students and to honor former first lady Laura Bush for her support of the university. A new fundraising project is underway for the Laura W. Bush Women's Resource Center, which will be the cornerstone of a new library and student services building with classrooms, conference space and an auditorium.

And you thought all she did was sit and smile.

The dinner, held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, was attended by many of those who have worked in the private sector to help bring opportunity to Afghans, especially women. In attendance, to name but a few, were C. Michael Smith, university president; Leslie M. Schweitzer, chair of the Friends of the AUAF; Said T. Jawad, Afghanistan's ambassador to the United States; and Caroline Hudson Firestone, who has dedicated herself to helping Afghan women and is the author of "Afghanistan in Transition."

It was one of those events familiar to Washingtonians where philanthropists and government officials convene to sip wine and, if the spirit moves the crowd, to write checks. If inspiration is the lubricant that compels luckier Americans to share prosperity, then this particular evening was rich.

The highlight was the testimony of five students who trekked from Afghanistan to report on the results of American generosity. More than once, they urged the audience: "Don't feel sorry for us, be there for us."

Each spoke variously of escaping the Taliban, losing family members, living as refugees in Pakistan. All spoke of feeling safe on the campus, of free speech, of open dialogue with professors and mutual respect -- all miracles we take for granted.

But one young woman stood out. Masooma Habibi, a graduate of Goldman Sachs's 10,000 Women program at the AUAF, founded an Internet-related consulting business in Kabul and employs nearly two dozen people. Her head covered, she spoke softly in somewhat halting English. The AUAF is "like a dream," she said. When Americans educate an Afghan, "you are playing with life, so thank you."

We knew just what she meant.

It seems at times too much to hope that Afghanistan might ever become a stable country, where men and women could lead prosperous, peaceful lives. The key to that kind of future clearly lies in education.

There's more to mine in Afghanistan than minerals. And there's gold in these students.

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