Afghanistan’s Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported today that 28 development projects have recently been completed in the northern province of Sar-e Pul’s Gosfandi district. The projects were managed and implemented by the the National Solidarity Program of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation, according to the BNA report. The projects completed included such things as the construction of 4 schools, a retaining wall, a dam, three small bridges, and public toilets.
Meanwhile in neighboring Faryab province, Bayan Shamal reported today that construction work on a bridge in Islam-Qalah village, which is located in Shirintagab district has been completed; the bridge can now be put to use. According to the Bayan Shamal report, the bridge has a length of 35 meters, and it is 3.5 meters wide. Funding for the bridge came from a local resident who wanted solve the transportation issues of the residents, especially students attending Zahiruddin High School who needed to cross a river in order to get to school.
Tolo News: Malalai Zikria, an Afghan actress and film maker, won the best actress award at the Asian World Film Festival (AWFF) for the hit Afghan drama, Utopia, in Los Angeles. Utopia, an Afghan drama directed by Hassan Nazer and produced by Malalai Zikria, has also been selected as the Afghan entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards in the United States next year.¬† Click here to read more (external link).
Dr. Sakeena Yacoobi, also known as Afghanistan’s “Mother of Education” was awarded the 2015 WISE Prize for Education today in Doha, Qatar. The prize was awarded to her by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. In attendance were well known women personalities from around the world, such as 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Leymah Gwobee, and the American First Lady, Michelle Obama. This year’s WISE Prize is worth $500,000.
Sixty-five year-old Dr. Yacoobi is the Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led organization she founded in 1995. The organization provides teacher training, education and health services to women and children. In fact, AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women in the 1990s. AIL even supported 80 underground home schools for 3000 girls in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime.
In her acceptance speech, Dr. Yacoobi, said, “I feel honored and blessed to be chosen as this year’s WISE Prize for Education Laureate. It is particularly meaningful because this is such a crucial time in Afghanistan. My people live in terror and poverty. They are suffering and feel hopeless. Yet, at this moment a light has appeared. With this Prize, we know that we can continue to educate more and more Afghans, giving them hope and encouraging them to go forward no matter what they are facing. It is such a great gift to me, and I dedicate the Prize to the Afghan Institute of Learning and all of the women, men and children we are educating.”
Dr. Yacoobi’s vision for Afghanistan is a free country, a society where everybody is educated, especially every single girl.
Khaama Press:¬†The foundation stone of a modern city, named as ‚ÄúSmart City‚ÄĚ, was laid during a ceremony in capital Kabul on Wednesday.¬†Smart City is being constructed by private companies on 68 Jeribs of land on Sarak-e-Chehal Metra of Kabul airport. The initial investment of the city is $95 million but its revolving capital is $900 million. Click here to read more (external link).
Khaama Press: The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is the leading and largest infrastructure development partner of Afghanistan, together with donor countries have announced a new grant of $858 million for Afghanistan.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the announced grant would be used on infrastructure building from the year 2017 to 2020. Click here to read more (External Link).
Tolo News: Minister of Public Health Ferozuddin Feroz on Saturday inaugurated a cardiac surgery center for adults at the French Medical Institute for Children (FMIC) in Kabul. The minister said the unit is a vital step towards improving the healthcare services in Afghanistan. “We hope that this center will treat the cardiac patients and prevent them from travelling abroad for their treatment ,” Feroz noted.¬† Click here to read more (External Link).
Roshan’s CEO Karim Khoja was named “Executive of the Year” for the telecommunications industry, receiving a Gold Stevie Award, the telecom company said in a statement.
“I’m exceptionally proud of the work Roshan has done, for the communities we serve in Afghanistan and for our 1,000 employees who are committed to rebuilding the country and making a social impact for Afghans everywhere,” Khoja was quoted in the statement as saying.
Tolo News: Afghanistan once again marked history in cricket by winning the T-20 series from Zimbabwe on Wednesday only few days after the Afghan cricketers beat the test-playing nation in the ODI series. Click here to read more (External Link).
Bloomberg: The carrier is targeting growth markets such as Iran, Kuwait and Kazakhstan, Chief Commercial Officer Joshua Bustos told reporters in Dubai. The airline is looking to add 10 to 20 planes in three to five years and is interested in narrow-bodies including Airbus A319, A320, Boeing 737s as well as turboprops, he said.
‚ÄúThe world in general is not aware that things in Kabul are improving,‚ÄĚ Bustos said. ‚ÄúBusiness is returning.‚ÄĚ
Maryam Monsef, an Afghan-born woman who had migrated to Canada at a young age, has made history by winning a seat in the Canadian parliament yesterday. She is a member of the Liberal Party of Canada, and will represent Ontario province’s Peterborough-Kawartha district. In 1996, Monsef (who was 11 at the time), her two sisters, and their widowed mother left Afghanistan to escape the brutality and oppression of the Taliban who had taken over most of Afghanistan. In Canada, she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Trent University, and prior to her win, was involved in charity projects that raised money to help women and girls in Afghanistan. In fact, she co-founded the Red Pashmina Campaign that raised over $150,000 to promote women’s education in Afghanistan.
Afghan Karate practitioners had recently participated in the Persian Gulf Open Karate Cup in Tehran, Iran. The event, which was held on September 17th and 18th, was organized by the Iranian Shito-ryu Shukokai Union. According to Afghanistan’s Bakhtar News Agency (BNA), the Afghans came away from the event with a total of 11 medals: 5 gold, 1 silver, and 5 bronze. Overall, the Afghan team came in third. Host country, Iran finished first, and Azerbaijan finished second in the championship. A total of 16 countries had participated in the event, according to the BNA report. Besides, cricket and football (soccer), the martial arts is another area in which Afghan athletes are performing very well in international competitions.
Over 100 artifacts previously stolen from Afghanistan and taken to Japan through the black market will be returned to Afghanistan sometime next year, according to a report today from asiaone.com.
The items, which include the famous “Left Foot of Zeus” and a piece of a mural removed from the Bamiyan Caves were being held in Japan’s Hirayama Ikuo Silk Road Museum. The report stated that the items were being held there because of the the turmoil in Afghanistan. The organization wanted to wait until the situation in Afghanistan had settled and that they can be returned without being destroyed by an extremist regime, like the Taliban who blew up the Bamiyan statues back in 1998.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) had been working with the Japanese organization holding them to have these cultural assets returned to Afghanistan. “We have determined that Afghanistan can responsibly preserve and exhibit the cultural properties,” Noboru Noguchi, a member of the committee and the director general of the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan, said at a press conference early this month.