Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Are We Up to It? Success in Afghanistan Will Require Understanding and Patience

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Are We Up to It?  Success in Afghanistan Will Require Understanding and Patience

Is there a way for peace and stability to be achieved in Afghanistan?

In the remarkable new book To Lift a Mirror For What You’ve Lost, one uniquely qualified man is following his dream and seeking to accomplish this very idea.  He has created a unique and personal story to help people understand the situation in Afghanistan.

Nangy Ghafarshad’s life is an amazing story. He grew up in Afghanistan, became an elite officer in the Royal Afghan Air Force in 1960. A fully rated fighter pilot, he was trained for leadership by both the Russians and the Americans.  In 1968, struggling with strong feelings of dismay at how his government ruled his native land and not wishing to return to a place offering little opportunity, on completing an Air Force leadership program sponsored by the USAF, he decided to stay in the United States and became a U.S. citizen. In southern California, he worked as a corporate pilot including flying Mrs. Rosalind Carter around California while, her husband, Jimmy Carter ran for President.  Nangy and his wife bought a small coffee shop in Claremont and grew it into a first-class restaurant that seats 400 guests. His involvement in charitable organizations led to a company, which had a contraction with the U.S. Department of Defense, to hire him as Senior Cultural Advisor assigned in Afghanistan. After leaving 40 years before, he returned to Afghanistan only to find that everything he knew had been destroyed by war. 

“My goal,” he says, “is to use my experience and knowledge and share what is going on in the country of my birth so people may do a better job helping things turn out as good as possible for all concerned.”

“The Afghan people seek the same equality and opportunity that all human beings desire and should share in.  And while things are improving, there are a few “doors” that need to be reworked so that the Afghan people can step into the new world.”

One of the most difficult things Americans face is achieving an understanding of why the people of Afghanistan behave the way they do.

His highly readable and well-illustrated book, while largely about his life and that of his family, contains a wealth of information about Afghanistan’s past and present.  

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