Come celebrate Nawroz in Vancouver with your fellow Canadians at a special event on Saturday, March 17th, 2012 .
International Women’s Day at Hycroft: “Women’s Rights in Transition”, Sunday 11th March 2012, 12 Noon Social ~ 1pm Luncheon ~ 2:15pm Program with Guest Speakers Gulalai Habib and Eva Sajoo
Gulalai Habib, an engineer and computer programmer by training was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and has over 20 years of involvement in peace, human rights and gender equality efforts in war zones in the Middle East and South Asia. She is currently Assistant Manager of the Resettlement Assistance Program, Immigrant Services Society of BC.
A Research Associate in the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies at Simon Fraser University, Eva Sajoo has published work on gender, development, and education in Muslim societies. Her current research interest builds on her previous work on the roles of women in transitional states.
Luncheon & Speakers: General $50 + tax ~ UWCV Members $45 + tax; Speakers Only: General $25 + tax ~ UWCV Members $20 + tax
Register by Wednesday 7th March at Hycroft (No Wheelchair Access). Net proceeds for this event will be divided between CW4WA projects in Afghanistan and the Canadian Federation of University Women’s IWD project with CARE Canada
Tim Goddard, father of Nichola Goddard, has been blogging about his trip to Afghanistan and what he has learned about the importance of Canada's role there. An excerpt from the CBC:
When our daughter was killed, she was conducting operations against Taliban fighters in the Panjwaii district of Kandahar Province. Nichola had been in Afghanistan for only a few months, and she had written home about the beauty of the country and the people. I can only echo her thoughts. Over the past few weeks her memory has surfaced again and again...
The tenets of good development work (and essentially this is what our CF troops are now doing), however, is that impacts are seldom immediate. Relationships have to be built and nurtured. I am sure that some extended mentoring will be required beyond 2014, to provide a sympathetic ear and sage advice to the new Afghan military leadership as they experience the challenges of their work. I hope that Canadians will continue to support the CF as it contributes to nation building in this country. We have lost so many young men and women in the war to establish a peaceful civil society in Afghanistan; as this goal is now within sight, it would be sad if we were to simply walk away.
Canadians from all political parties should get behind the
Liberal Party’s Bob Rae in his commitment to make Afghanistan a
priority for a new Canadian Democracy Promotion Agency, the
Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee (CASC) declared today.
“When Bob Rae told us on Wednesday that Afghanistan would be a
priority for the Agency, we were so happy. We are urging all parties
to the follow the Liberals’ lead,” CASC President Babur Mawladin said
In a statement released today, Rae confirmed that the Liberals want an
Afghanistan field office for the Agency, and that the time for just
talking about it is over: “It is important to go beyond words, and to
engage directly with Afghan institutions and agencies. We would see a
focus on Afghanistan as a strong reflection of our commitment as
Canadians. A local office to co-ordinate our efforts is a logical
extension of our continuing work in Afghanistan."
Rae will join Mawladin and other members of the Canada-Afghanistan
Solidarity Committee who will be celebrating the news at a reception
on Friday April 15 at 5 o’clock at the Taj Banquet Hall, 4611 Steeles
“Canadian soldiers have been fighting and dying to build a democracy
in Afghanistan and we are determined that their sacrifices will not be
in vain,” Mawladin said. “The idea for a Canadian Democracy Promotion
Agency has already won wide support on Ottawa. It’s time to get on
In March, 2010, the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee’s “Keeping
Our Promises” report specifically recommended action on this
long-promised initative and urged that a new Canadian mission include
the establishment of at least one Agency field office in Afghanistan.
The establishment of the Agency was contained in the Liberal Party’s
campaign platform unveiled last week.
The 2009 Senate Advisory Panel Report on the Creation of a Canadian
Democracy Promotion Agency, proposed that the agency, with a budget of
up to $70 million a year, include at least one Afghanistan field
office. Late last year, the proposal was considered by the Prime
Minister’s office, but nothing happened.
“We know that the Liberals have wanted to establish this agency for
some time. It has already been mentioned in two Conservative throne
speeches. The idea was even raised in the Conservative Party’s own
2008 campaign platform. We have to stop just talking about this and
start doing it,” Mawladin said.
The Democracy Promotion Agency will be working with groups
in Canada and around the world to ensure that Canada's efforts on
behalf of democracy are robust," Rae said. "Clearly these efforts must include
Afghanistan, where Canada's efforts to improve governance in
Afghanistan are a critical feature of our past and future work.”
Babur Mawladin, President
Canada Afghanistan Solidarity Committee
Phone 905.301.0761 or 416.249.6742.
CASC co-founder Lauryn Oates provides some insight into Canada's commitment, suggesting Our sacrifice in Afghanistan must not be in vain:
We’ve invested more than money into the hope that Afghanistan can someday be peaceful. Many brave Canadians have made the ultimate sacrifice on Afghan soil and their families deserve to know the extent of Canada’s commitment for seeing through the promises that have been made.
Afghan Member of Parliament Fawzia Koofi pointed out when I last met with her in Kabul in February that “the international community needs to ask why are we in Afghanistan. For our security alone, or for theirs too? Have the objectives we set been met yet if we are ready to leave? I know your governments are under pressure because you are investing blood and treasure in our country, but it’s important to ask whether the job has been done.”
Koofi raises a question that seems increasingly evaded as the international community desperately scrambles for an exit from Afghanistan. And yet it’s a question that deserves an answer in light of the human and financial cost of our extensive engagement in a country that has only just seen the first glimmers of a different kind of future, just as prospects for that future are at their most vulnerable.
As director the Afghan-Canadian Community Centre in Kandahar and as a school teacher and principal, I was deeply saddened and outraged to hear about the United Nations employees who were killed in cold blood on Friday in Mazar-i-Sharif. On behalf of the Afghan men, women and children who have been given a chance because of the sacrifices and humanitarian services of our international friends, I can tell you that we are bleeding in our hearts.
Here in Kandahar City there is a lot of smoke — tires are burning, markets are burning, cars are burning. All day Saturday there were gunshots. Some were very close to my house but I stayed in the school both days of the weekend violence to make sure our students and teachers were safe. I am advising our students and teachers to stay home.
At one point I was able to use a trick to save my school from demonstrators just as they arrived close to our gate. When the demonstrators entered our street, I asked the guards and drivers to rush through the back door and join the demonstration and to divert it from our gate. They did this, and as soon as the demonstration passed I called them over the phone to tell them they could separate from the demonstration. They were safe. We did this because, otherwise, anything could have happened to us.
We condemn the brutal killings. We deeply believe that justice will be done, that people who love peace will prevail, but now the grief is deeply shared by all of us. With every such tragic loss, we bleed in our hearts.