Bamiyan Panorama

Bamiyan Panorama

Friday, January 27, 2012

ARZU Preschool in Bamyan

Here are some new photos of the ARZU preschool in Bamyan taken in November 2011. 

Country Program Director Razia Jan helps distribute coats to students in the ARZU preschool in preparation for the cold Afghan winter.

Preschool students and their mothers sit in a preschool classroom warmed by a briquette-fueled heater.
Briquette production as an alternative fuel source is one of ARZU's apprenticeship programs for Afghan women.

Students sit at their desks in a preschool classroom and enjoy snack time.

Preschool students sit at their desks surrounded by arts and crafts. Country Program Director Razia Jan pays a visit.

I got these from ARZU Studio Hope's facebook page. 

Also check out their website

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sahar Gul (as of January 26, 2012)

Latest update as of 5/7/12:

Old news:

Here's a photo of Sahar Gul taken on Jan 25, almost one month since she was rescued. 

Her face is not healed yet.  I not not know what other injuries are on her body, but i'm sure due to the burning, ripping out of hair, ripping out of flesh, and starvation that she has many other injuries. 

Lets pray for physical, mental, and emotional healing for this 15 year old girl.

Click here for my original post on Sahar Gul one month ago that has more information. 

Afghan women in the 1920's and women's rights in Afghanistan

A 2010 interview with Prince Seraj - the nephew of King Amanullah of Afghanistan.

Kathleen Wells: Prince Seraj, your uncle, King Amanullah, 80 years ago, worked to bring about changes regarding women's rights in Afghanistan. Speak to how the Personal Status Law, which was approved and is currently under review by President Karzai is impacting the groundwork your uncle laid?

Prince Abdul Ali Seraj: After his world trip in 1927, my uncle, His Majesty King Amanullah, decreed that in order for Afghanistan to join other progressive nations of the world and to take its rightful place in the twentieth century, the country needed the service of both its male as well as its female population.

He not only introduced Queen Soraya, without the traditional veil, to the public, but soon thereafter sent a group of 16 girls to attend medical school in Turkey. He later sent another group of girls to study in France. The foreign enemies of the state (the British) used these policies against King Amanullah and instigated a revolution that eventually forced the King to abdicate.

Afghan women - 1927
It took 75 years for the women of Afghanistan to once again enjoy personal freedom under the new constitution, which provides a great number of rights to them, far more than what was initiated under King Amanullah. However, we must not forget that the King laid the initial groundwork for women's rights.Today, all women, regardless of age or ethnicity, know the service that was rendered to their cause by my uncle. They also know that he sacrificed the throne of Afghanistan for their rights.

Afghan women - 1927

Unfortunately, even today, as it was then, the women do not enjoy all the rights that they have under the constitution. Even though the role of women today is very evident in the Parliament, the government, and the education system, still, they are considered as subservient to the male sector. In the provinces, the veil is very evident and in many areas of the country, a woman's presence is not welcomed within the male population.

King Amanullah with a group of people - 1927
We still have a long ways to go. Unfortunately, my uncle's policies had less than two years before he was forced to abdicate due to foreign powers using the women's rights policy as a tool against him. Today, fortunately, the women have extensive support from the international community. We need to change the attitude of male-dominated society in Afghanistan. But it will take time, as 90% of the Afghans still live in the 17th, 18th century.

For the full interview click here.

More interesting photos of Afghans in the 1920's. 

girl's school - 1926

Watching tennis at courts built by King Amanullah in Paghman. *interesting fashion*

I believe this photo is from the Victorian Era.

All about Darulaman Palace

Darul Aman Palace ("abode of peace" or, in a double meaning "abode of Aman[ullah]") is a European-style palace, now ruined, located about sixteen kilometers outside of the center of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Darul Aman Palace was built in the early 1920s as a part of the endeavours by King Amanullah Khan to modernize Afghanistan. It was to be part of the new capital city (also called Darul Aman or Darulaman) that the king was intending to build, connected to Kabul through a narrow-gauge railway. The palace is an imposing neoclassical building on a hilltop overlooking a flat, dusty valley in the western part of the Afghan capital. Intended as the seat for a future parliament outside of Kabul, the building was unused for many years after religious conservatives forced Amanullah from power and halted his reforms.
Darul Aman Palace was first gutted by fire in 1969. It was restored to house the Defence Ministry during the 1970s and 1980s. During the Communist coup of 1978, the building was set on fire. It was damaged again as rival Mujahideen factions fought for control of Kabul during the early 1990s. Heavy shelling by the Mujahideen after the end of the Soviet invasion left the building a gutted ruin.   -Wikipedia

The palace shortly after it was built in the 20's.  Look at all of the trees!

This is a photo of a train taken at Darulaman in 1930.  Three trains were purchased from Germany to be used between Darulaman, Kabul, and other locations within Afghanistan.

Here's a bird's eye view of what the palace looks like today.

I'm sorry about the picture quality of this photo, but you can see the outlines of what used to be gardens covering the whole property.
Inside the palace after the Soviets set it on fire, then it was bombed during all three wars, as well as having the Mujahideen and the Taliban trash it, etc:

There are plans in the works to rebuild the gardens and palace!  Click here to read more about it.