CIVIC at Fort Irwin

Posted By: Jon I spent March 3rd and 4th visiting and participating in training at the United States Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. Located in the High Mojave Desert, Fort Irwin is the Army’s preeminent training center for soldiers. It provides realistic training for commanders and soldiers to prepare them for success…

Provincial Reconstruction Teams, pt. 1

Posted By: Erica While much of the humanitarian aid in Afghanistan is channeled through non-governmental organizations, government aid agencies, or development budgets of foreign missions here, many of the US and NATO military officers may also be involved in direct humanitarian aid and development in the areas that their Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) control. PRTs…

Hayatullah’s Story

Posted By: Erica Hayatullah Khan listens to English language radio every day, like clockwork. “He listens to the science program,” his brother told me. “That is his favorite thing because one day on the program, they talked about a treatment in the US for [restoring] eyesight and it gave him hope.” Hayatullah lost his eyesight…

Masood’s Story

Posted By: Erica Not far from Hazi Sharif’s construction materials shop, I met a shy young man who was finishing his apprenticeship to become a mechanic. “I was a student of [the senior mechanic]” Masood told me, “but now I am better than he is.” Masood was not always so beaming. In December 2006, Masood,…

Hazi’s Story Continued

Posted By: Erica [Read the First Part] When the dust settled, the southern half of Hazi Sharif’s home had collapsed. Four members of his family were dead as were another two women from his nephew’s family. Rokia, an elderly relative, was rushing to help other family members when the second bomb exploded nearby. When I…

Hazi’s Story

Posted By: Erica In December 2001, US forces were engaged in heavy bombing in the Paktia province, one of the last refuges of the Taliban. Many innocent civilians also lost their lives, including several family members of a man named Hazi Sharif, who shared his story with me. A rocket that was intended for a…

Kabul then and now…

By: Erica Fridays are the only “weekend” day here since Afghanistan has a six-day work week. On my Friday-weekend, I decided to get out of the office-home-office routine to get a better sense of Kabul. I have an Afghan-American friend here who grew up in Kabul but was sent to the States in the early…

Searching for some leads…

By: Erica Today, I met up with a man whose been working for a big international non-governmental organization here for the last year and a half. His organization has some overlap with CIVIC’s work, and when I mentioned the issue of civilian casualties he said he’d been digging for that information for months and as far…

Progress

By: Erica I mentioned briefly in another post that I’m being hosted by a partner Afghan organization. It’s a large organization, with about 300 staff, largely dispersed in 12 field offices throughout the country. The regional offices work closely with local community and civil society leaders in their provinces, so the organization as a whole…