afghanistan

On Tuesday, Lucca, a 12-year-old German shepherd, received the prestigious Dickin Medal, the highest military decoration awarded for valor in the UK. She’s the first American K9 to receive it. While serving, she led over 400 missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and found over 40 explosives. She lost her leg when an IED detonated as she was searching for weapons. Thank you for your sacrifice, Lucca.

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A look at the Kung Fu women of Kabul, chipping away at gender norms!

These women and girls are fighting to become Afghanistan’s Shaolin martial art ambassadors!

Kung fu is empowering a group of 10 powerful Hazara women and girls. They are practising “wushu” kung fu on a hilltop in the west of Kabul. They are preparing for the day that Afghanistan can send its women’s wushu team to an international tournament.


© Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

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Afghan family with valid visas torn apart at LAX

  • At Los Angeles International Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents detained a family with three children who are 7 years old, 6 years old and 8 months old.
  • The family, whose identities remain anonymous out of safety concerns, arrived in LAX with valid special immigration status visas, the New York Times reported. 
  • Afghanistan is also not on the list of the list of banned majority-Muslim countries from Trump’s executive order.
  • The family was also detained despite a federal judge’s stay on the order.
  • According to Fusion, the father was detained at LAX for two days before being sent to an immigration detention center in Orange County, CA.
  • His wife and three children were then sent to another detention center. 
  • The family was reportedly supposed to be sent to a family immigration detention center in Texas, but an emergency court order on Saturday blocked that from happening.
  • The family will have a hearing for their case on Monday afternoon. Read more (3/6/17 12:05 PM)

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ماهرخ
—  Mahrokh, literally “moon-face”. A Persian name chiefly for girls. The moon is associated as one of the highest levels of beauty in Persian culture. To be named this is to be called the silent beauty of a full moon on a clear night.

Syrian kids deserve a chance to feel the childish joy of running out of their houses at the sound of an ice cream truck and buying ice cream

Pakistani kids deserve the chance to go to an amusement park and feel the rush of the wind in their face as they try the biggest rollercoaster in the park

Afghan kids deserve a day to sleep in and wake up lazily to the warm glow of the sun and the sound of happy voices coming from downstairs

A young Iraqi girl deserves the chance to discover the amazing world of cake decorating and realize that she was born to decorate incredibly stunning cakes

A boy from Uganda deserves to fulfill his dream of becoming a singer because his whole family and all his neighbours always praise his beautiful voice

A little Somali girl deserves to know all the different art mediums that exist so she can explore her God given talents as an artist and mesmerize everyone with her work

A brown man enslaved in Kuwait deserves to wake up early and surprise his wife with breakfast in bed and to hold her in his arms

A little boy in North Korea deserves to feel the nervous excitement as he gets on a plane to fulfill his dream of traveling the world

A Palestinian girl deserves her chance to stun the world with her superior acting skills, a surefire Oscar winner if the world ever knew it

A Kashmiri boy deserves a chance to delve into the world of literature and be the greatest poet we ever knew

A Native girl in Canada deserves to find out she’s an amazing swimmer and fulfill her dream of one day competing in the Olympics

A Sudani boy deserves to feel the excitement of seeing a magic trick for the first time and then putting on his own little magic show for the neighborhood

An Egyptian girl deserves to find out she can make the best blueberry muffins you ever tasted and she opens her own bakery to discover she’s a talented businesswoman as well

A black boy in America deserves the chance to graduate from his dream law school and become the best humanitarian lawyer to practice

A Nigerian boy deserves the chance to wake up at dawn and go on a beach trip with his friends so they can catch the sunrise and stare in awe at the explosion of colours against the sky

A Yemeni girl deserves to feel the exhaustion after spending an entire day doing dares with her friends and she goes to sleep with a smile on her face

If they were born on this planet, they were meant to be here. Everyone deserves a chance at a life. They deserve to know peace.

The daily struggles of the children around the world should include arguing with their parents about not wearing a sweater because it’s not that cold out, not making sure they live to see another day.

Everyone deserves a chance at life.

Do what you can to save humanity. Change starts with you.

Refugees are by definition the most vulnerable people among us. Families don’t choose to sacrifice everything they have and leave their homes unless their homes become like the mouth of a shark. Scapegoating people who are fleeing for their lives is an inhumanity that no person with a heart should be able to defend.
—  Commentary by Bilal Askaryar, who helps manage the Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries. He holds a master’s degree from the American University School of International Service. He arrived in the United States as a refugee fleeing the war in Afghanistan when he was 5 years old.
theguardian.com
Deported gay Afghans told to ‘pretend to be straight’
New Home Office rules would send gay asylum seekers back to Afghanistan, where homosexuality is illegal
By Emma Graham-Harrison

Gay Afghans can be deported to their home country, where homosexuality is illegal and “wholly taboo” and they must pretend to be straight, under new British government guidelines for handling asylum applications.

The new guidance for a country where not a single citizen lives an openly gay life has been denounced by human rights groups as a violation of international law, and criticised by the Home Office’s own Afghanistan unit.

“The Home Office’s approach seems to be to tell asylum seekers, ‘Pretend you’re straight, move to Kabul and best of luck,’” said Heather Barr, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Living a life where you are forced to lie every day about a key part of your identity, and live in constant fear of being found out and harassed, prosecuted or attacked, is exactly the kind of persecution asylum laws are supposed to prevent.”

The document, dated last month, clearly lays out the multiple risks to LGBT Afghans from their own families, from Afghan laws, and from Taliban insurgents who consider homosexuality a crime punishable by death.

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Two Indo-Greek silver coins with profiles of Alexander

Bactria (present-day Afghanistan), 1st-2nd century

After Alexander of Macedon succeeded in conquering Egypt and Persia in 331 BC, his ambition to rule the known world led him further east across Bactria in Afghanistan, through the Hindu Kush mountain pass, and into India. There he succeeded in defeating all the local kings of the region until his men, on the brink of mutiny, insisted that they return to Greece. Alexander left governors in charge of his territories, and after his death in 323 BC, his governors became independent kings, establishing Hellenistic cities and a Greek cultural base in the region, which lasted for almost 200 years.