We cooperate and we fight as hard as we can, because there will perhaps be disappointment but there will be no shame.
—  A specialist in the 655th TC, writing to Jon Stewart • In a letter Stewart mentioned on Monday’s episode of “The Daily Show.” Stewart used the episode to pay tribute to the soldiers fighting overseas after he paid a visit to Khandahar this past weekend. After displaying several t-shirts that he had promised to wear, he read some of his observations and thank yous. Stewart then read this quote from a letter from a young specialist, from one of the nicest letters he’s ever received. source (viafollow)
British Troops withdraw from Afghanistan

Monday the 27th October 2014.  At last the day the last British troops have left Afghanistan.

I have repeatedly voiced my opposition to our involvement in the conflicts in the region.  In my view our involvement has been counterproductive.  We have seen young men across the Middle East and even at home become more radicalised.  Arguably the region is less stable than when we began and it is…

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Khandahar Treasure - Senior Symposium

Rhangina Hamidi, an Afghanistan native who moved to the United States in 1988 uses Khandahar Treasure as a means of staying connected to her roots and providing job opportunities to women in Khandahar, one of the poorest cities in the country.


  • Taliban predecessors forbid girls from entering school and threatened to deface family with acid if they were non compliant
  • Fled to United States as part of the UNHCR program as refugees
  • Father traveled to Pakistan every year and returned with gifts of embroidery, which connected Rhangina to her roots on a material level
  • Rhangina traveled to Afghanistan in 2001 after US troops invaded
  • Donated $10,000 worth of necessities but felt that it was wasted because the supplies easily ran out
  • Moved into Development in 2003 with Afghans of Civil Society to work on social and women’s programs


  • After receiving social and women’s programs as her job, she decided to use the beauty of embroidery as a way to earn money for the women
  • Employs over 400 women
  • Doing business in the region is difficult because of lack of bureaucracy, politics, and lack of vision for the city
  • Believes that a woman earning gives her power and opportunity to become an asset rather than a burden to the family
  • Changing gender bias and generational mindset that women can not be self-sufficient
  • Women are not victims- hopes that this new opportunity changes women’s and children’s lives and society
  • Believes women can rebuild the country with a new face and future


  • Home based initiative- all women work from their own homes, and there is a central location in Khandahar for finishing products
  • 22 full time females, 7 full time males (guards, drivers, marketing)
  • Almost all workers are illiterate
  • All measuring and finishing is done at the factory to ensure quality is the same across all products
  • Women are paid on the spot
  • 100% of sales go back into the project
  • Finding employees through word of mouth- only employing Khandahar women, and often families (mothers and daughters)
  • 20% of sales come from the USA

Rhangina was incredibly eloquent and well learned on the status of women in Afghanistan and her hopes for the business. Her vision and mission are long-term, and she hopes that with a growing business she will be able to truly inspire change for women in Afghanistan and gather support for their cause. “While we are affected by war, it is art that serves as a primary tool of that society’s expression”.