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PattyaMainer
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Quote PattyaMainer Replybullet Posted: 14 November 2008 at 5:29am
Originally posted by Whisper

These men are the very epitome of evil.  I pray the girls will recover and be well, but they will obviously be scarred.  Very sad and troubling.
 
I like you Patty, BUT please you will have the right of talking about any men, good or evil, ONLY when your evil men have left our lands. Period
 
Their presence in our lands has been a tool of provocation. Not that I expect you to understand it, but I am declaring it in genaral idiotic American public interest.
 
I like you too, Sasha, but don't try to tell me what I may say or when I may say it.  Your bashing of anything and everything American interfers with good sense, and makes for only more hatred.  Something I would love to see disappear.  Angela brought the subject of these girls to light.  Why do you not correct her for revealing it in the first place?  I don't take orders from you, Sasha.  If the moderators tell me I cannot express my opinion then I will comply.  You are allowed great leniency on this board because of who you are, I would never (for example) get away with calling the public interest in Afghanistan "idiotic"......But then I would not insult any country as a whole by doing so in the first place.
"FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE, NO EXPLANATION IS POSSIBLE. FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE, NO EXPLANATION IS NECESSARY."
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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 14 November 2008 at 7:47am
Deunde, very good post! Clap
 
 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 15 November 2008 at 2:21pm
Duende,

Thank you for your post.  You pointed out exactly what I was trying to say and far more elegantly.  In western society, (which I do NOT consider perfect), I am given some worth even if I'm "barren."  However, in other areas where a woman is thought of on a local basis as the domestic anchor and simply the mother of the next generation, I become labeled and worthless.

My dream for the computers is not one that can be done under the current conditions but it is actually with cultural ideas in mind.

There are still many men in Afghanistan who do not like the idea of their wives and daughters traveling and working without their Mahrams.  Giving women and assess to income without them having to travel or interact outside of their social boundaries would help them.

I want to prevent situations where women are reduced to begging when war and famine ravage a country.  In a society that expects women to refrain from unnecessary contact with no related men, the internet gives her access to medical information, communities of Muslimahs or other women and a source of income.

Otherwise, this is what happens.

Afghan girl begs for bread, prays for help


Little Banafsha wakes up in her small mud home, has a cup of tea and braces herself for the day ahead.

She is just 11 years old but she is the breadwinner for her family. Literally. Without the bread that she begs from strangers, she, her sisters, baby brothers and mom would all go hungry.

Her father is a drug addict, focused only on his next high, her mom cares for the little ones and heavy responsibility falls on Banafsha's young shoulders.

Every day she heads far from her home, trekking up and down steep hills to the wealthier parts of the Afghan capital where she can but hope richer people will take pity on her.

She is not bitter, explaining: "My two younger sisters also work. They beg for bread and sell gum -- there's no choice."

When she gets to the Wazir Akbar Khan district, a hangout of diplomats and aid workers, she unwraps her folded rice sack.

"Sir, do you have some bread?"

Banafsha clutches the bag tight as she walks from building to building, eyeing who will help and who will not.

"Sir, do you have some bread?" she asks again.

This is her recitation for the next six hours, as she darts around in her worn blue plastic sandals, knowing that danger could be there at any turn, even in this more affluent neighborhood.

"A few days ago, some girls were kidnapped around here and many people have gone missing. The girls' mother still comes around here looking for them but they still haven't been found," Banafsha says.

This time of the year the sun begins to set at 4:30 p.m. in Kabul. But Banafsha continues to roam the dark streets. The 6 o'clock rush hour is her peak business time.

Her eyes well up with tears, but she doesn't allow them to fall, quickly wiping them away and biting her thumb like the vulnerable child that she is.

She prays everyday, "I say 'God take me out of this poverty and have my father go work so I can go to school.' "

She dreams of being a teacher and for three hours a day she gets to be a little girl with big dreams.

On her way to beg, Banafsha stops off at a center run by an Afghan nongovernmental organization called Aschiana -- the name means "nest" in Dari -- for a little education, a little recreation and a glimmer of hope.

The first center opened in 1995 for 100 children. By June 2008, Aschiana had eight centers catering to 7,600 children in the capital city of Kabul alone.

The group thought it had secured a major source of funding in March this year, but the money never arrived. Four centers had to be closed in June, sending 4,000 children back to the streets without their three-hour reprieve.

Inside, Banafsha and the other children get to laugh. In every room there is a sense of serenity, whether the children are practicing brush strokes for calligraphy, tumbling around in judo or gliding their little fingers over the harmounia, a type of piano used in music class.

For now, the center is surviving on small, private donations, but it is not enough. Aschiana stopped providing food for the children at three of the remaining centers because they couldn't afford it.

Without that relief, even more children head back to the streets to beg for the smallest morsels to fill their empty stomachs.

On a good day, Banafsha will trek back across the steep hills to the home she helped her mother build with some bread in her bag and maybe 50 cents.

At home, the work continues. As the eldest sister she tends to her siblings. Her mother relies on her help; her father is only focused on his next high.

Finally, she will sleep. But tomorrow, Banafsha will walk down into the crowded city streets again, among the estimated 60,000 other street kids in Kabul, dreaming of a better life.
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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 15 November 2008 at 11:56pm
Angela: " In western society, (which I do NOT consider perfect), I am given some worth even if I'm "barren."

Exactly, that's what I was getting at in reply to Sasha's elevation of woman as the Supreme Breeder!

We in the West know there is so much more to women, because we have had the circumstances (political and social stability, access to ideas and education,) we've been allowed to discuss and argue with men etc, etc, all of this led us down the path to the place women have attained generally in societies of developed countries such as the US and Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and most of the ex-soviet territories.

As you say, of course, this doesn't mean we are in a perfect place, or that all women are now blissfully happy! Each indiviual woman's circumstances are different, but it is vital that each and every one have access to all of these things, even if, at the end of the day, all they wish is to be a stay-at-home mom. (Now I know that's a controversial subject, giving rise to something called "the Mommie Wars"- the paradox of the working woman versus the stay-at-home mom.)

Quote: "I want to prevent situations where women are reduced to begging when war and famine ravage a country."

I support you in that.

I can't read the rest of your post, as I find these things quite simply unbearable. And it pains me deeply that there seems to be so little I can do to change the criminal policies and choices made by all the parties involved in maintaining such circumstances. I also find too many of these articles simply smack of propaganda, ultimately ensuring a particular image and assumption is held by those of us who have never had to deal with such extremes, and who have little hope of ever visiting Afghanistan, or Somalia, Iraq or even Palestine. Once this image is fixed, it leads to stereotyping and makes us easy victims of manipulation and false expectations.
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Angela
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Quote Angela Replybullet Posted: 19 November 2008 at 4:28am
Duende,

I can understand not being able to read it.  I once read an article about a forced abortion of a woman in China who did not get the proper permit to have her child.  The local authorities killed the baby at 8 months to term and left her infertile.  I promptly went to the bathroom and threw up at the inhumanity and cried for an hour.

What changed the US was World War II.  My Aunt was a Rosie Rivoter and many of my grandmother's generation had to step out of the house while our men were fighting the Nazis and the Japanese.  When the men came home, most women went back home and did their patriotic duty and had more children.  (Hence the Baby Boomers)  But, a number of them were empowered by having their own money and not having to depend on a situation that was not always dependable.  These women just wanted some independence. 

I blame women's current troubles in the US on Feminists.  I really do.  They were so short sighted on a number of topics.  They thought bra burning would free us.  Instead of being slaves to the house, we are now slaves to sex and culture.   Living expectations also changed.

Everyone has to have 2 cars, a big house, a pool, new TV, expensive toys.  There kids have to be in soccer, ballet, karate, music lessons and no one sits down and has dinner together anymore.

I don't believe that our way is the best way.  Nor do I believe that what some others have is best either.  There was a woman on TV who builds schools in Africa.  She felt Oprah's school was obscene.  She could have been 200 schools all over Africa for 1000s of children for the price Oprah paid for one school for a handful of girls.

I do agree with Whisper and you that bringing education to an area should be done with culture and need in mind.  Right now, we just need schools that are safe for the boys and girls.   If they can get a handle on the thugs and drug dealers....
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 19 November 2008 at 4:57am
I also think that the 60s had a profound affect on people. First was TV. This was the time of Vietnam. And it was the time where people, average Americans saw the "dirtiness" and immortality of most wars. People, th young were angry. And many were conscripted to go fight a phantom enemy. I think it had a profound affect on people.
 
People blame things on the "feminists,"  who were these people?? We glorify the women who worked in the factories in WWII who did not wantto go back to being Suzy home-maker. Is she to blame? Who are the feminists? People use that term as if a few academics at universities were the causes in the changes in the society. I just don't buy it.
 
Women went out more and more into the labor force, by choice or not (economics.) There was far more mixing in society. Where do most affairs take place.. the work place.
 
We view it as a few college kids having a party as the cause for these profound changes and I just don't but it. TV changed the world.  Far more than anything else did.
 
I read an interesting book about the Lies they Taughht in school and one was about Vietnam. And you know the people who were the most supportive, up until the end, were the well to do people. Those living in the two car houses etc. Those of the upper economic class. They were the least negatively affected by the war. And those who benefitted from the status quo.
 
And remember, that growing up, in a Christian tradition-Cathloic one, you read how Eve "tempted" Adam. Eve was at fault, how Women could not divorce. etc. etc. I rejected this teaching. I did not like its anti-woman stance. Still do not. You leave this as a young person and where can you go? At the time never heard about Islam... so you head out into the main, big world. I wil largue that for other women I know, they left for these, and other reasons as well. And questioned the fundamentals of Christianity. Where did one go?? 
 
 
We also like to talk about everything.. and in a sense, we talk to "end the shame" but it also can have the negative affect of making things more acceptable. So behaviors then seem normal.  For instance. Young girl screws up, gets pregnant. Used to be you hid it,  gave baby away etc. Well people started to talk about it so she does not "feel bad." Wel lthen it became acceptable to be unwed and pregnant. Growing up that was not the case for me, even in the early 80s. But TV changed everything.
 
And actually, bras can be quite torturous, would you not agree?? lol
 
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote PattyaMainer Replybullet Posted: 19 November 2008 at 6:48am
Originally posted by Hayfa

I also think that the 60s had a profound affect on people. First was TV. This was the time of Vietnam. And it was the time where people, average Americans saw the "dirtiness" and immortality of most wars. People, th young were angry. And many were conscripted to go fight a phantom enemy. I think it had a profound affect on people.
 
People blame things on the "feminists,"  who were these people?? We glorify the women who worked in the factories in WWII who did not wantto go back to being Suzy home-maker. Is she to blame? Who are the feminists? People use that term as if a few academics at universities were the causes in the changes in the society. I just don't buy it.
 
Women went out more and more into the labor force, by choice or not (economics.) There was far more mixing in society. Where do most affairs take place.. the work place.
 
We view it as a few college kids having a party as the cause for these profound changes and I just don't but it. TV changed the world.  Far more than anything else did.
 
I read an interesting book about the Lies they Taughht in school and one was about Vietnam. And you know the people who were the most supportive, up until the end, were the well to do people. Those living in the two car houses etc. Those of the upper economic class. They were the least negatively affected by the war. And those who benefitted from the status quo.
 
And remember, that growing up, in a Christian tradition-Cathloic one, you read how Eve "tempted" Adam. Eve was at fault, how Women could not divorce. etc. etc. I rejected this teaching. I did not like its anti-woman stance. Still do not. You leave this as a young person and where can you go? At the time never heard about Islam... so you head out into the main, big world. I wil largue that for other women I know, they left for these, and other reasons as well. And questioned the fundamentals of Christianity. Where did one go?? 
 
 
We also like to talk about everything.. and in a sense, we talk to "end the shame" but it also can have the negative affect of making things more acceptable. So behaviors then seem normal.  For instance. Young girl screws up, gets pregnant. Used to be you hid it,  gave baby away etc. Well people started to talk about it so she does not "feel bad." Wel lthen it became acceptable to be unwed and pregnant. Growing up that was not the case for me, even in the early 80s. But TV changed everything.
 
And actually, bras can be quite torturous, would you not agree?? lol
 
 
I agree, Hayfa.  TV, the introduction of hard rock/heavy metal music, and Hollywood filth were the great contributors to the loss of high moral standards in the 60s.  I fell victim to that myself (sad to say.)  But only by the grace of a loving God did I find my way "home."  And on the optimistic side, many others have returned to decency too, but the trappings of materialism, sex, and immoral behavior are thrown daily into the faces of our young people today.   I feel very badly for them, and try to ensure that my four grandchildren are exposed to more healthy ventures, such as sports, reading great books, the importance of God and Church in their lives, and even exposure to one of my favorite interests, classical music. They do enjoy all these things and two of my grandchildren (one graduates this year) have had nothing but straight A's since kindergarten. Okay, I know I am a bragging grandmother.  My point is it's up to this generation to instill constantly the virtures which we may have rejected in our younger years.  I refuse to see any Hollywood movie lower than GP, never read gossip mags, rarely watch TV except for documentaries and the news.  There is MUCH we can do to turn these precious young people around.  They are looking to us to set limits and to discipline them.  They are so lost!  It is our responsibility to make every effort to be consistant in our DAILY efforts to attempt to help them behave in a manner acceptable to God.   (I'm done rambling for now.)
 
Peace,
Patty


Edited by PattyaMainer - 19 November 2008 at 6:49am
"FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE, NO EXPLANATION IS POSSIBLE. FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE, NO EXPLANATION IS NECESSARY."
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Quote Duende Replybullet Posted: 19 November 2008 at 7:41am
Angela:
"I blame women's current troubles in the US on Feminists. I really do. They were so short sighted on a number of topics. They thought bra burning would free us. Instead of being slaves to the house, we are now slaves to sex and culture.   Living expectations also changed."

Agreed.

Hayfa, I don't think Angela is singling out a particularly identifiable group, I don't know, was there ever an 'official' Feminist movement with its own offices, letter heads and spokeswoman? There is of course a complete list of books relating to the 'feminist movement, but I don't even think they had a 'mission statement' or was there also a 'feminist manifesto'? One of the supposed 'Doyennes' (let's call her a Queen)of the movement wrote recently how absolutely sinfull it is for women with brains, accumen, degrees or what have you to opt out of the rat race and simply stay at home and become mothers. As far as she is concerned it is a disservice to society, for a woman not to fulfill her working worth. Bah!

Yes, the feminist movement has produced a hotch potch of ideas and mixed results. Another confusing aspect of it is the inclusion of lesbianism as some kind of inalianable right, alongside the job as CEO, or fire'man' and soldier (soldierette?).

Has anybody watched the series "The Century of Self" ? It shows you how the tools of TV, and advertising generally have been used to brain wash the masses (i.e you and me). It's worth Googling until you find a collection, some of it is probably still up on Youtube. It also explains how the burning bra incident was invented, actually the result of some passing comment, not a conscious act. Yet, there it is, burned into our collective subconscious as something concrete and far reaching....

Hayfa: "And actually, bras can be quite torturous, would you not agree?? lol"

Absolutely! My mother once saw a report telling of the African women who received some clothes packages from the West: they wore the bras on the outside of their sweaters and tops. Wasn't it Howard Hughes who famously designed the 'cantilever' bra, using the same engineering as a bridge? I wonder what he was thinking .. ..

Patty, you are right about giving youth the best tools for a morally and ethically good upbringing. The things we like to complain about, about the youth of today, are timeless: I think all parents and grand parents throughout the ages have despaired at some point or another of the behaviour and choices of their succesors. Isn't it a hopefull sign, and a sign of the basic goodness of humans generally, that we've managed to get this far without descending into some variation on hell? (or is that a questionable conclusion?)
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