17 August 2017

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Tuesday August 8, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Living the American dream is not easy when you are an Afghan.
Ms. Shaesta Waiz, a refugee from Afghanistan, was told that when she informed her family of her wish to be a pilot. "I remember one of the first things I heard was my grandmother saying, 'If you become a pilot, what Afghan man will marry you?'" the 30-year-old told The Straits Times. She was in Singapore for five days, from July 29 to last Wednesday. But she was determined to make the sky the limit, and to do that, she had to smash through glass ceilings. Today she is on a solo trip around the world, and if completed successfully, it would make her the youngest woman to have done so in a single-engine aircraft. Ms Waiz was born in a refugee camp in 1987 after her family fled the fighting that erupted after the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. At three months old, she moved from a refugee camp in Pakistan to Richmond, California in America. More than that, even the women I saw did not look like me. I was this brown girl wanting a dream that seemed to be for only this set group of women. MS SHAESTA WAIZ, on how aviation conferences she attended had only few women, and even they were mostly white. Ms Waiz went to school in an underprivileged district. She had to share textbooks with classmates, and many of her peers eventually dropped out of school. At 18, she boarded her first commercial flight from California to Florida, and that inspired her to be a pilot. As a child, Ms Waiz had been very shy and timid. "You would not believe me if I had told you then that I would do the things I have done now. I was afraid of everything. I would hide when planes flew overhead because I thought they would fall on me."
Ms Waiz was also raised in an Afghan household that followed traditions and customs. So when she told her family of her dream, it was greeted with skepticism. Aviation is an expensive field to pursue, she was told. She was pursuing an American dream, but best if she remembered she was an Afghan woman and that such dreams were not things they pursued. She said: "It was so discouraging. I have never looked at myself as an Afghan or American. I am just a person and I want to fly. I don't care what my background is. Why should that matter?" When her family realised the determination and steely resolve Ms Waiz had to fulfil her dream, they supported her decision. But the only way Ms Waiz could put herself through school was with scholarships and student loans.
"That is one of the reasons that doing this trip around the world - raising funds for Dreams Soar Inc- is so important to me. I am here because of the scholarships that helped me," said Ms Waiz, speaking about the not-for-profit organization Dreams Soar Inc she founded in 2014. She is raising funds for the organization to offer scholarships for students interested in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem), as well as to do outreach in less-privileged countries about these fields of study.
The outreach is especially focused on girls, young women and minorities.
Ms Waiz, who now has bachelor's and master's degrees in aviation, started the trip on May 13 and is set to complete it next month. By then, she would have flown across five continents, made 34 stops in 19 countries, totaling about 48,000km. When she was younger, she would go to aviation conferences and notice that women were under-represented.
"More than that, even the women I saw did not look like me. I was this brown girl wanting a dream that seemed to be for only this set group of women," she added, comparing her Afghan heritage to the mostly white American women she saw. As part of the global trip, Ms Waiz stopped in India and met girls at orphanages. She said they were very intelligent and determined, but limited by the cultures and countries they lived in. "There is a spirit about them that inspires me. These girls, and so many other people I have met along the way on this trip, have shaped my future outlook," she added. Ms Waiz said that while the main purpose of this trip was to raise funds and do outreach, she feels like there is more to be done. From her experience visiting Afghanistan four weeks ago - her first trip back to Kabul in 30 years - Ms Waiz said she would like to build a Stem school for girls there.
She said: "If I could build a place that Afghan girls feel safe to go to and create solutions for Afghanistan, then, maybe one day, this could grow and become global. I just want these girls to see what Stem can do, because most of them have such vague ideas of what it is." In Singapore, Ms Waiz met students from Girls2Pioneers and Changkat Changi Secondary School. Girls2Pioneers is a program by the Singapore Committee for United Nations Women, which aims to change the gender imbalance by encouraging young girls to pursue careers in Stem. The Dreams Soar team also said that Singapore was a desired destination for the maintenance of the Beechcraft Bonanza A36 plane Ms Waiz is using. Ms Waiz's next stop is Bali, Indonesia. She hopes that her story inspires a generation of women and children to fight for their dreams. She said: "Dreams are universal and don't belong to just a certain group of people. So attempt every dream like they belong to you, because they do."
Straitstimes
 

Tuesday August 8, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Foodstuffs and cash have been distributed to 240 returned and needy families in eastern Nangarhar province.
Most of the families recently returned from Pakistan and each families have received 6,700 Afs and foodstuffs in this round.
A source from Refugees and repatriation department of Nangarhar reported BNA, the assistances provided from charity organizations.
Process of helping to destitute and returned families continuing in the province, the source added.
T/M.A.Ansari
 

Monday August 7, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Reporting about Kabul city’s new master plan draft, officials of the ministry of urban development and housing said the new master plan would change the capital’s view.
This is while that Kabul doesn’t look like a capital and the people are facing with many problems.
Kabul lacks basic services, recreational sites, green areas, specific parking areas, canalization system, and many more and its citizens have always been bulking with such problems. Welcoming Kabul city’s new master plan, a resident, Ahmad Nasir told I hope we witness some positive changes by implementation of the draft. Another inhabitant said, “Kabul residents don’t only need recreational sites, but the ministry of urban development and housing should also build residential townships to the needy people and put them to their service with lowest rent.” I am a government employee with low salary, he said, adding I have lived in rental houses for 17 years. “Now, I ask the government to build residential townships to destitute people so they can live there with lowest rent,” he continued.
It is merit to mention that the government of Afghanistan is making effort to solve the people problems as soon as possible. Pointing at solving  the people problems, officials of the ministry for urban development and housing said work on new city master plan has been completed by 30 percent and it is about to be finalized. In a press conference, Nilofar Langar, the spokeswomen of the ministry for urban development and housing told media that implementation of the new master plan would change the view of many areas in Kabul.  All points have been considered in Kabul’s new master plan, she further said. The government is expected to prohibit construction of high-storey buildings in Dar-ul-Aman area and the new constructions would be done in a distance of 2km far from the area, she added.
“Two months ago, the ministry of urban development and housing signed an agreement on construction of ‘Dar-ul-Aman Administrative Association’ with a Lebanese company ‘Khatibul Amali’,” she added. After completion of the project, all government ministries and administrations would be shifted to Darul Aman area, she continued.  She also clarified that Uruzgan is among the provinces with less social and development services.  Furthermore, 63 development projects which include water reservoir building, implementation of master plan and a lab for construction materials would be implemented by the end of this year.
Shukria Kohistani
 

Monday, August 07, 2017

Kabul (BNA) An officer of Mahiper power dam was martyred in a traffic accident in Kabul province yesterday.
A source of Kabul traffic told BNA, a bus was overturn in Mahiper area, in which an officer of Mahiper power dam lost his life and driver of the buss fled the site.
Likewise, in three traffic accidents in Kabul, three people including a girl injured.
The incident occurred in Reshkhor and Dehsabz areas of Kabul city.
The suspects of the event have been detained by police forces.
T. Yarzada
 

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