Friday, July 11, 2008

A Day In The Life of Tylere Couture: Soldier, Activist, And Fellow CASC Member

I was up until about 1 a.m. the night before, chatting with my wife and daughter over one of the two webcams our camp provides, and was hoping to relax for a little longer this morning, but it wasn’t meant to be.

I threw on my boots and headed to his office. An officer from another Canadian unit in the area was visiting the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (KPRT) and had some questions about a project I had initiated.

About a month after arriving on the ground, it became clear to me that Kandahar University’s greatest need was a perimeter security wall. Although there were many other potential projects, a common theme I ran into was that without the security or even more significant, the perception of security that a wall would provide, few other projects would get off the ground.

If they did, they would likely be wasted, just as the two recently-built female dormitories sit empty.

As the chancellor so passionately put it, the university should be a centre of progressive thought, but what women in their right mind would make themselves a target within the view of the Taliban’s prying eyes?

That's Tylere on the top right of this post. More about Tylere and the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee here. More about Kandahar University and Tylere's project in this Globe and Mail article, where KU's faculty head Roshaan Wolusmal observes: “It would be a great achievement if a Canadian university would partner with us.”

Is it possible that there isn't a single post-secondary institution in this country that could be arsed to show some solidarity with Kandahar University? Where are all our "progressive" campus activists, student unions, faculty unions, and national university associations?


Blogger L said...

Why, they're working hard to cast out the Jews, that's where Canadian academe is, Terry. It is more crucial to *subtract* from the sum of human knowledge by shunning Israeli/ Zionist/ Occupier scholars, ya know, than it is to *add* to it by rebuilding the ivory towers of shattered nations.

Not that you'd necessarily want Canadian anthropologists, sociologists, and paid campus literati walking an armed perimeter against the forces of ignorance, anyway. We're talking about a class of people whose loyalty is as doubtful as their competence:

Gimme Capt. Couture instead, and 5000 more scholar-warriors like him. (Isn't the Learned Sword an original archetype of Islam, btw?) And a wall, a Great Wall, the symbolism be damned, to defend free inquiry in the midst of barbarism.

Is Kandahar U lacking a motto, incidentally? Could do worse than *desiderantes meliorem patriam*...

11:28 PM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Count me in for another brick in the wall.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Kurt Langmann said...

Apologies, my last post sounded glib. I meant to say education is the best way to undo tyrants. In '73 a young Iranian I met in Tehran offered me all the chai I could drink if I would debate Sartre with him, preferably in French (no, he wasn't afraid of the Shah's secret police, he wanted the francais practice). To my shame I had to turn him down, as my French is pathetic. To this day, I have a LOT of respect for the Parsi and other people of Iran and Afghanistan. So, I support any educational opportunities for these people.

1:12 AM  

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