Thursday, May 13, 2010

Through The Garden Gate To Freedom

While Parwani villages remain profoundly conservative places, there is simply no comparison with "the Taliban time." In those days, the women of Parwan were hiding in the cellars.

The Taliban, covetous of Parwan's rich farmlands and orchards, set about to carve up the land and dole it out among their own crowd. They roared across Parwan in heavily-armed armadas of Toyota SUVs, and they drove off the men, butchering the brave ones who stood and fought. The Parwani women would come out at night to kill the Taliban.

"The Taliban burned our lands and tried to force people to move to Jalalabad," Mah Jan recalled. "The men escaped. When the Taliban came with guns, the women would come out to beat them to death with their bare hands."

That's from my latest essay in the series on Afghanistan's unsung heroes.

Meanwhile, I'll be in Halifax this Sunday evening at the Maritime Conservatory for this public forum on the question, What Should Canada Do In Afghanistan Post-2011? I'll be joining Najia Haneefi, founder of the Afghan Women's Political Participation Committee; Lauryn Oates, human rights activist, leading voice in Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan and co-founder of the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee; and Andrew Beckett, a medical officer with the Canadian Armed Forces.

Then, this coming Monday evening Lauryn and I will be speaking at another public forum on the same subject in Montreal, at the Atwater Library in Westmount, with Ershad Ahmadi, deputy chief of the Afghanistan Mission to Canada, and Stephen Saideman, Canada Research Chair in International Security and Ethnic Conflict at McGill University.

From there it's off to Winnipeg with Lauryn and Ershad, where we'll be joining a panel discussion about Canada in Afghanistan at the University of Winnipeg, Tuesday evening, May 18, with Anne Longston, a former technical adviser to Afghanistan's education minister, and Lasha Tchantouridze, a research associate in the Centre for Defence and Security Studies and adjunct professor in the faculty of graduate studies at the University of Manitoba.

On Thursday evening, May 20, in Regina, Lauryn, Najia Haneefi and I will be joined by His Excellency Jawed Ludin, Afghanistan's ambassador to Canada, at a panel discussion at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Theatre. I'll be looking forward to mixing it up in Regina, let me tell you.

Each event is free, but seating is limited, so you might want to RSVP the Canada Afghanistan Solidarity Committee ( to hold a place for yourself.


Blogger kellie said...

A mighty effort! But will there be video?

1:57 PM  
Blogger Terry Glavin said...

Video - don't know.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:01 AM  

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