Islam and Freedom of speech and thought in Afghanistan

Whenever “freedom of speech and thought” in the so-called Muslim world is discussed, it is always seen as a very debatable issue, assuming there is flexibility in Islam that could guarantee freedom of speech and thought. It is nothing but a wishful thinking and some gaps to be filled on a 24 hours media. In reality, all Abrahamic faiths and their teachings are antitheses to the assumption, including Islam.

Therefore, many Muslim apologists in the West and a handful of them in the Muslim world claim the compatibility of Islamic law with international Human Rights laws which is an absurd claim because some Muslim apologists divide the Muslim jurists (فقها) into two categories: Pre-modern Muslim jurists and Post-modern Muslim jurists. The Post-modern jurists (only a few to be found throughout Islamic history) believe that Islamic principles are “neither rigid nor stagnant and can in fact be applied in evolving situations.” In fact, this is nothing but a self-created method of bending Islamic principles as needed.  As a matter of fact, there has been no serious debate on certain vital issues, such as Apostasy and Blasphemy, which makes Islam very incompatible with International Human Rights. Continue reading

MULTI-SECTORIAL RESPONSE TO HIV/AIDS IN AFGHANISTAN

In Afghanistan where HIV/AIDs is not a major health problem and the number of infected people is one of the lowest in the world, there is a multi-sectorial approach towards stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS. Under the leadership and coordination of National AIDS Control Program which was established by the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan many local and international organisations work together to tackle this issue. In addition, there is a huge amount of financial and technical support from International Organisations such as the World Health Organisation, World Bank, Global Fund and John Hopkins University.

Afghanistan is a low level HIV prevalence country and according to World Bank only 478 cases have been reported. However, UNAIDS and WHO estimates show that the number of people living with HIV could be around 2000. As of 2008 prevalence in the general population is below 0.05%.

To understand the nature of its spread we must first understand the risk factors associated with the spread of HIV and we must know the most-at-risk people in the country. Continue reading

The Afghan Health System

“The Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan presented its newly revised Basic Package of Health Services (BPHS) in 2005. Since the creation of BPHS in 2003, the MoPH has seen many positives changes in the health system. Most notable has been the expansion of access to BPHS service to 77% of the population.”  This is what the Ministry of Public Health of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan claims.

It is true that there has been positive changes in the health system, which MoPH defines as “many” however, I am not sure if “only one female doctor in a whole province” is many or nothing at all. It has been more than five years since the BPHS is revised and still the most simple medical cases are referred to neighbor countries.

The Afghan Health System sucks be it the public or private sector, and in comparison the private sector sucks the most. Millions of dollars are spent yearly on health tourism to India, Pakistan and Tajikistan and even Iran. And this costs our economy a huge amount. This is a big deal for a country which relies on foreign aid and has no economy of its own (as of now).

This is a very brief introduction to the Afghan health system, I will write about different issues in the mentioned system in the coming future..

 

John McCain Endorses OLPC

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An event was organized in Washington, D.C. by OLPC. Among the guests were Senator John McCain, Afghan ambassador to the U.S and Pakistani ambassador to the U.S.

McCain said opening the flow of information and knowledge into these countries through the deployment of XO laptops would be a positive step towards stabilization. He acknowledged knowing that OLPC has had problems, but said that “this little device” is already making a big difference.

In Afghanistan 2500 laptops are deployed successfully and 2500 are on the way to be deployed. ‘Afghanistan needs 3,000,000 laptops to cover all the schools’  says the Minister of Education Mr. Farooq Wardak.  The approximate cost of these laptops (including the cost of deployment) are 780 million USD, and it is said that the United States allocated a budget of 173 billion USD for the year 2009 for the war in Afghanistan.

Looking at the facts; I don’t think it is a difficult decision for the U.S. Government to take, I mean it is the best way to help Afghan education. It is simple, reasonable and very effective.

read more:

John McCain endorses OLPC to fight insurgencies
Haqqani urges US not to walk away from region again
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has commissioned impact evaluation …….

One Laptop Per Child Afghanistan

XO laptops in a classAfter successful deployment of 2500 laptops in 6 schools in Kabul, Herat and Jalalabad OLPC Afghanistan team is working hard to make more education, economic development and Health information content for the XO laptops. Currently the team has successfully developed health activity and economic development activity in three languages (Dari, Pashto and English). The OLPC team and other organizations supporting this project they think it was a big success, however Alanna Shaikh thinks the OLPC dream is over. In her post she says “The laptop, they promised, was the new pencil. It was going to revolutionize education in the developing world. It didn’t. The dream is over”.

Is the dream really over?

The OLPC team here thinks their hard work was not for nothing and they believe this project will be a milestone in Afghanistan’s history.

You can watch an informative video about OLPC Afghanistan here.