NWI Insights - Canadians organize the donation of thousands of books to the University of Kabul, Afghanistan
Last week on NWI, a report by the CBC relayed the mission of a group of Canadian Afghans who began a project last year to collect books for the University of Kabul and who have now accumulated many thousands of texts ready to send to Afghanistan. Once one of the finest institutes of higher learning in the region, the University of Kabul's library lost the majority of its books as a consequence of decades of war and through the harsh regime of the Taliban, explains the report.
Last year the group began collecting books for the library as a way to help the Afghan people rediscover their choices. After years of war, and then under the strict laws of the ruling Taliban, many books were completely destroyed as they were seen to violate Muslim morality, explains the report. Such books were often burnt and used as firewood. The library's resources depleted from some 200,000 books to an estimated 500.
The project took off when the group's leader told his employer of the situation at the University of Kabul. The professor at the University of Alberta responded positively and orchestrated donations of volumes of surplus materials and extras to the cause. Now there are many thousands of books ready to be shipped to Afghanistan but there lies the next problem, finding a way to finance the shipping of the books.
So far government agencies have been approached but with no luck. However a solution to the movement of the books may have been found through Sima Samar, Director of Human Rights Commission in Afghanistan, asserts the report.
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