Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Kite Runner: Frontloading


(due as a comment to this post on syllabus date; worth 2 quiz grades; 0-+ holistic scale)

First, check this out!

Part A: Click here to visit the CIA's World Fact Book. Peruse the site and respond to the following questions:

1. What are the top eight agricultural products? What product is #1? 
2. What is the life expectancy rate? What is the infant mortality rate? What deeper issues are typically reflected in these statistics?
3. How many kilometers of coastline does Afghanistan possess? How might this number have contributed to the country's history?
4. Identify the transnational issues that Afghanistan faces. 
5. Construct a thesis statement that encapsulates the essence of the Afghan nation (both its assets and its challenges). 


Part BClick her to visit The Boston Globe's "The Big Picture: Afghanistan". View each photograph (use your judgement for the objectionable pieces) and read the corresponding footnotes. Choose the most powerful image to prompt a piece of short fiction. Write a descriptive passage that embodies the "show vs. tell" technique.
Part CArticle: "Hazaras: Afghanistan's Outsiders" (9 pages). Produce a thesis statement that encapsulates the author's message and illuminates the deeper meaning of the text.
Part DClick here to view the Frontline Program: "The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan". Take notes and prepare to participate in a Discussion Facilitation that will include this topic.

Extra Credit: A quiz grade of 100 will be awarded for comprehensive notes for the Frontline Program: "The War Briefing"



30 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Seth Killingbeck said...

1. Opium
2. Fruits and Nuts
3. Wool
4. Cotton
5. Wheat
6. Silk
7. Livestock
8. Fertilizer

Opium is the Number one export.
The Male life expectancy of Afghanistan is 48.5 years and female is 51.05 years.
The infant mortality rates of Afghanistan chart to 129.51 deaths for every 1,000 births of males and 113.36 deaths per 1,000 live births of females.
What is reflected in these statistics are the arid conditions of Afghanistan paired with the under developed societal structure its populace dwells in. Food shortages, violence and poor growing weather are primary causes for these results.
Afghanistan has no coastline. This could have contributed to a lake of trade networking over the years which has stagnated the development of Afghan society.
Afghanistan is enduring a reformation of religion and politics as it is currently moving into a more modern era. Traditional Muslims and reforming Afghans who desire democracy are fighting amongst themselves to see to it they have their beliefs protected.
Shifting from an era of religious conflict to one of violent reformation, Afghanistan is slowly changing its views on religion, society, and the world in order to better its people.

Image 4:
The young men of Afghanistan plowed their way onward mounted on bikes past bitter motorists and desolate pedestrians through the shroud of morning dust from the typical winds sweeping over the plains. The sun was nothing more than a dim lantern in the fog of confusion that surrounded the Afghani men on their way into Kabul. Over the hot and spiteful pavement their wheels toiled to their destination hoping for an end. The men felt beads of sweat run down their faces and fall to their demises on the hot tar below. It seemed that it was just another day of vast confusion for these men in a confused and misunderstood world.
In shifting through a bloody history to modern day in “Hazaras: Afganistan’s Outsiders” Phil Zabriske uses captivating imagery, bloody examples and cultural descriptions to portray how Afghanistan came to be today.

Anonymous said...

A. Part A
1. Opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, and lambskins. Opium is number one.
2. The life expectancy is 49.72 years. The infant mortality rate is 121.63 deaths/ 1000 births. People do not live very long and more babies than the usual percentage are dying at birth which means Afghanistan is a difficult country to live in.
3. Afghanistan is landlocked which means there is no coastline. It is surrounded by other countries which could mean they travel through Afghanistan. This could cause problems and conflict within the country.
4. Boundaries are always being negotiated and changed. There are also a lot of refugees in Afghanistan. Another issue is the amount of opium being produced. This is due to the Taliban’s need for illicit drugs and opium is a crucial ingredient.
5. Battling factors like the Taliban, opium production, and low life expectancy Afghanistan’s challenges outweigh its assets which can make life difficult in a struggling nation.
B. I picked photo 37 with the two young Afghan girls listening to radios with big smiles on their faces. While looking at this picture it shows that laughter is still alive in Afghanistan although a lot of awful things are occurring.
C. Surviving a past plagued with misfortune, the Hazara people crept out of the Taliban’s hell and created a new hope of safety, wealth, and popularity among Afghanistan.

Amanda Ward

Moonwaves182 said...

Matt L
Part 1 of 2

A. CIA World Factbook

1. The top 8 agricultural products of Afghanistan are opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins.
2. The life expectancy rate in Afghanistan is approximately 50 years. The infant mortality rate is 121 deaths to every 1000 live births. Some deeper issues reflected by these statistics are the high risks of rabies, malaria, hepatitis, and typhoid fever. There is also a profound proportion of underweight children – nearly 31%.
3. Afghanistan is completely landlocked – it has no coastlines. As noted by Hosseini in A Thousand Splendid Suns, Afghanistan’s position (especially Kabul) has made it a strategic location for many violent movements (such as the Mongols Empire). The lack of access to open waters would also have prevented Afghanistan from trading and exploring, stunting their growth as a nation.
4. Most of Afghanistan’s transnational issues revolve around its border and control of resources such as water and opiates.
5. Mr. Kefor, you WOULD ask us to write a thesis about a country. If I must…
Landlocked with its contentious Middle Eastern neighbors, Afghanistan faces the challenges of sufficient health care, extending trade and building infrastructure in the face of international progress that goes against traditional Afghan life.
B. Short Fiction
#42 | Lance Cpl. Gray Smith, a rifleman with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, mans a security post from the roof of the Nawa District Governor's Center Sept. 10, 2010, the first day of Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan. Smith is from Phoenix, Oregon. (Sgt. Mark Fayloga/U.S. Marine Corps) #
Echoes. Nothing but echoes. They fall through my mind like leaves in autumn, only more violently. But just as senselessly.
The blue of the night sky is breathtaking. Not that I had any breath left. I strained, but all breathed was ash and smoke. And the stars wobbled.
I just want to write a letter home. I never did do that before. Maybe if my hands still work… Or Fayloga can write it for me. He’s the artist, the one with the soul. Maybe he can send them a picture, too.
So much to say. Bombs. Bullets. Blood. Or maybe there isn’t. There’s just the smoke and the ash and the wobbly stars. That’s a lot happier than all that stuff…
The sky is getting black again, like someone is sucking the last of the light out of the sky. And it feels like I’m still falling, even though I’m already on the ground. Little Lance will have to write home later…

Moonwaves182 said...

Matt L
Part 2 of 2
C. Hazaras: Afghanistan’s Outsiders

Outlining the history of the Hazaras’ discrimination before, during, and after Taliban reign, Phil Zabriskie utilizes narrative journalism and extensive knowledge of Afghan history to illuminate the harsh situation faced by the Hazaras and show how they represent not only Afghanistan as it is today, but also as it may be in the future.

Kayla Lantos said...

1. Agricultural products: opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskin, and lambskin. The number one is opium.
2. The life expectancy is 49.72 years and there are 121.63 deaths for every 1000 births. This reflects a much deeper issue of poverty and illness.
3. There is no coastline; Afghanistan is landlocked. This has caused more opportunity for conflict and border disputes.
4. Some transnational issues include border and river disputes with Iran and Pakistan. Many are also concerned with the quantity of opium being produced in Afghanistan, particularly Russia. Most of the heroin is Europe and Eurasia comes from Afghan opium.
5. Afghanistan is an impoverished, unstable nation that is slowly recovering from years of internal and external conflict and an economy that depends on illicit opium production.

Picture short story
I did not ask Allah for shrapnel wounds. I asked for a ball to play with my friends. I asked for a bicycle, so I could ride to school. I asked for my baby sister to survive. I asked for my belly to for once be full. Or for my parents to smile the way they did in their wedding picture. My last mistake was asking to turn ten, but I stepped on the wrong piece of ground, and now I lay here bleeding, and fear I may soon be dead.

Thesis Statement
Depicting the plight of Afghanistan’s Hazara people in “Hazaras: Afghanistan's Outsiders,” Phil Zabriskie
draws attention to unprovoked executions, torched villages, and inescapable poverty faced by this ethnic group that is only just beginning to rise above centuries of ridicule and inferiority.

Jillian Allard said...

Part A
1. The top eight agricultural products of Afghanistan are opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins and lambskins. Although it is not explicitly stated, I am assuming the number one export is opium because it is listed first.
2. The life expectancy rate is 49.72 years old. The infant mortality rate is 121.63 deaths per 1,000 live births; the life expectancy rate is low while the infant mortality rate is the highest in the world. Both these statistics reflect the generally poor conditions in the nation.
3. Afghanistan is a completely landlocked nation with 0 km of coastline. This might have contributed to the nation by limiting transportation and thus the exchange of information or goods. This might have hindered industrial development and integration as the nation was essentially isolated.
4. Afghanistan has had several issues relating to national boundaries with Pakistan and Iran in recent years. Also, Afghanistan produces opium, distributing the drug to Europe and Eurasia; Russia is particularly concerned with the smuggling of drugs in the area. Finally, there are a large number of refugees displaced by drought and instability within the nation.
5. Shifting from a unified nation to a country consumed by internal woes, Afghanistan is rapidly recovering from its previous state of turmoil by promoting the development of agricultural industries but, has to establish a stable government devoid of violent, radical factions before reaching its full potential.

Part B
Corporal Patris stood wearily in the blistering heat on a parched field watching an all too familiar scene play out in front of him. Minutes before, he and his comrades, the other members of Jump Platoon, had detonated an improvised explosive device in the obscure city of Pinjadoo, Afghanistan. Fortunately no one was injured, soldier or civilian. Curious local boys had abandoned their mundane sheep herding duties to watch the soldiers work, inching cautiously forward. These three children were undoubtedly dangerous; Corporal Patris did not think they were weapon wielding Taliban members but, rather inquisitive kids that could accidentally set off more hidden IED’s in the vicinity. The platoon interpreter rushed forward to communicate the potential danger to the young Afghanis while his fellow Marines gathered in a loose formation around them.

Part C
Transitioning from overwhelmingly oppressive conditions to an optimistic struggle for human rights in Afghanistan, the Hazaras are utilizing educational opportunities, political changes and expanding job markets to establish equality throughout the nation.

Part D
Evaluated through DF participation

Kara said...

Part A: Peruse the site and respond to the following questions:

1. What are the top eight agricultural products? What product is #1?
opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins
The #1 product is presumably opium, since it is listed first on this list and with exports.

2. What is the life expectancy rate? What is the infant mortality rate? What deeper issues are typically reflected in these statistics?
The life expectancy rate for both genders, averaged, is 49.72. The infant mortality rate is 121.63 deaths per 1,000 live births, the highest rate in the world. The low life expectancy, combined with the shockingly high infant mortality rate, suggests that Afghanistan has poor healthcare.

3. How many kilometers of coastline does Afghanistan possess? How might this number have contributed to the country's history?
Afghanistan is a landlocked country, and this would likely limit their exploration by sea, forcing them to explore only by land.

4. Identify the transnational issues that Afghanistan faces.
Afghanistan has an extremely high production of opium, and therefore is involved in drug trade. It also has international and military disputes with Pakistan, Iran, and Russia, due to border disputes and its drug production.

5. Construct a thesis statement that encapsulates the essence of the Afghan nation (both its assets and its challenges).
Though Afghanistan is an agriculturally productive nation, it faces abundant challenges, such as its shockingly high infant mortality rate, its fairly low life expectancy, and its export of opium.

*Part B: Click her to visit The Boston Globe's "The Big Picture: Afghanistan". View each photograph (use your judgement for the objectionable pieces) and read the corresponding footnotes. Choose the most powerful image to prompt a piece of short fiction. Write a descriptive passage that embodies the "show vs. tell" technique.

IMG 26:
The fact that children, that this little girl, can be injured in a war is sickening. There’s just nothing else I can say.



Part C:
Though the Hazaras face numerous challenges today, such as discrimination, harsh climate, and lack of available education, Zabriskie’s article shows that things have become better for the Afghani ethnic group.

Anonymous said...

Ash. C.
1.Opium is the number one agricultural product and the other seven are: wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, and lambskins.

2.The life expectancy rate for the total population is 49.72 years, with the population growth rate at 2.22%. The infant mortality rate is 121.63 deaths/1,000 live births. The deeper issue in this is that lots of babies are surviving to only die young to a harsh environment filled with war. Also, with births mothers die from hemorrhaging and babies also die because of underdeveloped medical practices and assistance.

3.Afghanistan is landlocked with 0 km of coastline. It was used as a buffer between Russia and Britain. It is physically connected and central among many opinionated and hostile countries, and because of this it is susceptible to war.

4.Afghanistan has many ethnicities, consisting of: Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4%, Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%, other 4%. All of these groups came from different nations with their own culture, language, religions to Afghanistan where they now have problems with one another.

5.Afghanistan has lots to give to the world with its crops, but because of its poor, landlocked geography and original purpose of being a buffer zone it has become prone to conflict as different ethnicities inhabit and flow through the country.

B. Image 44. There was a rock, then another and another. My feet bounced off the hard surfaces as I jumped along by my father’s side. Ping, pong, bang, explode. The rays of the sun came closer and closer, became redder and redder. I land, face in the dirt, swiveling my head to the side to only see my legless, lifeless father. I am now an orphan, just a boy at twelve with a nice American dressing my wound, while my own countrymen are killing me. Aren’t we all Afghans?

C. Winter, drought, floods, Asian features, the Taliban are all against the Hazaras who just want to live a life where people can accept one another, learn, intermarry, work, be immune to discrimination, and be treated fairly, but instead they live a life of hopeful disappointment.

Kayla said...

Kayla Murphy
Part A:

1. What are the top eight agricultural products?opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheep skins, lamb skins.

2. What is the life expectancy rate? male: 48.45 years female: 51.05 years

What is the infant mortality rate?121.63 deaths/1,000 live births

What deeper issues are typically reflected in these statistics?Lack of sanitation and medical technology can lead to these statistics.

3. How many kilometers of coastline does Afghanistan possess? There are zero km. How might this number have contributed to the country's history? There would not have been as many issues that come with having ports and access to water therefore a less likely target to outside influences. But would be a target due to the fact that other countries need to pass over the land to reach their destinations.

4. Identify the transnational issues that Afghanistan faces. “Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey; Iran protests Afghanistan's restricting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries”(CIA)

5. Construct a thesis statement that encapsulates the essence of the Afghan nation (both its assets and its challenges).

Having both assets and challenges throughout its history, Afghanistan has no coastline, a low life expectancy rate and a pretty high infant mortality rate, which creates a country that is in the news and in a war.
Part B: Choose the most powerful image to prompt a piece of short fiction. Write a descriptive passage that embodies the "show vs. tell" technique. Image 1. Trying to tell someone about an image rather than showing them the image takes the personal connection one gets with a visual out of the equation. Describing the image gives a biased view of the situation, even more so than the possible bias of the image itself. Ones opinions show through when conveying a theme of a photograph which tends to make the image less meaningful and more sterile to the listener. One can not fully describe what is going on in the Afghan photo and those who do will never come up with the exact same response despite the fact that all who see the photo are looking at the same piece. Past experiences can influence these biases and can come up with anything from violence in children and blaming the parents, to pity for the children and blaming the government, to pity for the soldier and blaming society and war. Seeing an image and being told about an image should not be separate parts to the understanding as a whole. If one just sees the image, they can only recount their experiences, if one only hears about the image they can only see life through the eyes of the speaker, so one must both see the image and hear others’ views to receive a rounded perspective on the world.

Kayla said...

Part C:Produce a thesis statement that encapsulates the author's message and illuminates the deeper meaning of the text. Contrasting the insiders and outsiders of Afghanistan, Phil Zabriskie educates his readers on the brutal history of the Hazara people and the power struggle involved in the country, there’s disgust from the demeaning of religions that is still prevalent in society and yet there's a sense of hope for those who do rise above their religion and thrive in an oppressive environment.
-Kayla Murphy

Nicole Miller said...

Nicole Miller
Blog work

1. The top eight agricultural products for Afghanistan are opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheep-skin, and lamb. The number one is opium.
2. Life expectancy rate: 49. 72 years. Infant Mortality rates: 121.63 deaths per 1000 births. The deeper issues shown in these statistics are that Afghanistan must not have advanced technological advances, or medicine.
3. Kilometers of coastline: 0 kilometers. This could contribute to lack of readily available water, and transport by sea, and could lead to easy defeat in war to lack of available transport by sea, and of imports to assist the landlocked country.
4. Transnational issues: Militaries of Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan meet often to clarify their boundaries. Afghan and Iranian commissioners have meet to discuss alterations of their boundaries. Iran is protesting Afghanistan’s restricted flow of the dammed Helmand River and its tributaries during droughts. Pakistan has built a fence around their treaty-defined areas, which also serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities, and Russia is concerned about the smuggling of poppies across Afghanistan and surrounding territories.
5. Contrasting its diverse agricultural diversities with its national downfalls surrounding territorial disputes and lack of modern technology, Afghanistan is a nation currently experiencing tensions and issues within its own borders, as well as outside.


Part B.


ABC news breaking story: Around noon on Monday, the twenty-seventh of June, a young boy attacked a group of Afghani soldiers, as they were escorting the young man’s brother to a nearby training facility for drafted soldiers. While the soldiers were surrounding the oldest brother, the boy, who’s name is currently being held, drew a handgun on the enclosing group. In a vain attempt to save his brother, he fired six shots into the nearest soldier’s chest, emptying the magazine. The stunned soldiers immediately arrested the boy, and took both the brothers to the prison of Herat for further questioning.

Part C.
Juxtaposing the past injustices that the Hazaras have faced with their current successes, the author is able to tell of a bright future for the Hazaras that can only be reached after finding their places in society within this new found freedom, and through facing and overcoming obstacles that still stand in their way of total freedom and equality.

Joe said...

Part A:
1. What are the top eight agricultural products? Opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheep skins, and lamb skins are the top eight agricultural products.
2. What is the life expectancy rate? For a male it is about 48.45 years while a female has about 51.05 years.
What is the infant mortality rate? There are 121.63 deaths per 1,000 live births .
What deeper issues are typically reflected in these statistics? Deeper issues such as a lack of sanitation and medical technology lead to these statistics.
3. How many kilometers of coastline does Afghanistan possess? Afghanistan is a land-locked country and does not possess a coastline.
How might this number have contributed to the country's history? If there were ports than there might not have been as many issues that were involved along the problems of limited trade and access to water which also leaves them with less influence from the outside and makes them a huge target to other countries in war due to having to be passed through.
4. Identify the transnational issues that Afghanistan faces: “Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey; Iran protests Afghanistan's restricting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries”(CIA)
5. Construct a thesis statement that encapsulates the essence of the Afghan nation (both its assets and its challenges).
While the Afghan nation has its challenges, it does have many assets that throughout its history has played a major role in its developing such as not containing a plentiful coastline, a despairing low infant mortality yet a well-produced agricultural produce.
Part B: Choose the most powerful image to prompt a piece of short fiction. Write a descriptive passage that embodies the "show vs. tell" technique.
Image 1 is the most compelling image that is presented on the page. A little Afghan boy holding a, hopefully, fake gun at a solider while spectators look on with amusement is presented. This image of reality is such a mixture of emotions that one can barely put into words what they feel. The picture depicts a perfect allusion to the state of the people with their hard feelings towards the “invading” troops. The boy is “shooting” at the soldier who is there to be defending his life and fighting for a better future for that boy. Yet, the child still chose to shot at him. The face of sadness the boy emits as well shows his pain in doing so and again can be related to the events that are occurring around him.
Part C:Produce a thesis statement that encapsulates the author's message and illuminates the deeper meaning of the text. Building a strong differentiation between the “insiders” verse the “outsiders” of Afghanistan, Phil Zabriske informs the public about the frightening history of the Hazara people and the struggle of power within the country; built from the demeaning of religions that people harbor feelings against throughout the country yet promotes a heart of hope for those who may look past these differences.

Anonymous said...

A: 1. Opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins are Afghanistan’s top agricultural products, opium being the nation’s most important export.

2. Life expectancy in Afghanistan is 49.72 years. Men are projected to live 48.45 years on average, which is slightly less than the projected average for women, being 51.05 years. Afghanistan ranks 218th in the world for life expectancy.
The infant mortality rate is the highest in the world at 121.63 deaths per 1,000 live births.
The extremely low numbers of physicians and hospital beds available to the people in Afghanistan coupled with the high average number of children per woman and help to explain the exceptionally high infant mortality rate while the documented high risk of catching an infectious disease as well as the low availability of clean drinking water and sanitation facility access may help to account for the low life expectancy. Additionally, the very high number, 32.9%, of malnourished children in the country certainly relates to the sense of unwell in the statistics of the population.

3. Afghanistan is completely landlocked, with no costal property whatsoever. The nation’s encasement by other nations has helped to shape its history as a country used for buffering between larger powers and the site to touch off wars. Early in the country’s history it was situated between the powerful British and Russian empires. The location between warring powers has led to nearly uninterrupted invasions and battles across Afghanistan.

4. Afghanistan constantly battles with border disagreements with its neighbors which allow large groups of people crossing into and out of the nation, bringing with them illegal drugs like opium and strengthening the drug trafficking and trade in the country.

5. Stuck in a pattern of war and uncertainty the people of Afghanistan are relentlessly toiling and sharply divided, yet devoutly resilient people with the passion to surge forth in history despite the lack of cohesion and tendency toward violence which plague the nation.

B. Dague

Anonymous said...

B: Short Story: Image 47:
Stepping over the lumps on the ground, about the size of fists, that bring sweetness to the tongue instead of the sharp tang of your own blood, Smith poked his ash covered nose around the edge of the skinny trees, his highly trained, yet sleep deprived and exhaustion permeated eyes scanning for any sign of movement. Movement out here, particularly hard to spot through the dense cloud of burned dirt and homes that hung in the air, was dangerous. He didn’t feel any safer for the rifle cradled in his arm. He had seen too many men fall to the ground still clinging tightly to their weapons, without ever having the chance to use their supposed lifeline to save their necks when it counted. But that was because they were not careful. Those men had let their minds wander and their eyes get lazy. Perhaps they had been thinking about home.
Smith’s boot squashed through an overly ripe pomegranate lying on the ground and its crimson and half rotten insides pushed over his toe, staining the top of his United States issued combat boots a color which too closely resembled blood.
He remembered the first time he had ever placed one of the crunchy seeds to his lips and tasted the juices of the allegedly forbidden fruit. Actually, he hadn’t really been the one to place that seed on the tip of his tongue and take it into his mouth. That had been Claire. She had pulled the lumpy and dull fruit from her picnic basket and upon the curious look on his face, lit up with the realization that he had never experienced such a thing before. He remembered the way she smiled, delighting in sharing with him something new.
Just as he began to recall the specific alarming crunch of the seeds which so strangely accompanied its satisfying release of flavor to the taste buds from your teeth cracking the little beads of sensation, a wind rolled through the trees, delivering to his nostrils, all but caked with the ask and dust which colored the land, the scent of Afghanistan, wrenching from his mind the sensation of anything sweet or satisfying. He was brought instantly back to the here and now with a start. He cursed himself inwardly for falling into the pit, hidden like buried mines, which his brothers had fallen into, never to rise again.
C: Perpetually downtrodden and brutally oppressed, the Hazara population of Afghanistan is a representation of hopeful ingenuity, nervous aspiration, and staggering motivation which yearns for the opportunity to improve their future, write their own history for a change, and create a happy ending for “everybody’s story”.

B. Dague

Anonymous said...

Brent Condon
1)Opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, and lambskins.
2) Life Expectancy rate- 49.72 years old
Infant mortality: 121 deaths/ per 1000 live births
The medical technology of Afghanistan is not up to par with more modern countries.
3) Kilometers of coastline- 0 km. A majority of developed nations are bordered by the sea for trade. Afghanistan being isolated from the sea may play a role in the isolation of Afghanistan in today's society.
4) Border problems cause issues between Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. This problem with borders leads to terrorists abusing the conflicts. These terrorists are funded by opium trade which further increases their influence in Afghanistan.
5) The chaos in Afghanistan is the result of a feud between traditional and modern ideals that have been escalated by undeveloped borders, weak government, and international isolation.

Christine Lattouf said...

Part A:

1. What are the top eight agricultural products? What product is #1?
The top eight agricultural products are opium, wheat, fruits, nuts wool, mutton, sheepskin and lambskins. Their number one product is opium.

2. What is the life expectancy rate? What is the infant mortality rate? What deeper issues are typically reflected in these statistics?
The life expectancy rate is 49.72 years. The infant mortality rate is 121.63 deaths/1,000 live births. Deeper issues that are reflected in these statistics can be the fact that they a very small number of doctors available to the people (0.21 physicians/1,000 population). There is also a high percentage of people without clean drinking water or even access to drinking water. With the number of underweight children under the age of five, they rank 10 in the world (32.9%).

3. How many kilometers of coastline does Afghanistan possess? How might this number have contributed to the country's history?
Afghanistan possesses zero kilometers of coastline (landlocked). The Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country. The country being split causes diversity and disagreement.

4. Identify the transnational issues that Afghanistan faces.
Afghanistan is constantly having issues with its borders and continually has to reestablish is boundaries between surrounding nations. In addition, Afghanistan serves as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities. Russia is also concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries. Furthermore, Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium. The Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan.

5. Construct a thesis statement that encapsulates the essence of the Afghan nation (both its assets and its challenges).
Transitioning from diverse population to political disagreement in Afghanistan, The World Factor Book incorporates striking information about the high percentage of unemployment, a high risk of infectious diseases and a low school life expectancy to show the conflicts and issues the country of Afghanistan faces.

Christine Lattouf said...

Part B:

Picture #17:

I hear the screams of people crying for help. People are shouting in the streets “Allah hu akbar”. There is nowhere for them to go or turn. I hear bombs and planes over our heads. Worst of all, I see people getting shot at, falling in the street, bleeding to death, and no one dares to stop and help. I think to myself, Death is near; Death will soon be upon us all. But will there ever be an end to this war? Will peace ever come? Will the people of Afghanistan ever be free?

It is one in the morning and I am awoken by a sudden crash. It sounded like a firework had just been set off in front of the house. I am frozen with fear and have no clue what to do. Immediately, I hear my mother screaming, crying, and panicking, all at once. My father comes rushing into my room and yells “Huma, get out of bed. We need to leave.” I asked him “Where are we going and why do we need to leave?” He does not reply. I have no time to think what I should bring. I got dressed and walked out of my room, not knowing that I may never return. As I past the kitchen and start to head out the door, I realized that we are trapped; the kitchen is up in flames and the only door is located in the kitchen.

As my father rushes out of the room with my two-year-old brother on his back, he sees that the fire has spread and we cannot get out. Mama, still cry takes my brother from my father, as he places my brother in her arms. Baba starts to frantically search for something. He uses a hammer to break a window. As he bangs with all his might at the window, glass flies everywhere. Baba cuts his hand and keeps on banging as fast as he can. He then tells us to duck our heads and carefully try to climb out the window without the glass touching our heads.

Finally, everyone is out of the house, with Baba last to come out. Little Omaid is surprisingly quite and calm, even with the chaos around us. We try to walk as quickly as we can without attracting too much attention to ourselves. As the sun rises, I feel a sense of hope even through we have just begun our endless journey and have no clue where we will go. We take one long last look at village of Kabul, which we once called home, and turn around. It is such a shame that people cannot get along because of different beliefs, I thought to myself. Now, we head towards a new place, wherever that may be. As long as we have each other, I know we make the best out of our journey.

Omaid – hope
Huma – bird

Christine Lattouf said...

Part C:

Shifting from historical information to present day situations about the Hazara people in the National Geographic, Phil Zabriskie depicts personal stories, incorporates heartbreaking facts and illustrates discrimination against the Hazara people, to show that even though Afghanistan is changing it is not changing fast enough for the Hazara people to finally live in peace.

Jennifer Golden said...

Part A:
1. opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins
Opium is number one.
2. The life expectancy rate is 49.72 years. The infant mortality rate is 121.63 deaths for every 1000 live births. These low expectancy rates and high mortality rates show long, hard work, not an abundance of food, and a lack of modern technology and healthcare.
3. Afghanistan has zero kilometers of coastline. This has had an effect on its history because since it is landlocked, it has several countries surrounding it on all sides and no means of protection from them.
4. Afghanistan faces several transnational issues. It has disputes over borders with Pakistan and Iran. These issues with Pakistan are over a land border, the Durand Land Border, where Pakistan has sent troops and built fences in the remote tribal areas. It is the site of many illegal activities and a location for foreign terrorists. Iran and Afghanistan have disputed over whether or not to restrict the use of the Helmand River (their border) during droughts. Pakistan also has several issues with Russia and other Asian and European countries because of its production of opium, much of which is exported to the European countries.
5. The troubled past and present of Afghanistan are largely influenced by the landlocked geography, the controversial agricultural products and the tough culture, yet despite all this, Afghanistan does also have its own unique assets such as certain abundant natural resources.

Jennifer Golden said...

Part B:
Image 34
Zahra was only eleven years old when her parents were killed by the Taliban. She was the oldest of the four children and livening in the ruined streets with no one to turn to. On good days she could convince people nearby to spare them some food, but resources were scarce and most people had lost nearly everything recently, so most days were bad days. They lived just outside the city of Kabul, and all of their relatives were dead or living in far off rural areas. A few had fled the country at the first sign of the Taliban, they hadn’t found it worth the risk to await the outcome, and then it was too late for Zahra’s family to follow them out. And now it was impossible.
Zahra’s parents had been musicians, before the Taliban banned music. Zahra had her mother’s tiny flute given to her before she died. It only played a few notes but it was small enough to carry around on a necklace and it was all she had. One day, their region was bombed. Zahra’s younger sister had been out begging for food and did not return. They worried about her, searching cautiously without rest for two whole days, Eventually, they found her. Zahra’s sister was in the care of a kind woman whose own child had recently been killed. Despite her help though, they could not saw Zahra’s sister from her injuries from the bombs, and they buried her the next day. They were lucky to even be able to have such an abbreviated burial service at all. Before she dies, Zahra placed the tiny flute on the string around her sister’s neck and told her that the music was no longer banned, but free and abundant, so that her sister could play a few notes before she died, so that her sister did not die in a world worse than she had been born into, so that she could die in peace. The next day they buried the flute with her. And with that, Zahra said one final goodbye and promised her dead parents and Allah that she would not lose the other two children. And she never did.
Zahra fought on for a few more years, keeping her siblings safe with the help of the kind woman. When the Afghanistan National Institute of Music reopened, Zahra was asked solely by luck to come be a student there. Her other two younger siblings would follow in her footsteps in a few years. Zahra there learned to play the cello, and in the name of her parents and her sister, she would create beautiful music for a beautiful future.


Part C:
The Hazara had a brief window of time where with the new government of Afghanistan they were treated nearly as equals to the Pashtuns after the war led by the Taliban, but as evident in the article, using a boy names Shafaq, a man named Akbar, and the Bamian Buddhas as example stories, that time period is over and the Hazara again face harsh discrimination making everyday life difficult, and making them an example to the world of perseverance as they hope for a better, equal future in the next generation.

Naomi said...

Naomi Stuffers
4/7/13
Period B
Frontloading Blog Assignment

A.

1. The top 8 agricultural products of Afghanistan are: opium, wheat, fruits, nuts, wool, mutton, sheepskins, and lambskins; opium being the most important.

2. The life expectancy at birth is estimated to be about 49.72 years. The infant mortality rate is about 121.63 deaths in every 1000 live births, ranking Afghanistan as the country with the highest infant mortality rate in the world. Considering that the average life expectancy is very low and that the amount of infant mortalities is very high, one can deduce that Afghanistan is not the healthiest or the most stable country in the world.

3. Afghanistan consists of 0 kilometers of coastline. Historically, a landlocked status, like Afghanistan, is generally very disadvantageous position for a country. It cuts off valuable resources and trade, which can cripple the country’s economy. This may have been the case for Afghanistan, as their economy is not exactly the best.

4. Most of the transnational issues derive from boundary disputes with Pakistan and Iran, however there is some tension with Russia over drug smuggling. With opium as its number 1 agricultural product, it is not a surprise that there is a lot of struggle with corruption and illegal trading.

5. With its barely recovering economy and dependency on foreign aid, Afghanistan is extremely vulnerable and will soon need to overcome its high corruption and weak government if it is to maintain stability as a country.

Naomi said...

B. The picture was of a small family walking the desert towards the mountains.
“Ma…. Ma, I’m hungry,” the boy said.
“Hush,” said one of the women sharply, dreadfully numb to the boy’s constant whining. They had lost enough that day without being subject to the child’s characteristic ignorance.
The boy quickly fell silent as he held onto the flowing material of his mother’s burqa. It was somewhat of a mystery how he was always able to locate his mother. There was nothing particular about her that show beyond the rough, heavy cloth of her traditional dress. However, that ability had come in quite handy given the events of the past 24 hours.

It had been early morning when the first signs of distress reached the ears of the workers in the field. The poppies had finally shed all of their pastel petals and were oozing out the treasured milky substance like it was a race. The harvest was ready and the workers were looking forward to their payment, especially as winter rounded the corner.
Many men were out cutting down their treasure, but there were a few women, as well. This included the mother, father, and friend as they worked silently in the pale light of the early morning. It was the sudden screaming and gunfire that tore their attention away from the large bulbs in the ground. Before they could even register what was happening, a large pillar of fire flew up into the sky with a roar and began to consume everything in its path. The screams intensified as women and children ran from their homes only to meet their fate at the hands of many armed men.
The mother was on her feet and running before anyone had the chance to stop her. The one thing that meant most to her in this world was likely hiding somewhere, crying for help. However, there was a sudden pull on her waist as two arms held her from making any more movement.
“ What are you doing!” she said, struggling as hard as she could to free herself from the blasted man she called her husband.
“You will die if you go there. Getting yourself killed will do no good. Stay here until they leave,” he said brusquely.
She had known that her husband was heartless, but she did not know that he would be willing to leave his own son to die in order to save his own skin. She also knew that if she had run from the fields, she would have alerted the gunmen to the hundreds of people currently hiding beneath the tall stalks of poppies. But all she could think about was her poor son lying lifeless on the ground with tears still staining his cheeks.
This thought propelled her into action as she kicked and jabbed at anything near her, especially her no-good husband. However, as quickly as everything had started, the gunmen had already left, leaving nothing but smoke and flames in their wake.

“Ma? Why is that woman with us?” the boy asked.
“She has nowhere else to go, love.” With that, the boy returned to his silence and quietly pondered their new addition.

It was broad daylight by the time people braved a trip back to their homes. Everything lay in ruin. The fire had completely destroyed everything, leaving only the charcoal skeleton of some of the larger buildings.
The complete ruin of her home coupled with the loss of her child had driven the mother to her very edge. She was in shambles until a familiar voice snapped her back to reality.
“Mama! Mama!” cried the young boy as he ran from the fields into the charcoal mess.
The sound of his voice knocked the very air out of her lungs as she turned to her son, looking slightly sleepy as he rubbed his eyes. It became apparent that he had hidden in the fields, as he so often did whenever he missed his mother.
At this point, men and women were done mourning the loss of their homes and loved ones. They had learned quickly that nothing was permanent in this world, and continued to move forward. The small family made quick for the mountains as well, taking the woman friend with them without much thought.

Naomi said...

“Ma? What are we going to do now?” asked the boy.
“Survive, my dear, survive.”
The long road to the mountains stretched out hazily in front of the small family, just as it did for the hundreds of other Afghan families traveling down their same, terrifying path.

C.
Following the lives and beliefs of the Hazaras of Afghanistan in “The Outsiders,” Phil Zabriskie reports the history and current situation of this discriminated group of people as they strive for better and more educated lives despite the constant threat of prejudice within their own country.

Naomi Stuffers

Anonymous said...

Part A.

1. opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins. Opium is number one.
2. The life expectancy rate is 49.72. The infant mortality rate is 121 deaths per 1,000 births which is number one in the world. Clearly, living conditions are not what they should be in Afghanistan.
3. Afghanistan has zero kilometers of coastline. Ships have nowhere to port which causes transportation of people along with goods quite difficult. Technology remains stagnant in Afghanistan as the rest of the world develops.
4. There is an ongoing dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan concerning the border between the two countries. Afghanistan has thousands of displaced citizens because of drought and instability. The country has a severe illicit drug problem as well.
5. Although Afghanistan is internationally known for its constant internal struggles, the country is home to millions of resilient people, an overlooked landscape, and thousands of years of rich history that should not be overlooked by the rest of the world.

Part B: Image number 4

As I ride my bike, the wheels are sometimes lifted from the ground by the pebbles in the road. It grew difficult to see where I was going because of the dust being lifted from the ground by the vehicles in front of me. I squinted, hoping to find a balance between efficient vision and comfort, but it was a struggle. Fortunately, the sun was shining through the dust, enabling me to see once more. The orange orb bursting through the cloud of debris gave me hope. Perhaps, if I could see now, Afghanistan could see a future.

Part C.

Shifting from a once very unstable past with no foreseeable future to a more stable way of life, the Hazara people of Afghanistan are attempting to earn the respect of the people that consider them outsiders in order to establish a normal living pattern.



Dan Rafuse

Anonymous said...

Brent Condon
B)(1st Picture) The soldiers wandered onwards to their destination in fear of the growing support for terrorist groups in the area. These troops were attempting to find a suspected terrorist leader in the village of Dwakoleh. The troops reacted to any sign of movement with a rain of bullets; luckily only several small animals felt the wrath of modern weaponry. The people of the village stared with disgust as the soldiers began to surround the target's house. The soldiers crashed through the door, and began to scan for the wanted terrorist. The terrorist was no where to be found, but as soon as they were going to leave a noise was heard from a closet. The shock of the noise was answered by the hail of gun fire from the soldiers. The floor began to flood with crimson as the closet door revealed a person, but not the terrorist they were looking for.
C) Afghanistan is controlled by traditional guidelines, female oppression, and isolationist beliefs that lead to a strong sense in religious superiority by extremist groups in Afghanistan.

Taylor Saltmarsh said...

Taylor Saltmarsh

Part A:
1.) opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins
2.)Life expectancy: 49.72 years infant mortality: 121.63 deaths/1000 live births, The deeper issues suggested from this statistics would be poor health care system, food shortage, lack of modern day technology, etc.
3.) 0 km of coastline, they are landlocked, contributes to their history as serving as a buffer between the British and the Russians.
4.) Boundaries between neighboring countries, and also Russia remains concerned about potential smuggling.
5.) Though Afghanistan has faced and continues to face its share of hardships, the nation has built itself up from economic, social, and political struggle, and strives to improve furthermore.
Part B:
Terrified and curious, the woman watches as soldiers patrol her home. She is uncertain as to which ones are the good guys and which ones want only to cause harm. She wishes only to live in peace, yet she finds it to be impossible. Living day to day suffering from mental images and fear. However, this is her life and she allows her country to define her.
Part C:
Despite national instability and unlikely probabilities, many young people of Afghanistan are becoming more independent and refuse to be defined by the circumstances of their nation.

LCerullo said...

Part A
1. Opium (is number one), wheat, mutton, fruits, nuts, sheep skins, lamb skins, wool
2. The life expectancy is 49.7 years old. The infant mortality rate is 121.6 deaths in every 1000 births. These statistics speak volumes of the horrendous conditions and atmosphere the Afghan people are subjected to. Whether it is through malnutrition, government oppression, inaccessibility to clean water, or disease, Afghanistan is plagued with numerous maladies detrimentally affecting its people.
3. Being a landlocked country, Afghanistan has 0 kilometers of coastline. This has greatly contributed to the country’s seemingly endless history of conflict with its neighbors. Due to constant resource shortages including access to freshwater and fuel sources, trade and smuggling have become integral components to Afghanistan’s sustainability and the growth throughout the past decades.
4. Afghanistan faces multiple transnational issues including: smuggling with neighboring countries, massive drug exports (opium), displaced immigrants, and border disputes with Pakistan.
5. Slogging along through decades of turmoil and destructive conflict, Afghanistan, though but a shadow of its true potential, is nonetheless finally restabilizing its economy, military, and government as well as its care for the people.

Part B
Image 4:
Mehran awoke. He leaned upward sorely, wiped the dirt from his eyes and found his mother frantically scurrying about the floor; it was early. The low-leveled sun barely breached through the dirty windowpanes, as the light caught the dust dancing in the air. “Mehran, get dressed, the factory is opening soon. You can take the bike, remember what Farid taught you.” Rolling out of bed Mehran displayed his capacity for clumsiness as he toppled over putting on his socks. “Mama, I’m coming!” As Mehran ran for the door with child-like energy his mother caught him, like a huntsman with his game, and kissed him on the forehead. “Be careful my dear Mehran, the sun is rising on a new Afghanistan. Yet it is up to you to see to it, to make sure that it reaches the skies.” “I will Mama”. And with a smile, he was gone. The bike vroomed down the road, into the clouds that touched the earth, not of fog but of dust, the dust of the past finally falling down to a settle. Mehran vroomed into the sunrise almost vanishing into its wide encompassing glow. Almost.
With all of the political propaganda and nonsensical jargon of CNN, Fox News, and modern news stations, it seems that today the only way to speak truth, is to show it. While people may read headlines and imagine the atrocities described, no mental image can compare to an actual image, fully enveloped and littered with the intricacies of human emotion. These images achieve what words cannot, they shatter the bubbles of our daily “lifestyles”, they breach our consciousness and inform us of the real pain experienced by others, of the pain that millions everyday turn a blind eye to and choose ignorance.

Part C
Quickly panning through Afghanistan’s ethnic history in The Outsiders, Zabriskie tells the tale of the Hazaras, an oppressed yet growing minority whose renowned ethic and inner strength could help mark a new age for Afghanistan, if the ancient chains of centuries old prejudice can be broken, and a new bond of camaraderie and equality forged anew.

Jordan Ledwith said...

1. opium (number 1), fruits and nuts, hand-woven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
2. Life Expectancy- 49.72 years
Infant Mortality- 121.63 deaths/1000 live births
These numbers could mean that there is a high level of disease present that is preventing people from living very long and providing a high mortality rate, especially among children.
3. Afghanistan is a landlocked country and does not possess any coastline. This could have contributed to the country’s history by providing limited resources and limited means of obtaining them because trade via sea is not possible.
4. There are many boundary disagreements that are taking place. There is also a high amount of drug usage making its way into the country.
5. The nation of Afghanistan possesses many qualities, both good an bad, that consist of the low life expectancy rate, high infant mortality rate, and the many exports that make Afghanistan’s history and economic status contribute to the way the country is.