Dec 14, 2008

President - Elect Obama and the Future of US Policies in Afghanistan

“Things are fine just the way they are. Take a look around, our world needs a change, you can be that change.”

We were invited in the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) to attend a lecture on "President – Elect Obama and the Future of US Policies in Afghanistan" being presented by Prof.Nazif Shahrani.

Most of the participants were university students, professors, NGO staff and some special guests from other donors, international communities including NATO.

Dr.Sayeed Askar Musavi Professor of the American University of Afghanistan opened the ceremony and welcomed every body. He ecouraged all the participants to get as much use of Shahrani ‘s lecture as they can but should ask only one questions at the end.

Professor Shahrani appeared with a Chapan (Gown) showing his interest to Uzbek Culture and started his lectures by introducing himself as a registered democrat, Afghan American and Muslim US citizen who took part to his best in the primary election of Mr.Obama as the first African American president and the follower of the way and ideas of Late Civil Rights Movement Martin Luther King in 1960s.

He insisted throughout his lectures that those who voted for Obama,they did not vote for a black man but for a change in the US policies and way of governing US Administration and relationship with the outside world.

Shahrani says that Afghanistan needs somebody like Obama to bring fundamental changes in the way we rule the country.Critisizing on the current administration run by Karzai as a failed administration and invited Afghan citizens to vote for somebody who have something to offer as substitute of this failed government in the next year president election.

Prof.Shahrani advised Obama to help Afghanistan more with the way the government is ruled not by sending more troops or changing Karzai. Most importantly he emphasized that all the ethnic groups in Afghanistan should be free for electing their own representatives all over the country and let them practice democracy themselves very confidently.

He added:” I am a Chapanaki Afghan and had participated in any events in this country. Neither me (Uzbeks) nor (Hazaras) living in the central highlands have seen our faces in the despotic history of Afghanistan. He insisted that a real democracy in Afghanistan is applicable when governments would let all the ethnics to take part in the decoration and formation of their own wanted Afghanistan.

Shahrani‘s lecture as an Afghan American professor was really delicious and charming to me because I had never attended such a lecture in my academic life before. we can also join Obama from this part of the world to change the way this country is ruled. Even small minorities can rule the country if democracy is applied and practiced by transparency and greater participation. It is people who believe in themselves, and then the governments are made or changed.

Dr. Nazif Shahrani is Professor of Anthropology, Central Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University. He has served as Chairman of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures & Director of the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program (2001-2004), and Director of Middle Eastern Studies Program (1991-1994) at Indiana University.

Shahrani has held post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard and Stanford Universities and at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution. He has conducted extensive ethnographic field research in Afghanistan, and studied Afghan refugee communities in Pakistan & Turkey (1980s). He has published widely and is currently working on a book entitled Post-Taliban Afghanistan: The Challenges of State- Building, Governance and Security.