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The Long Duration
By admin November 2, 2016

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afghanWhen looking at the heart of a map, the countries that comprise the Middle East and Western Asia, it is clear that civil war or external invasions have affected nearly half of them. Not only does the act of war have catastrophic consequences on the economic and political systems, but also the humanitarian consequences are a key concern. In 2016 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced that 54 percent of the world’s refugees come from only three countries, Somalia (1.1M), Afghanistan (2.7M) and Syria (4.9M). While we often hear about Syria, as well as the situation in Iraq, on a daily basis, the situation of Afghanistan is one that is often forgotten.

 

While the Americans and their allies have been engaged in a war in Afghanistan for nearly sixteen years now, the refugee situation from Afghanistan has been a steady stream dating back to 1978. Beginning with the Soviet invasion, a civil war that led to the takeover by the Taliban, and later the 2001 U.S. invasion, Afghanis have found themselves scattered around the globe. However, many who left decades ago are finding their way back and we can see that their political system is brimming with talent and ambition. In terms of development prospects, certain advancements are proving promising.

 

In 2014, the elected leader, Dr. Ashraf Ghani made a historical move when he decided upon a power sharing arrangement with his opponent in the presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah. Not only is he conciliatory, but also his intelligence is of a capacity that only many can aspire to obtain, especially when given the privilege of leading a people out of an all-consuming war. President Ghani reads for two-three hours each morning and often conducts his own research when meeting foreign heads of states and committees. His wife, Rula Ghani, is of Christian Lebanese origin and holds two master’s degrees, one from the American University of Beirut and the second from Columbia University. Collectively, they are a duo that spends their days pouring over the plans of troves of engineers, meeting with women’s committees headed by women prominent in politics such as Fawzia Koofi and Nooria Bibi.

 

What failed states embroiled in wars often lack is a capable political leadership. Despite war in Afghanistan, the state has not one, but two leaders who have the skills, knowledge and background that poises them to deal with the issues that will, unfortunately, continue to plague Afghanistan such as resource scarcity, political corruption and a frail education system. The amount of talent returning to Afghanistan, those who are invested in rebuilding and investing human capital in the country, will hopefully help this nation stem the flow of its refugees.

 

For additional information:

 

Ashraf Ghani TedXTalk

 

Afghanis Attempt to Reach Australia’s Christmas Island

 

Where do refugee statistics come from?

 

Afghanistan’s Theorist-in-Chief, President Ashraf Ghani


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