Apr 9, 2008

For The First Time: Blogging Workshop in Kabul


For the first time in Afghanistan, a two days Blogging workshop was organized by the Afghan Association of Blog Writers. The participants were an Afghan journalist, a University teacher, a poet and writers from different provinces and of various ethnic backgrounds.

The main goals of this workshop are better access of journalists to weblogs and other digital media. Since Afghan print and internet media are of a very low quality, blogs could help the Afghan print media and become a milestone in the media situation in Afghanistan.

This was just the first blogging workshop in Afghanistan. The plan is to continue with more workshops in different parts of Afghanistan, including Herat, Mazar-e- Sharif, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Bamyan and Daikundi.

Cultural activities in cyberspace, theories of blogging, detailed similarities and differences between web sites and weblogs, and the techniques of making a blog were discussed in these two workshop days. And at the end, each of the participants independently opened their new weblog in cyberspace.

The world's famous weblogs, the best Persian blogs and the world most popular blogs were introduced to the group and the factors that make a weblog better were among the issues that were explained to the participants.
The participants were technically taught how to open a blog, managing, browsing, linking, ways of writing and the skill of making a framework for the blog.

The Persian blog providers such as 'PersainBlog' and 'Blogfa' were introduced. Afghans yet were familiar with 'PersianBlog' and 'Blogfa' as service providers, now this workshop helped them to learn about other powerful service providers like 'Blogger' and 'Word press'. All of the participants then built their blogs on Blogger.

Blogging is a new phenomenon in Afghanistan, and only a few people make professional use of it. Therefore holding such workshops for the first time by the Afghan Association of Blog Writers can speed up this process and facilitate the work of Afghan bloggers.

Blogging is new in Afghanistan and today most of students and youth start to use it. Even though there are many obstacles for accessing the internet, the Afghan youth refer more and more to this than before, and the number of Afghan bloggers dramatically grows by the day.
Around twenty thousand Afghan blogs have yet been created in cyberspace by Afghans inside and outside the country, and using different service providers.

Afghan bloggers have already faced many challenges and difficulties. The two Persian service providers 'Persianblog' and 'Blogfa' have recently been filtered by 'Afghan Telecom', the private Afghan Telecommunication Company.

Some people believe that this work of Afghan Telecom occurs in following the anti–Farsi/Dari efforts and thus deleting the Farsi/Dari words from the city billboards by Abdul Karim Khuram, Information and the Minister of Culture.
They claim that this is a bare break of the subscribers' rights and should seriously be condemned.

The electricity and internet are complementary of each other. But unfortunately, after seven years of the Karzai newly born administration and the presence of the International community, Kabul citizens still don’t have access to electricity. Internet was supposed to become nationally accessible, but it doesn’t. There are many Net-Cafés in Kabul, but because they are so expensive, a large number of the interested youth can not use them.

More about Blogging Workshop:

1) Afghanistan: First blogging workshop in Kabul

2) Blogging workshop in picture

3) Promoting Blogging in Afghanistan B.B.C

4) For the first time Blogging in Afghanistan- Radio Zamaneh

5) An Initiative which is going to change Aghanistan+Pictures

6) How Blogging Workshop was held?

7) They’re blogging in Kabul!- CIPE Development Blog

8) Tactic: Organizing a blogging workshop - DigitActive.org

Related News about Blogging Workshop in Italian Blogs

1) Soldi spesi bene - Meri

2) Nasim e i bloggers di Kabul - Pino Scaccia's blog

3) Nasim Fekrat, un workshop sul blogging a Kabul - Pipistro

4) BlogFriends

5) BarBlog


7) Tre Puntini

8) Zomberos


Per la prima volta un blogging workshop a Kabul, Afghanistan- WIKIO

First blogging workshop in Kabul

From Global Voice Online
ByHamid Tehrani

The Afghan Association of Blog Writers (Afghan Penlog) overcame financial difficulty and obstacles like electricity shortages to organize the first blogging workshop in their history. The workshop was held in Kabul on April 3-4, in association with Nasim Fekrat and Masoumeh Ebrahimi [Fa], two active Afghan bloggers.

Afghan blogging workshop
Twelve journalists, teachers and writers learned how to start a text blog, a video blog, a photo blog, and useful tips, like how to use RSS feeds.

At the end of the workshop, several blogs were created in Dari, Pashtou and English.

Fekrat said, “I am receiving lots of inquiries from Kabul University students and journalists who want to learn blogging, but financial problems remain a main obstacle.” Fekrat is already thinking of organizing a second workshop because there is more to share and teach.

Nasim Fekrat at the Afghan blogging workshop
Nasim Fekrat helps lead the workshop.

Nasim Fekrat says [Fa]:

This experience has been very useful. I learned a lot. Most of the people who participated in this workshop were journalists, academics, writers and others who can help revitalize our culture and intellect in Afghanistan's bored society. Organizing such a workshop has been one of my goals for a long time. Finally, thanks to Geomap and Masoumeh Ebrahimi it became a reality.

Afghan blogging workshop
More photos can be found on Civil Movement of Afghanistan along with a report.

Manzarra who learned to blog in this workshop writes about using the internet to advance free speech and freedom of the press .

Mokhtar Pedram, a journalist, shares [Fa] his experience with us:

I was scared to come to the world of internet and blogging… Maybe it was a technical barrier. But this one and half day workshop changed my perception… It wouldn't be true to say that all my problems with the internet were solved in these two days, but I did decide to start my blog, which proves just how effective this workshop has been.

Safeh says [Fa] blogging is a new thing in Afghanistan and that academics and teachers have only just discovered it.

Zartosht writes [Fa] that such workshops may be the most important step for journalism in Afghanistan.

Apr 6, 2008

Afghan National Army leading the operations in 2008

This was already written but i forgot to put here.

On Sunday January 13, Corps No 201 Commander Brigadier General Mohamad Rahim Wardak while visiting the Maiwand military base in Char district of Logar province said: "In 2008, the Afghan national army will lead the whole of operations in Afghanistan, with the help of coalition forces."

The Afghan National Army seems to have proven itself in a key test last month – retaking the strategic toehold town of Musa Qala (which was turned into a terror university town) from the Taliban.

In 2001 at the BON conference the initial goal that was set to train around 70,000 Afghan troops no longer applies to Afghanistan's new realities. Afghanistan's Defense Ministry says the country needs a 200,000-strong National army to stand against external threats and to tackle the insurgency led by the Taliban.

The Afghan National Army remains severely under-equipped and under-supported. I asked General Mohammad Rahim Wardak about military equipments and facilities.
"The ANA suffers from lacking sufficient military aid, trainers, clothing, food and is hobbled with old weapons", He regretfully answered.

I asked General Mohammad Rahim Wardak about the recent message by Mullah Omar who warned that the harsh winter is waiting for the foreign forces, does this warning also include attacks against ANA or not?
"No, firstly I am assuring you that Taliban can't do anything in the winter, the winter makes them unable to attack because they are not able to stay during the winter nights in the deserts out of the villages, Taliban are not the locals, they are coming from the border area and
Pakistan," said Mohammad Rahim Wardak.

"Within the coming weeks in some areas we have operation and some times
they are planting bombs on the road side. After we clean the area of insurgents we will make Shura (local Jerga) from elders to avoid returning the insurgents," he added.

In another meeting at the military base in the Tagab district of the Kapisa province, General Mohammad Rahim was asking the ANA commander who handled the recent strikes against Taliban insurgents in Tagab.

Major Jan Aqa was giving information about his last forces operation. "Just two days before my force found the place of one of the famous Taliban insurgents: Qari Mohib. But due to lack of enough weapons we couldn't start the operation against them. Not much later when they
realized our presence in the area Qari Mohib and his insurgents escaped the village," said Major Jan Aqa.

"When we reached the area where they escaped from, we found four bullet boxes with one machine gun and four bags of hashish," he added.
I asked Jan Aqa what he thinks about the security in Tagab and other villages that are mostly influenced by insurgents.
"God willing! We are very hopeful to bring security in Tagab district; we are going to launch a few operations by the help of coalition forces to clean the area from Taliban. We are very happy that the villagers are with us and supporting us. For example in the area we clean from Taliban
insurgents the villagers are telling us that they were forced by Taliban to pay and give them shelter. If we receive enough equipment, the enemy has no chance to come back," he added.