My crazy Afghan wedding panel -

My crazy Afghan wedding panel


Sorry for the ongoing lack of blogging. I’m becoming one of those people, as Rex Sorgatz tweeted the other day, who wonders how anyone has time to blog.

Anyway, as I noted the last time I posted here, I was asked  to moderate a panel on Canada’s presence in Afghanistan post-2011. It was a good lineup, including former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan Chris Alexander, Bob Rae, Terry Glavin,  Jawed Ludin (the Afghan ambassador) and Najia Haneefi.

Turns out Afghans don’t distinguish between a political panel and a 300-person wedding, so the thing was held in the Taj Banquet Hall on Steeles Avenue in North Toronto,  which was basically an extension of the Kia dealership next door. I think every Afghan Canadian within a thousand kilometers was there, including about 30 kids running around.

Anyway, it was pretty interesting in about ninety different ways. You’ll get my take on the event in the magazine this week. The only non-Afghan media I saw there was the Tory blogger Dr. Roy, who has a writeup and pics.

Finally, if you are interested, the discussion was pegged to this paper by Chris Alexander, which is well worth your time.

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My crazy Afghan wedding panel

  1. The Pir Mohammed School was built by Canadians in 2005…most everyone in Senjaray loved the idea that their children were learning to read and write — except the local Taliban. They closed the school in 2007, breaking all the windows and furniture, booby-trapping the place, lacing the surrounding area with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), daring the Canadians to reopen it. But the Canadians were overmatched, and it wasn't until December of 2009, when the Americans came to Senjaray, that people began to talk about reopening the school.

    It was, in fact, a no-brainer, a perfect metaphor. The Taliban closed schools; the Americans opened them.


  2. Chris Alexander gave a pretty good talk at CIGI. I wonder if the panel had differing views, or if everyone was pretty much in agreement with his main points?

    I hate how expensive these books are. I'd buy them if I could–but then again I probably wouldn't have the time to read them anyway.

    • Jenn: You're in the same boat as many people. You should join your Public Library – even if they don't have the book you're looking for, they can usually get it on loan from another library.

      • Ha. Funny. (I hang out at the library, I'm there weekly.) No, the impulse to buy is after hearing the speaker speak. The part about not having the time to read them includes not having the time (really, time here is a euphamism for inclination) to source them out from the library. Also, books that have just come out on these subjects tend not to be in the library for at least a few months. So the burning desire to know more in-depth what these people are saying has long worn off by the time the books are available to me. Not their fault, of course, but mine.

  3. Sorry for the ongoing lack of blogging.

    Sadly, this seems to be the case for many Macleans bloggers. I used to visit Macleans Blog Central, and be overwhelmed with posts from a handful of different bloggers, with a variety of opinions, on several topics.

    Now it seems Blog Central consists of Aaron Wherry posts, with Jaime Weinman in-between. This limits discussions to events in the House of Commons, and television.

    Perhaps Macleans should rename Blog Central, as it no longer lives up to its name.

  4. Canada's presence post-2011 should be to support negotiations needed to end fighting and establish a new government, as per the wishes of the Afghan people.

    See "Ninety-Four Percent of Kandaharis Want Peace Talks, Not War" at: