Newsletter 2002-02

Submitted by Guest on Thu, 2006-10-05 20:22.


Brussels, 12 February 2002.

Dear donors,

As you can see this 2nd report is sent to you from Belgium, and this is of course because we are there too!

Kosht seen from high aboveKosht seen from high above


About two weeks after the attacks on the WTC, our embassy ordered us to pack and come down to Islamabad. Although the situation in Kosht hadn't really changed after these attacks, our staff too was concerned about our security. Some Taliban had been spotted at the college, trying to recruit students for the Holy War.

Siyar dares to speak upSiyar dares to speak up


We left for Islamabad, where we received permission to return to Kosht, but that was without taking into the account the slowness of the Pakistani administration. They made us wait another month (sic) to stamp a new 2-year visa in our passports. During this month, the Americans started bombing.

The people in Rawalpindi (twin city of Islamabad) remained friendly as ever, but nevertheless we did feel some hostility now and then. Anyhow we enjoyed our involuntary delay, till we found out about what had happened at Kosht... An unexpected predator was trying to appropriate our school, and this urged us to go back to Kosht as soon as possible.

Our teachers with a Belgian journalist, Rudi VranckxOur teachers with a Belgian journalist, Rudi Vranckx

On our way back, we met a camera crew of the Flemish national television, which joined us and made a short documentary on our project. The next day we immediately shifted our belongings to a new but temporary location. This shifting had been planned three months before, but was not scheduled to happen before May 2002, by which date the new community-built school had to be completed. So the whole process was accelerated, and in the end this was a good thing: now the school will be completely independent and will be able to grow and to mature. We attended a last society meeting before going for winter holidays to Belgium. During this meeting the society appointed two supply teachers.

Correcting home work in a stunning settingCorrecting home work in a stunning setting

Meanwhile the winter holidays are running to an end and the people over there are very busy recruiting new students. In the country, the overall situation has improved significantly; during the Taliban reign the conservative parties had gained much ground in Pakistan too but now the government is taking strong action against extremists. Unfortunately the financial support for our project has been quite limited till now, so we do hope we can still count on your support!

On the 3rd of March we fly back to Pakistan. Anyone who needs more information is invited to surf to the other pages on our site, or to contact us.

Till the next news letter and thanks for your support,

Wendy, Jürgen and Yuval.



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