Kabul library bus drives Afghan children to read
Video     Photos     Pakistan     World     Islam     Health     Crime     Islamic News     Business     Society     India     Travel     Middle East     Sport     sci/tech      Contact      RSS
Search

Exports to Iran from Pakistan not to be affected due to US sanctions: FO

Without including Houthis Yemen mediation not possible: MWM

Pashto dying slow death in Peshawar schools

Neither law nor order

Privilege motion against DG NAB: What lies behind opposition’s rants?

US to Saudi Arabia: No more ‘bombings in Yemen’

Heavy rain in Dubai washes Pakistan’s chance of series win against New Zealand

Has Asia Bibi been transported out of Pakistan?

Brazil will stand with Iran in face of US sanctions: Ex-president

Top Saudis discussed assassinating Iran’s General Soleimani in 2017, sources tell NY Times

No compromise on SC verdict in Aasia Bibi case: PM Imran

Qureshi denies US offered to free Aafia for Raymond, Afridi's release

Why Muhammad Bin Salman hates Iran?

An Indian woman has been seeking treatment for a back injury in Pakistan

Impressed by TLP, will PML-N now use violence against Accountability?

Iran’s master plan to isolate the US

Is Governor Punjab unhappy with CM Buzdar?

Are S-400 in Indian hands a serious threat to Pakistan’s defense?

How Israel helped murder Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi successive failures in al-Hudaydah, why is West looking to end the conflict in Yemen?!

Saudi coalition halts refueling deal with US for Yemen war

Anti-state remarks’ Treason proceedings sought against TLP, JUI-F chiefs

Pilgrims stranded in Iraq sent back to Pakistan: Foreign Office

Would President Trump have mercy on Dr Aafia?

How the 26-year-old Tamil Tiger Insurgency was Defeated

Pakistan comprehensively beat New Zealand by 6 wickets in second ODI

Will Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Safdar be sent to jail again?

Khashoggi killed for disclosing Saudi funding of anti-Iran TV channel: Guardian

Norway suspends licenses for arms export to Saudi Arabia

India to attend meeting with Taliban in Moscow

Quetta: Protest Rally for release of Baluch Student leader Shabir Baluch was stopped to go CM Baluchistan House , Sister and wife of enforced missing student leader broke down in to tears

Lonely prison inmates pin hopes on CJP to bring ‘Adiala’s life’ Nawaz Sharif back home

Opposition not satisfied with Foreign Minister stance on Saudi war on Yemen

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: victim of ‘extraordinary rendition’

Why Zardari fears arrest?

The Saudi Prince and the growing Iranophobia

Asia Bibi still in Pakistan, Safe & Sound: FO

Fresh Saudi airstrikes leave father, five children dead in Yemen’s Hudaydah

Israeli spyware may have helped Saudi Arabia track, kill Khashoggi: Snowden

13 dead including gunman in shooting at California bar

Israel suggests railway linking Haifa to the Gulf

Asia Bibi flies out of Pakistan?

Pakistan’s batting woes stem from ‘lack of ability against short ball’: Ramiz

The Myth of Civil Military tensions

Was PML-N secretly supporting TLP?

Khashoggi murder: What are US plans for Saudi Arabia?

Half of Yemen population on brink of famine, 35 NGOs warn

Iranians mark Prophet Muhammad’s passing anniversary

Asia Bibi freed from Multan prison: sources

Aasia Bibi freed from jail: lawyer

Resuming peace talks

Agreement gives immunity to TLP leadership’s dangerous remarks

Pakistan can mediate in Yemen war if stakeholders agree, says PM

Zimbabwe thrash Bangladesh for long-awaited Test win

Foreign agencies in Baluchistan: raising anti-CPEC narrative?

Israel at Pakistan’s doorstep: The strategic implications of Oman-Israel relations

MbS launches nuclear plant project amid Khashoggi drama

Saudi dissident journalist dies after torture at Al Saud regime's prison

US exempts Iranian port from sanctions, citing Afghan economy

When Netanyahu defends Bin Salman…

HR Ministry asks PM to sign International Convention against Enforced Disappearances

Can Iran sustain US tough sanctions?

Taliban attack Afghan government post near Iran border, killing 20 troops

Is date of Pakistani banks hacked to hide benami accounts details?

Samiulhaq was Anti-people cleric

Will Imran’s Gulf Yatra means serious compromises?

The conspiracies and PTI-led government

Saudis launch 'Boycott Amazon' to take on Post over coverage of Khashoggi murder

Parachinar protest against illegal occupation of land of Shalozan, others

Did PTI make TLP stronger than before?

US imposes ‘toughest ever’ sanctions on Iran

China to give Pakistan anti-corruption formula

The real story of Khadim Rizvi phenomenon

“No Appeasement”:Shireen Mazari praised for her stance against extremism

Bahrain shia opposition leader sentenced to life in prison

Over 1,100 held for rioting during protest against Aasia’s acquittal

Pakistan whitewash New Zealand 3-0 in Twenty20 series

University in KP Bans Male and Female Students from Sitting Together in Library

Who assassinated Sami ul Haq?

Asia Bibi case verdict, fallacious arguments and our national mindset

Pak, China Joint Statement speaks of expansion in ties, no mention of 'immediate support'

US takes leap of faith toward Taliban, al-Qaeda

What will Pakistan achieve from PM Khan’s visit to China?

Govt, TLP disagree on agreement

US demand for Yemen ceasefire, launch of political talks ‘total farce’: Ansarullah

Ranji Trophy 2018-19: After smog controversy, Delhi faces a ‘toilet’ issue

Saudi prince: Coup against King Salman ‘imminent’

Aasiya Bibi’s lawyer leaves Pakistan amid security threats

Shia Islamic parties condemn murder of Maulana Sami ul Haq of JUI-S

Government signs an agreement with TLP: State surrender or political necessity?

Netanyahu admits Israel behind Europe’s row with Iran over murder plot allegations

Erdogan: Order to kill Khashoggi came from ‘highest levels’ of Saudi gov't

Relations beyond the veil: Pakistan, Israel and the Muslim world

Hamid Gul's son claims surviving attempt on life

Pakistan's T20 juggernaut races to 11th successive series win after crushing New Zealand

TLP calls off countrywide protest sit-ins

Maulana Samiul Haq assassinated in Rawalpindi

Pakistan's army chief arranges Milad on son’s wedding after allegations of being Qadiani by TLP

Who’s the real enemy?

Israeli delegation in Riyadh as Netanyahu asks US to back MBS

2018-06-18 03:38:58

Kabul library bus drives Afghan children to read

The door of the blue bus slides open and dozens of children excitedly bound up the steps, eager to get their hands on hard-to-find books in Kabul’s first mobile library.

Named Charmaghz — the Dari for walnut, which is associated with logic in Afghanistan because the nut resembles a brain — the converted public bus is hard to miss as it winds through the dusty streets of the Afghan capital.

The library-on-wheels offers pupils and street kids free access to children’s books, which are in short supply at public schools and libraries.

It also offers one of the few spaces outside the home that children can use in a city where fear is increasingly keeping residents behind closed doors.

As both the Taliban and the Islamic State group step up their attacks in Kabul, with civilians paying the price, many parents — traumatised by the violence, some of them already devastated by loss — have stopped taking their children out in public.

Charmaghz, used by as many as 300 children every day, is a rare exception.

The vehicle, which is rented from a state-owned bus company and takes precautions to avoid government buildings, main roads or other crowded areas targeted by militants in Kabul, is a relatively secure place for them to read, play chess and see friends.

“Boys, you sit in the back and girls in the front. It is important to be organised,” one of three volunteers tells the children as he pulls books from an overhead shelf and places them in outstretched hands.

Unlike traditional libraries where chatting is discouraged, the constant hum of voices fills Charmaghz.

Children sit cross-legged on the carpeted floor or at desks reading aloud from some of the 600 books that have been donated by Afghan publishers.

“I come to the bus once a week to read books,” 13-year-old Zahra told AFP.

“Today I’m reading about how to improve your health. I’m reading what I should do and what I should eat.”

“When I go home I share the stories I read here with my brothers and sisters.”

– Book shortage –

The library bus was launched in February by Oxford University graduate Freshta Karim, who has dedicated herself to improving the reading and storytelling abilities of children in Afghanistan — an opportunity she never had as a child.

Karim grew up a refugee in Pakistan and returned to Afghanistan after the fall of Taliban in 2002. She completed her undergraduate degree in Kabul before winning a Chevening scholarship to study a master’s in public policy at Oxford.

“When we were children we did not have access to… libraries for children,” Karim, 26, told AFP.

“I remember as a kid at school we didn’t even have chairs — we were sitting on the floor to study.”

The library bus stops at schools, parks or orphanages throughout the week, and is an “efficient” way to reach lots of children, Karim said, helping to improve Afghanistan’s low general rate of literacy of just 36 percent.

Even now most public schools in Afghanistan do not have libraries, said Shafiullah, who used to work at Kabul’s main public library and now helps non-profit organisations publish children’s books.

“Young people and children do not have access to different types of books except their school textbooks,” Shafiullah, who like many Afghans goes by one name, told AFP.

“And there are only a few non-governmental organisations that sometimes help publish books for children.”

The time many children spend at schools in Afghanistan is limited. Afghans receive an average of 4.6 years of formal education, according to a 2017 survey by the Asia Foundation.

– Broadening horizons –

Inside Charmaghz, 15-year-old Abbas reads to his friends the tragic story of Rostam, a hero in Persian mythology, and his son Sohrab.

Abbas said the library bus had given him access to books he could not find at his school.

“At school you have a limited choice. You don’t have a lot of books. But here you can find a whole range,” he told AFP.

More than eight million children are enrolled in schools across Afghanistan this year, official figures show.

But 3.5 million other school-age kids will miss out due to school closures, grinding conflict and poverty.

Karim is realistic about the changes to literacy the mobile library can achieve in a country the size of Afghanistan.

But it is a start, said Karim, who is hoping to garner enough donations to rent another two buses.

“I don’t think a mobile library will solve the thousands of problems that we have in our education system,” she said.

“But a mobile library is a small effort among a lot of efforts that we have to make.

Categories:   Other News ،
Tags:   Afghanistan ، Kabul ، Library bus ،
From other agencies (RSS Reader)