International Day of Peace

Sep 21, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Every­day when I go to work, my mom tells me, “Have a good day, son.” Today was dif­fer­ent. When I was say­ing good­bye to her this morn­ing she came to the gate with me and said, “Be care­ful, OK?” Just go to you office and come back straight home, she said. Sep­tem­ber 21st was like any other day nor­mal day in Jalal­abad. Most of the time, when there is a national or inter­na­tional day of cel­e­bra­tion and there are officials…

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Government aid too late

Sep 19, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  2 Comments

A cou­ple of weeks ago my col­leagues and I went to Kama dis­trict for gath­er­ing data for map­ping the area on the open source map­ping site, Open Street Map, we came across a team of the gov­ern­ment aid dis­trib­u­tors. They were dis­trib­ut­ing mos­quito nets. Now that the sum­mer sea­son is over and there will be almost no mos­quito any­more, these peo­ple don’t need these nets this year. “We will keep them for next year”, said one of the locals. This…

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Thankfully my Brother Got Hit by a Car

Sep 19, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  10 Comments

My lit­tle brother, Imran was rid­ing on his bicy­cle to school yes­ter­day. He got hit by a car from the back. Imran’s back­pack which had a bro­ken zip­per was on his back. When he got hit, his back­pack fell to the ground and all his books got scat­tered all around in the mid­dle of the road. Imran got up unscathed and started pick­ing up his books to put back in his back­pack. Sud­denly, he saw a big scor­pion with its…

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Tech Tools and Skills for Emergency Management

Sep 9, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  1 Comment

Together with my col­league, Una Moore, I am tak­ing an online course on Tech Tools and Skills for Emer­gency Man­age­ment at TechChange Insti­tute for Social Change: http://techchange.org/. It’s a 3-week course and today is the last day of week 1. It’s my first online course ever and Una is help­ing me a lot with how it works and the course mate­ri­als too. Yes­ter­day evening, we took turns and read aloud the first week course mate­ri­als at a French restau­rant in…

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New Computer lab in Khogyani

Sep 3, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  4 Comments

About five months ago, my col­league, Noor and I set up a com­puter and Eng­lish lan­guage train­ing lab in Kaga, Khogyani. Kaga is about 35 kilo­me­ters south west of Jalal­abad city. It has a small main bazaar which is basi­cally all on a one-hundred-meter long street. There are many small and sparsely located vil­lages all around the main bazaar. It’s a beau­ti­ful place with a lot of snow in win­ter and cool weather in sum­mer. We went there back in…

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Surkhrod Trip of OSM

Aug 26, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   Uncategorized  //  13 Comments

Nearly two weeks ago, we had an OSM maps edit­ing trip to Behsood Dis­trict. Our team spent the last ten days and a few days before the trip to fin­ish edit­ing the entire dis­trict in very detail: OSM/Behsood This week, when we were fin­ished with Behsood as per our plan we took a map­ping trip to Surkhrod Dis­trict of Nan­garhar Province. Luck­ily, our map­ping man­ager, Habib Raza is from Surkhrod and he knows the area like the back of his…

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Officially for Sale

Aug 24, 2011   //   by peretz   //   military  //  4 Comments

I spot­ted an old man sit­ting in a crowded bazar, sewing army and police patches onto uni­forms. I hag­gled and picked up a dozen.

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OpenStreetMap Trips

Aug 16, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   GIS  //  7 Comments

As I said in my ear­lier blog, our com­pany (J Syn­ergy Tech Devel­op­ment) is work­ing on a map­ping project to edit Nan­garhar Province in the east­ern Afghanistan on Open­StreetMap. There are a few dif­fer­ent ways to edit on OSM: You can edit by hav­ing local knowl­edge of the area you are edit­ing. You can also edit by record­ing gps tracks with a gps or a smart phone and then upload­ing those tracks on OSM and edit all the places you…

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My University Graduation

Jul 30, 2011   //   by Hameed   //   university  //  8 Comments

Four years ago in Feb­ru­ary I took the Kankor Exam, the uni­ver­sity entrance exam in Afghanistan. Kankor is like the Amer­i­can SAT. It is devel­oped and scored by the Min­istry of Higher Edu­ca­tion (MoHE) of Afghanistan. Kankor includes ques­tions about the sev­eral sub­jects we study in high school (math­e­mat­ics, physics, chem­istry, lan­guages, geog­ra­phy, his­tory and Islamic stud­ies) and it nor­mally takes three and a half hours. That year (2007) more than 80000 stu­dents took the exam and less than 2000…

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Celebrating Nowruz in Mazar-i-Sharif

May 31, 2011   //   by peretz   //   culture, long, photos  //  13 Comments

We chose to cel­e­brate the Per­sian New Year, Nowruz in Mazar-i-Sharif because it is the epi­cen­ter of cel­e­bra­tion in Afghanistan. Over 200,000 peo­ple con­gre­gate at the Rowze-e-Sharif Mosque which the Afghan Shia believe houses the tomb of Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib whom they con­sider Islam’s first Imam. Nowruz is offi­cially rec­og­nized as a national hol­i­day and high rank­ing offi­cials attend the cel­e­bra­tions. Although the fes­tiv­i­ties are cen­tered on the Mosque, Novruz is a pre-Islamic hol­i­day that is not mentioned…

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