Letter to the editor: Afghan families need our help

Over the Fourth of July weekend I had the opportunity to meet two college students from Afghanistan at a neighborhood gathering. Both were articulate, personable young people, both with bright futures and dark clouds over their horizons. They are out of the turmoil but family members are not, and they watch anxiously as events unfold in their country.

One of the young people, Farid, is pursuing an MBA, but his real passion is, of all things mountain biking, and he is planning to use the sport to raise money for education in the village, his village, where almost 100 young school girls were murdered by terrorists recently. Longer-term goals are to establish mountain biking trails and programs for young people and tourists in Afghanistan — talk about optimism!

The other student, Farida, a young lady and rising senior, is interning in Artificial Intelligence at M.I.T. this summer. Her family is still in Kabul and she is particularly worried about her sister’s future. She has been helping Farid set up his website to facilitate raising funds for the cause of universal education at home.

Both of these young people represent their country well, and both are worried, but optimistic that their generation will not allow Afghanistan to go backward. Both see education, particularly education of young women, as key to that optimism. We can help by supporting Farid’s cause. Go to startsomegood.com/eduacationwillprevail to learn how.

And while you’re at it, consider contacting our representatives to urge them to work to move all the Afghans who collaborated with us over the years to safe countries, including the U.S. Their lives are in danger and we owe them safe passage out of harm’s way.

Richard Butz


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