Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A New School in Afghanistan

Today is the on-sale date for the paperback version of A Thousand Splendid Suns, the second novel by Khaled Hosseini, following The Kite Runner. It thus seems an appropriate time to mention the new primary school built in Afghanistan, funded by Hosseini's publisher, Penguin Group USA, to honor the bestselling author who is a native of that country and whose books have done so much to promote knowledge of and interest in his homeland. The new school is located in the town of Arababshirali, about 150 miles from Kabul, and recently opened its doors to 270 students, grades 1 through 6. About a third of the students are girls, who were enrolled despite anonymous threats demanding that they not be allowed to attend. Construction of the school began earlier this year, and provided much-needed employment for men in the village. The project took place under the auspices of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the United States Association for UNHCR.

More information -- and a photograph of the new school -- can be found at Penguin's website.

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