News: Farah mayor, engineer and youth director meet with Farahi youth to discuss municipal projects
Story by Lt.j.g. Matthew Stroup
FARAH CITY, Afghanistan – Civilian and military leadership from Provincial Reconstruction Farah attended a meeting of Farahi youth that was attended by the Farah City Mayor, Abdul Rahim Ashaqzai, the lead city engineer and the Farah Director of Youth in Farah City, Dec. 2.
The PRT’s delegation was led by USAID field program officer, Chris Geurtsen, who was encouraged by the development of civil society at the event.
“It was great to see the level of engagement of the youth at the meeting,” said Geurtsen. “High school and university students used their opportunity to speak directly with the mayor and youth director well, and in turn they were rewarded by honest dialogue from their leaders.”
Ashaqzai, who was recently named the best city mayor in all Afghanistan was complimentary of the youth of Farah. “Today’s youth are very talented,” said Ashaqzai. His message to them from the beginning of the conference was very clear.
“The purpose of the municipality is to serve you and to help you find solutions to your problems. If you have problems or issues – contact us. We want to hear about it,” said the mayor.
To further drive the point home, Ashaqzai provided his personal cell phone number to the crowd of young people to provide them access to him directly. The mayor and other leaders discussed a variety of issues that the young people could talk to him about including infrastructure development issues, issues of access to public facilities and other municipal projects.
Geurtsen, and other PRT members, were at the meeting solely as observers to watch the growth and development of the municipality.
“It is encouraging to watch the transition process unfold here in Farah City,” said Geurtsen. “So often we here about bad news stories in Afghanistan, but Farah City, despite its imperfections, has made significant strides over the past decade. The people here aren’t without concern, but they are hopeful about the future.”
PRT Farah’s mission is to train, advise and assist Afghan government leaders at the municipal, district, and provincial levels in Farah Province, Afghanistan. Their civil-military team is comprised of members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). For more information about the PRT follow their page on Defense Video and Information Distribution System (DVIDS) at www.dvidshub.net/unit/PRTF or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PRTFRH.
This work, Farah mayor, engineer and youth director meet with Farahi youth to discuss municipal projects, by LTJG Matthew Stroup, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.