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    Former doctor treats hearts and minds as ANA RCA officer

    Former doctor treats hearts and minds as ANA RCA officer

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Sean Weir | Col. Abdul Rab Sami poses for a portrait.... read more read more

    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

    06.10.2013

    Story by Lt.j.g. Jacob Joy 

    NATO Training Mission Afghanistan

    By U.S. Navy Lt. Jake Joy
    NTM-A/CSTC-A Public Affairs

    KABUL, Afghanistan - Religious and cultural affairs officers take on a variety of duties in the Afghan national security forces. Part preacher, part community outreach coordinator, they attempt to bind Afghan citizens, soldiers and police forces together, while solving village problems and elevating the spiritual life of service members.

    “When I speak with communities, village elders and decision makers, when I communicate the ideas of having a peaceful and prosperous country, it makes me feel good. I know I have said ‘yes’ to my moral responsibilities,” said Afghan National Army Col. Abdul Rab Sami, a 21-year veteran from Panjshir province who serves as the lead RCA officer for the ANA’s 203rd Corps in Paktia province. “I believe my work will give Afghanistan a better future.”

    As a doctor, Sami once practiced and taught medicine at the university level. He said he moved on from administering care to people’s bodies so he could concentrate on caring for their souls.

    “Due to my love for the religious and cultural efforts of the ANA, I thought it would be wonderful for me. This is the field where we can change the opinions and beliefs of the Afghan National Army,” Sami said. “If I were working as a doctor, I would treat one individual at a time. But now, when I speak as a RCA officer, I don’t cure one individual, I can cure more people in the ANA, and I found this job more satisfying.”

    Sami is currently attending the four-month School of Religious and Cultural Affairs intermediate course at Kabul Military Training Center, where he and other RCA officers study topics like conflict resolution, peace building and cultural understanding.

    “The notion of having an RCA schoolhouse is good,” Sami said. “Our officers are coming here, and they don’t let them leave until they know the content. It will help them to preach well, to communicate with the community and with NCOs.”

    As Afghan security forces take the lead in protecting their country’s citizens from enemies, RCA officers will plot the moral course of those forces as they confront the challenges the future is bound to bring.

    “This is my responsibility – to teach both elders and the younger ones about true Islam,” Sami said. “When they understand true Islam, they not only help themselves, but the whole nation of Afghanistan.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.10.2013
    Date Posted: 07.08.2013 06:11
    Story ID: 109826
    Location: KABUL, AF 
    Hometown: PANJSHIR PROVINCE, AF

    Web Views: 27
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

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