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    Provincial Reconstruction Team – Uruzgan share Iftar with Afghan colleagues

    Provincial Reconstruction Team – Uruzgan share Iftar with Afghan colleagues

    Photo By Lt.j.g. Rory O'Boyle | From left: U.S. Navy Cmdr. Steven Mathews, U.S. Senior Civilian Representative...... read more read more

    TIRINKOT, AFGHANISTAN

    07.18.2013

    Story by Sgt. Jessi McCormick 

    102d Public Affairs Detachment

    TARIN KOT, Afghanistan - Coalition forces and local Uruzgan representatives came together to participate in a customary tradition during a celebration for Ramadan at Multinational Base - Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, on July 18, 2013.

    Coalition forces and local Uruzgan representatives came together to participate in a customary tradition during a celebration for Ramadan at Multinational Base - Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, on July 18, 2013.

    Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection; a time to cleanse one’s body, mind, and soul. Muslims are expected to make peace with those who have wronged them, and strengthen their relationship with Allah.

    One of the most common traditions observed during Ramadan is the fast. Muslims eat a pre-dawn meal called a suhoor. After sunset, the fast is broken with the meal referred to as iftar.

    Some Muslims believe that hosting the iftar is a form of charity. Charitable acts are expected during the month of Ramadan, when some families give much more than the obligatory percentage of alms they are required to give.

    "An iftar is one of the best occasions to meet with Afghan colleagues and counterparts, not only to talk about work but also connect in a more personal way," said Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, U.S. Senior Civilian Representative for Regional Command South, who was visiting from Kandahar. "Undoubtedly, some of my best memories of Afghanistan will be linked to events like this."

    The PRT has hosted two iftar dinners with key provincial leaders from Uruzgan province, along with several U.S. civilians, such as Ambassador Addleton, Kandahar PRT director David Sias, and Regional Command South Governance Lead Ed Birsner.

    "We were honored that they chose to break their fast with us," said Maj. Tony Martinez, civil-military operations chief for Provincial Reconstruction Team-Uruzgan (PRT-U). "We have developed a close relationship with our Afghan counterparts, and the dinner was an opportunity to strengthen the relationships in an informal setting; not just with PRT-U, but amongst the Afghans themselves who will benefit from closer working relations after PRT-U has departed the province."

    After the meal, Uruzgan Provincial Governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada spoke to the group about projects in the province, governance, and the upcoming elections. He also spoke about current school curriculums.

    "When I visit schools, I tell students that in any other country in the world you can work one hour to get something done; study for an hour to learn something," Akhundzada said. "In Afghanistan, we need to catch up. So, for that same one hour of work elsewhere, we need to work three hours; study for four hours. We need to work hard to catch up to the rest of the world, but we can do it."

    Akhundzada added that the strong working relationship with PRT-U had resulted in real progress that was beginning to transform society in Uruzgan.

    "We are thankful for everything we have been given," Akhundzada said. "The stronger we are, the weaker our enemy becomes."

    David Yardley, acting director for PRT-U, ended the evening by thanking Akhundzada for his partnered actions.

    "It's been an honor to stand shoulder to shoulder with you, and with the Afghan government," Yardley said. “We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the province long into the future.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.18.2013
    Date Posted: 07.23.2013 09:40
    Story ID: 110638
    Location: TIRINKOT, AF 

    Web Views: 250
    Downloads: 1
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    Provincial Reconstruction Team – Uruzgan share Iftar with Afghan colleagues