Magazine article International Educator

Fostering Hope

Magazine article International Educator

Fostering Hope

Article excerpt

ALTHOUGH the United States has been engaged in wars abroad over the last few decades, the full consequences sometimes elude us.

What is so unique about the international education profession is that we are able to help others in dire situations improve their options because education offers a powerful antidote to the tribula- tions of war: hope.

I was reminded of this recently at the NAFSA annual conference in San Diego as the highest number of attendees ever came together to connect across borders, and one very important theme was the role of fostering peace and social justice through international edu- cation. I picked up the newspaper one morning on my way to the convention center and read that President Barack Obama declared that nearly all troops in Afghanistan will withdraw by the end of 2016 (except a small number to protect the U.S. Embassy). This was timely news because our current cover story, "Overcoming Decades of Devastation: Revitalizing Education in Afghanistan," by David Tobenkin explores how colleges and universities have been assisting universities in Afghanistan to reinvigorate their higher education systems through partnerships that can help Afghan students have better opportunities despite the devastation in their country over the last several decades. This article is the second in a two-part series about partnerships with Iraq and Afghanistan to help revitalize higher education in those nations after U.S. military presence. The first article, "Reawakening Higher Education in Iraq," was published in the November/December 2013 issue of International Educator. …

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