Brussels, 12 February 2002.
As you can see this 2nd
report is sent to you from Belgium, and this is of course because we are there
Kosht seen from high above
About two weeks after the attacks on the WTC, our embassy ordered us to pack
and come down to Islamabad. Although the situation in Kosht hadn't really
changed after these attacks, our staff too was concerned about our
security. Some Taliban had been spotted at the college, trying to recruit
students for the Holy War.
Siyar dares to speak up
We left for Islamabad,
where we received permission to return to Kosht, but that was without taking
into the account the slowness of the Pakistani administration. They made
us wait another month (sic) to stamp a new 2-year visa in our passports.
During this month, the Americans started bombing.
The people in Rawalpindi
(twin city of Islamabad) remained friendly as ever, but nevertheless we did feel
some hostility now and then. Anyhow we enjoyed our involuntary delay, till
we found out about what had happened at Kosht... An unexpected predator
was trying to appropriate our school, and this urged us to go back to Kosht as
soon as possible.
Our teachers with
a Belgian journalist
On our way back, we met a camera
crew of the Flemish national television, which joined us and made a short
documentary on our project. The next day we immediately shifted our
belongings to a new but temporary location. This shifting had been planned
three months before, but was not scheduled to happen before May 2002, by which
date the new community-built school had to be completed. So the whole
process was accelerated, and in the end this was a good thing: now the school
will be completely independent and will be able to grow and to mature. We
attended a last society meeting before going for winter holidays to
Belgium. During this meeting the society appointed two supply
work in a stunning setting
Meanwhile the winter holidays
are running to an end and the people over there are very busy recruiting new
students. In the country, the overall situation has improved
significantly; during the Taliban reign the conservative parties had gained much
ground in Pakistan too but now the government is taking strong action against
extremists. Unfortunately the financial support for our project has been
quite limited till now, so we do hope we can still count on your support!
On the 3rd of March we fly back
to Pakistan. Anyone who needs more information is invited to surf to the
other pages on our site, or to contact us.
Till the next news letter and
thanks for your support,
Wendy, Jürgen and Yuval.
Wendy & Jürgen
Ibn Batuta Community School Kosht
Wendy & Jurgen; Ibn Batuta Community School Kosht; P.O. Kosht, Tehsil Mulkhow; District Chitral, NWFP; PAKISTAN
here for account info.
Tel: +32494435128 while we are