Author Archives: Kara

Life-saving heart surgery performed on Jalalabad toddler in memory of Afghan medical student

A fundraiser was started in Canada and the U.S. to pay for life-saving heart surgery for two-year-old Mansoor in Afghanistan. It was initiated upon the tragic death of Afghan medical student, Mustafa Ahmadzai, who was studying in Toronto, Canada. Friends … Continue reading

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Mustafa Ahmadzai Memorial Fund

Saving children’s lives – Mustafa’s lifelong dream Mustafa came to the US through the Youth Exchange & Study (YES) program in 2008 at the age of 15. I had the privilege of being his local coordinator and have worked with … Continue reading

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And once we were immigrants too

*Dedicated to my father, Thomas Kessinger, and all our fathers before him and in celebration of his 80th birthday and the publishing of his autobiography, Growing Up, Growing Old. “The very essence of our nation is founded on the strength, courage, … Continue reading

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16-year-old Zahra Habibi’s speech at the Canadian Embassy of Afghanistan

Yesterday, on October 10th 2016, my friend, Zahra Habibi, gave a speech at the Canadian Embassy in Afghanistan. She has allowed me to post her speech and some photos in observance of International Day of the Girl. My name is … Continue reading

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Waking up in Afghanistan

I awaken at dawn to the sound of the call to prayer as if the loudspeaker from the nearby mosque is mounted to my bedroom window. At first I am foggy-headed and then gain gradually increasing clarity of mind. The … Continue reading

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The two faces of Wazir Akbar Khan Hill

We arrived at the gated base of Wazir Akbar Khan Hill, paid the admission fee and drove under the lifted steel security bar. We began climbing the nicely paved entrance road carved into the southern slope of the hill and … Continue reading

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Culture shock: What’s all the fuss about shoes?

In Afghanistan, it is customary to remove your shoes before entering a home. Typically you will find a jumbled pile of the inhabitants’ shoes immediately inside and outside the entrance of houses, apartments, some shops, offices and hotels. Sometimes there … Continue reading

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