Afghan Cooking & Culture


Over 20 people attended the session hosted by Abdul Shukoor Popal. He is a graduate student at Osaka University and has been a substitute teacher at OIS and worked in the Saturday School. He is a professor of mining economics in his home country. We learned how to prepare and make dishes from both eastern and northern Afghanistan. The raisins and carrots mixed with chicken in jasmine rice was my favorite. Besides learning some interesting recipes, we all had a good social time after a busy week.

Abdul (left) with MS/HS principal Kurt Mecklem

Abdul’s presentation really brought home to almost 40 years of war the country has endured. He showed a more human side of daily life in the country, things you don’t often hear in the news. It was so sad to hear that he lost four uncles and his father in the 1980s wars. I can’t fathom the amount of damage done to the country after so much violence and unrest. He left us on a hopeful note pointing out the energy and enthusiasm of the youth of Afghanistan. Abdul is working on constructing a private, international elementary school based on what he has seen at SOIS. He said schools are respected by all groups in the country as they recognize the need for educating the populace. He is also supporting the many NGOs working in the country and showed us the example of how much a cow can do for a family.

We raised 42,000 Yen with donations from the evening. Thank you to the people who came and attended and to Abdul for sharing his experiences and expertise with us!

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