Deschutes Public Library News
Afghanistan: Troubled Past & Uncertain Future
Posted By: Liz Goodrich
Date Posted: 4/15/2005
Deschutes Public Library pleased to welcome retired senior U.S. Aid officer and noted author, Arthur Lezin to the Sisters Public Library for a program titled “Afghanistan: Troubled Past, Uncertain Future,” on April 27 at 6:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Friends of the Sisters Library, this program is part of the Novel Idea … Read Together, community reading project offered by Deschutes Public Library with the support of the Deschutes Public Library Foundation, The Source Weekly, and KLRR 107.7.
Lezin, who was born in California and educated at Reed College and Harvard University, spent much of his professional career serving the Agency for International Development. “Almost all of our assignments were in countries which would be merit the description of backward, underdeveloped, and corrupt,” says Lezin who traveled with his family to Guatemala, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Pakistan, Zaire, Mauritania, and Haiti during his time with the USAID. “The challenge was how to make a significant impact outside the government,” says Lezin. “We channeled assistance and training – growing food, vaccinating children, education girls – directly to the people of the country.” He also notes “to say the recipients of our work appreciated our efforts would be an understatement.” The gratitude he and his wife felt from the people “is why we continued in USAID for 25 year, despite the frustration.” In addition to his U.S.A.I.D. service, Lezin is the author of From Afghanistan to Zaire, a book that chronicles much of his service career. Articles by Lezin have appeared in the Foreign Service Journal, and The Oregonian.
During his program, Lezin will trace the last two decades in Afghanistan from the standpoint of the major political players, including the U.S., Taliban, Soviet, Afghan militias, and the long suffering Afghan people. He will address the successes and failures of U.S. foreign policy regarding Afghanistan. His program will close with a look at how recently elected President Kharzai is dealing with the overlapping problems of security, reconstruction and the drug trade.
During the months of April and May, the Library will be hosting a variety of events in support of the Novel Idea … Read Together project. The programs are designed to give residents of Deschutes County a glimpse into the culture, history and people of Afghanistan. Much of The Kite Runner, this year’s selected novel by Khaled Hoseini, is set in the author’s native country, Afghanistan. For a complete listing of Novel Idea programs please call 312-1032.