Victory Amid Typhoid and Gunfire


The following e-mail letters from Ali Roghanian (Class of '87) in Dushanbe, Tadjikistan are reprinted with his permission.

March 26th

Awholesome greeting and a bolshoi priviet from this troubled land of Tadjikistan. My family (three children, seven, four and one year old) moved here to Dushanbe almost nine months ago. As you may know, there has been a civil war going on here for the past four years. Simply speaking, the whole infrastructure has been shot and most of the people are barely surviving. For example, a university professor has a monthly salary of about $8. We have regular problems with water and electricity supplies as well as the telephone lines. There are occasional sounds of machine gun fire in the city which can be heard from my own apartment. We also have an epidemic of typhoid in Dushanbe which so far has claimed several hundred lives. Another 7000 are bed-ridden. But don't worry, there is also some good news.


So far we have officially registered CARP and have trained seven core members. I also managed to sign a long-term contract of cooperation with the ministry of education. As you may know, through the International Education Foundation, we have developed some special moral and spiritual courses called 'My World and I" for high school kids. So far, 20 schools of the city are teaching this course and around 60 other schools are waiting to receive the books from Moscow. IEF has just been registered in this and so far around 300 school directors and teachers have attended my seminars. The foreign minister has agreed to become the president of PWPA which will also be established in Dushanbe very soon.


You may also know about the inaugural meeting of the Martial Arts Federation for World Peace in Washington. Well, as we speak, the vice-minister of sport and the president of the TaekWon Do federation of Tadjikistan are attending this event in Washington. You may also be interested to know that the Tajik National Taek-Won Do team is ranked fifth in the world. That means that they are much stronger than the US national team! Another interesting fact is that all of their instructors in Dushanbe have received our moral courses and are planning to teach it to their students together with their martial arts classes. As you see, there is hope even in Tajikistan!

May 20th

I returned from Washington not so long ago where I was participating in the Asian Literary Conference together with the 11-member delegation from Tajikistan. Among them was the First Vice-Minister of Education with whom I have already signed a five-year contract of cooperation as the national representative of IEF. According to this agreement, the ministry will organize teachers' seminars nationwide at which I will prepare the teachers and directors to implement our educational courses starting from the fifth grade all the way up to the 11th grade. We are also planning to translate these books, which are currently available only in Russian, into the national language of Tajikistan in order to facilitate their eventual use in all of the secondary schools of this nation.