Are We Up to It? Success in Afghanistan Will Require Understanding and Patience

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Are We Up to It?  Success in Afghanistan Will Require Understanding and Patience
Is there a way for peace and stability to be achieved in Afghanistan?
In the remarkable new book To Lift a Mirror For What You’ve Lost, one uniquely qualified man is following his dream and seeking to accomplish this very idea.  He has created a unique and personal story to help people understand the situation in Afghanistan.
Nangy Ghafarshad’s life is an amazing story. He grew up in Afghanistan, became an elite officer in the Royal Afghan Air Force in 1960. A fully rated fighter pilot, he was trained for leadership by both the Russians and the Americans.  In 1968, struggling with strong feelings of dismay at how his government ruled his native land and not wishing to return to a place offering little opportunity, on completing an Air Force leadership program sponsored by the USAF, he decided to stay in the United States and became a U.S. citizen. In southern California, he worked as a corporate pilot including flying Mrs. Rosalind Carter around California while, her husband, Jimmy Carter ran for President.  Nangy and his wife bought a small coffee shop in Claremont and grew it into a first-class restaurant that seats 400 guests. His involvement in charitable organizations led to a company, which had a contraction with the U.S. Department of Defense, to hire him as Senior Cultural Advisor assigned in Afghanistan. After leaving 40 years before, he returned to Afghanistan only to find that everything he knew had been destroyed by war. 
“My goal,” he says, “is to use my experience and knowledge and share what is going on in the country of my birth so people may do a better job helping things turn out as good as possible for all concerned.”
“The Afghan people seek the same equality and opportunity that all human beings desire and should share in.  And while things are improving, there are a few “doors” that need to be reworked so that the Afghan people can step into the new world.”
One of the most difficult things Americans face is achieving an understanding of why the people of Afghanistan behave the way they do.
His highly readable and well-illustrated book, while largely about his life and that of his family, contains a wealth of information about Afghanistan’s past and present.  

This post has already been read 39 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites and (Illinois News Network at

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post,, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

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