Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A personal view of a woman's life in Afghanistan

A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of the most powerful novels I've ever read. Given all that's taking place in Afghanistan today, especially regarding the lives and rights of women, I highly recommend this beautifully-written, emotionally-driven story.

Featuring two women who find support, love and strength amid the heartbreak and brutality of their daily lives, it personalized for me the political situation that has existed there for decades. While many are torn about participating in the war, this perspective gave me a different view of why some feel we should continue to fight for the rights and freedoms of all Afghans.

It's hard not to ask why so many civilians and foreign soldiers should be sacrificed in the name of this most current conflict. That said, how can we walk away considering the efforts and recent deaths of real Afghan women who have taken on leadership roles, working to improve their country's future? Or the women, and men, who have seen so many of their civil rights taken away?

It seems that despite the setbacks, it's going to take a concerted effort dependent on force first, but also featuring development and diplomacy. I hope a time will come when armies are no longer visible, nor needed.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Trying Twitter

Being in communications, I know how important (and sometimes daunting) it is to keep up on the trends. Of course, everyone is now well aware of the micro-blogging phenome, Twitter, which has been the talk of all media channels for the past number of months. While I joined Twitter a year ago, I didn't really get it until earlier this year. 

It's a powerful communications form that blends many aspects of life in one place. Used well (I'm definitely still learning), it's a dynamic and convenient way to monitor volumes and volumes of news, updates and opinions while sharing the same. 

That said, Twitter also feeds the already problematic online addiction begun with blogging, facebook, the blackberry et al. Time consuming it is to make and manage all the connections that comprise our social networks. A good example: I need to drag myself away from this laptop right now - grocery shopping is still waiting!

It'll be interesting to see how all of this nets out, but for now, I plan to keep exploring - both from a personal and professional perspective. 

For his hilarious take, check out Stephen Colbert's chat with Biz Stone, Twitter co-founder. And then make sure you follow both!