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October 23, 2001
BEFORE WINTER COMES: A Benefit for Afghan Refugees



PHONE: 206-860-7527 (home)
206-667-6681 (work; M,T,Th; 9-6)

BEFORE WINTER COMES: A Benefit for Afghan Refugees

Monday, November 12, 7-9 pm
120 Kane Hall
University of Washington
Donation $10 and up

To benefit the Afghanistan Relief Program of Oxfam America

Winter comes early in mountainous Afghanistan; deep snows will block roads and prevent food shipments to millions of refugees forced from their homes by war and famine. Local artist April Richardson and some friends have organized a program to raise awareness of the catastrophe facing the refugees, and to raise money for the Afghanistan Relief Program of Oxfam America. A program of slides and speakers is scheduled for Monday, November 12, 7-9 pm, at 120 Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. A donation of $10 or more is requested. Participants are Dr. David Thomas, Wali Khairzada, Larry Ludwig, David Brunn, Shafie Ayar, Marvin and Elizabeth Taylor, and Jessie Mitchell.

Dr. David Thomas, an epidemiologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will present slides from the late 60's, when he was a young doctor investigating smallpox in Pakistan. The slides feature herders and farmers and their varied types of dwellings in pastoral, peaceful Afghanistan. Medieval stone forts built into jagged mountain peaks tower above cultivated fields. In 1966 the Bamyan Buddhas, recently destroyed by the Taliban, were still standing.

Afghan-American Shafie Ayar will answer questions on history and geography. As a 17-year-old medical student he created and led a 2000-member underground organization for 2 years. He was apprehended and held political prisoner for 4-1/2 years by the Russian puppet government. An author, he wrote three books while in Afghanistan, and has written many articles and interviews since coming to the US in 1984.

A short, sweet entr'acte will feature a taste of Afghan culture. Wali Khairzada, owner of Kabul Restaurant, came to the United States in 1972 to study fine arts and documentary photography at New York University. By the time his studies were completed, the Russian regime had taken power. His father advised him not to come home. Mr. Khairzada will offer traditional desserts, and donate the proceeds to Oxfam America. Musicians Larry Ludwig and David Brunn will play traditional music on the sitar and tabla. Larry said, "One of the reasons I play this music is that it's forbidden in Afghanistan, and the music shouldn't be forgotten."

Marvin and Elizabeth Taylor co-founded the faith-based organization of Health Emergent International Services to provide medical care in developing countries in South Central and East Asia. With more than half a dozen trips into Afghanistan during the past three years, the Taylors and their nine-member medical team set up a clinic in the northern town of Rostag, where they saw more than 4000, mostly female, patients in nine days. Slides and videos of their medical outreach to Afghanistan show the land and their personal relationships forged with the Afghan people after more than two decades of war.

Jessie Mitchell of Oxfam America at the University of Washington will describe the Afghanistan Relief Program, and what people can do to help. Founded in 1970, Oxfam America is based on the Oxford Famine Relief, originally set up in England in response to the famine in Europe during World War II.