Letter: Yalies not apathetic about Afghanistan

Re: “Eight years later, a quiet campus on Sept. 11” (Sept. 11). The absence of a vocal protest movement on the Yale campus doesn’t indicate apathy. Neither does it necessarily indicate, as Professor Hill suggested, a tacit agreement in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rather, students have come to realize that there are no simple answers to the problems of fighting terrorism, building democracy and encouraging development. This realization can be positive if it means that, rather than remaining polarized in pro- and anti-war camps, we begin to examine the nuances of the conflicts and put aside ideology to search for practical solutions.

Finally, there is an organization at Yale focused on issues affecting Afghanistan. The Yale Afghanistan Forum includes graduate and undergraduate students from many different backgrounds: a returning Army veteran from Khost Province, a United Nations Development Program employee, volunteers with an agricultural cooperative in Kandahar, students of Afghan heritage themselves and others interested in learning more than what they read in the headlines. We haven’t forgotten about the conflict. Instead, we seek to educate ourselves, and the wider Yale community, about Afghanistan’s history, regional context and possible direction in the future.

We encourage those interested to join us, either during our open discussion sessions or on online at: Afghanistanforum.wordpress.com.

Mari Michener Oye and Anna Kellar

Sept. 13

The writers, a junior in Timothy Dwight College and a sophomore in Saybrook College, are the president and vice president of the Yale Afghanistan Forum.

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