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Afghan Deputy Culture Minister Rashedi says
"South Korea Is Role Model for Afghans"
Nearly 95% of 25 Million Afghan People Are Starving
Mr. Din Mohammad Mobarez Rashedi, deputy minister of Afghan's Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism, and Youth Affairs

"South Korea is the role model for our people in many ways," said a high-level government official from Afghanistan. "I was really surprised and impressed by the economic development Korean people have made for the last decades."

Mr. Din Mohammad Mobarez Rashedi, deputy minister of Afghan's Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism, and Youth Affairs told his first-ever experience about Korea and its people in a recent interview with The Seoul Times. Mr. Ezatullah Maher, an administration officer of KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) Afghanistan Office, served as an interpreter.

Mr. Rashedi led the Afghan delegation of 12 government officials for their training in Seoul from Nov. 2 to Nov. 16, 2006. The officials came from such ministries as Information and Culture, Telecommunications, Finance, Agriculture, and Justice.

The 37-year-old deputy minister said in an interview at Renaissance Hotel in Gangnam on Nov. 15, 2006 that the purpose of the two-week-long training was the executive training program for Afghan officials at LOGODI (Local Government Officials Development Institute), umbrella organization of the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs.

Mr. Din Mohammad Mobarez Rashedi (left), deputy minister of Afghan's Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism, and Youth Affairs, poses with Mr. Ezatullah Maher, an administration officer of KOICA Afghanistan Office. By Song Moon-Kyu, staff reporter

They were invited by KOICA which paid their air fare and hotel accommodations.

During their stay in Seoul the Afghan officials attended lectures and seminars on electronic government (innovations and technology), environment development, economic development of Korea, globalization.

"It was so useful training that we were able to understand the fast development of Korean economy, technology, and industry," Mr. Rashedi said.

"Through this training we were able to learn how Koreans achieved high level economic development and standard of living," Mr. Rashedi said. He said Korean people overcame lots of difficulties and hardships including poverty and invasions of neighbors. "We want to achieve the same kind of development."

Mr. Rashedi and the 11 other officials made inspection tours of such industrial sites as Hyundai Motor Company, Hyundai Shipbuilding, Samsung Electronics, POSCO. They also visited historical places including Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul and Korean Folk Village in Yongin, Gyeonggi-do.

Children in Afghanistan

He described Korean society as "safe and calm" and Korean people as "kind people who have respect for others."

Regarding the major problems his country faces currently Mr. Rashedi pointed out economic situation and insecurity.

"After the long war there is no economic system," he said "there is no company, no hospital, no highways, and no schools."

"For the last 27 years of civil war, every thing's destroyed," he said "Five years ago foreign tourists were all evicted out of the country."

Mr. Rashedi is particular worried about the vast and severe poverty sweeping the Central Asian country.

"Nearly 95 percent of our 25 million people are under the poverty line," he said "Dry bread and drinking water are not available for most of the people."






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