What the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear 5 students from Afghanistan have been reported missing from an American University? I know the first thing I thought of was “TERRORISTS”.
According to the article, brilliant university officials think the students — who’ve been missing for more than a week — could be trying to remain in the country illegally. (Ya think?) Apparently, the opportunity to study public administration at UW — made possible through the Afghan eQuality Alliances, a program coordinated with the U.S. — just wasn’t enough to hold their interest.After contacting a variety of individuals and government agency representatives, I am now able to shed more light on the matter.At 2:52 p.m. CDT, I received some answers to a set of questions I had sent to Dr. Maria Beebe, chief of party for Afghan eQuality Alliances at Washington State University. She confirmed that the University of Washington is an alliance partner, despite the fact that the name of the school was not listed on the program’s website.She also provided the names of the missing students. They are as follows:
- Mohammed Ratib Abeer — Member of theof Afghanistan;
- Masood Ghory — English Instructor for the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission;
- Rahmatullah Hamidi — Scientific Member for Curriculum Development, Ministry of Education;
- Numan Tarin — Senior National Coach for the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission; and
- Sayed Hashmatullah — National Consultant for the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission.Dr. Beebe said the students were reported “missing” to local police by Ken Peavler after they did not show up in class and their roommates verified that they had not shown up in their rooms. As program manager at the Evans School of Public Affairs, Peavler’s duties include keeping track of the study-abroad students.Of the 38 students selected for the program, only 32 remain after one returned home to Afghanistan to deal with a family matter.Since the Afghan eQuality Alliances program is attracting a number of applicants (250 for the next batch for 36 slots), Dr. Beebe said, program officials can be more selective and add a criteria related to their current job titles.“So, for example, we can say only directors and assistant director levels would be considered,” she explained. “At that level, we will also get the older (more mature) students who have children and will have more compelling reasons to go back to Afghanistan.”Apparently, at least five of the students were not old enough or not motivated enough to want to return.I have yet to receive additional information from U.S. Agency for International Development or the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
* * *UPDATE 10/15/08 4:12 p.m. CDT: According to a Seattle Times article I just found, a total of seven Afghan scholars have vanished from UW this year.
Is it any wonder that Barack Obama as president just plain scares the shit out of me. After watching him in the debate last night hem and haw his way out of every corner John McCain backed him into, and knowing that Barack Obama is completely incapable of making a decision that would be considered unpopular, he just lacks the balls to be a leader of any kind let alone POTUS. If we are attacked, and The Messiah is sitting in the war room, he cannot simply vote “PRESENT”. He would be required to make a decision, something he just is unable to do.