Hijab-Clad American Soldiers Teach Afghan Children about Diversity
An Army article highlights the service of a Female Engagement Team that has been teaching Afghan children about “cultural diversity.” The Soldiers try to promote “international awareness” through exposure to the idea of different cultures:
“The goal is to promote international awareness among youths through sports and crafts to lay the necessary foundation to create tomorrow’s global citizens,” said Cpl. Isidra Reyna, noncommissioned officer in charge of the FET.
“We hope to create an atmosphere of global empathy and understanding of cultural similarities and differences,” Reyna said. “And, of course, have fun.”
Hopefully, along with learning about the Australian version of freeze tag, the children will also be exposed to the concept of religious freedom when they realize much of the world isn’t Islamic. While the international effort in Afghanistan has touched on many issues of freedom, some have indicated religious freedom in the area has actually suffered.
That might be too lofty an expectation, however, given the class is being taught by non-Muslim yet hijab-clad Americans. Still, they’re being exposed to cultures outside their own, and they’re being inspired to look further:
“I am interested in getting on the Internet and learning more,” said 12-year-old Mohammed. “I knew it was a big world and that there are a lot of different people in it.”
That’s a start.