Thursday, January 07, 2010

The Hazara Resurgence

In Afghanistan, the Hazaras are a minority population, historically looked down on by the majority populations. Now, they're experiencing an upswing in prosperity due to better eductational opportunities. Knowledge really is portable wealth:
The Hazara resurgence is not so geographically concentrated. The principal Hazara provinces, while relatively safe, remain impoverished and, their leaders complain, are bypassed by the foreign aid sent to Pashtun areas as a carrot to lure people from the insurgency.

Instead, it is a revival built largely on education, an asset Hazaras could carry with them during their years as refugees.

“With education you can take everything you want,” says Qasim, one of Mustafa’s classmates, a 15-year-old Hazara who moved to Kabul, the Afghan capital, from the northern city of Kunduz five years ago because his parents wanted better-educated children.

The old Afghan rulers “wanted to e xploit Hazara people, and they didn’t want us to become leaders in this country or to improve,” he said. But that will change. “By studying we can dictate our future.”

It's worth noting that this emphasis on education as a path to power and success mirrors that of any number of minority populations, religious or ethnic, in Western civilization.

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