They know that illiteracy, ignorance and oppression of women create the petri dish in which extremism can flourish.
That’s why the Islamic State kidnapped Samira Salih al-Nuaimi, a brave Iraqi woman and human rights lawyer in Mosul, tortured her and publicly executed her last week. That’s why the Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai, then 15 years old, after she campaigned for educating girls. And that’s why Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria and announced that it would turn them into slaves.
In each case, the extremists recognized a basic truth: Their greatest strategic threat comes not from a drone but from a girl with a book. We need to recognize, and act on, that truth as well.
My friends Leo and Helga met in Hohenschwangau, Bavaria in 1945, the same year CARE was founded to send lifesaving CARE Packages to desperate survivors of the Second World War. Their love story began when Leo, a U.S. Army soldier, walked into the small photography shop owned by Helga’s uncle. “How many prints, please?” asked Helga, who was working behind the counter. The two became friends and, after Leo returned to Ohio, pen pals.
In her letters to Leo, Helga writes movingly about the hunger she and so many people around her experienced in the aftermath of the war, and how opening the CARE Packages of food sent by Leo was like opening presents on Christmas morning.
While exchanging letters and CARE Packages for more than two years, Leo and Helga fell in love. She moved to the United States and, on August 7, 1948, they married. My colleague Kate Crosby and visited them in Colorado Springs in July.
I met them by accident. A deceased friend of theirs, Maura Bean, left money to CARE in her will. One of Maura’s relatives gave us Leo’s name so we could ask him about Maura. At the end of a long conversation about Maura, he asked me if I had a minute to hear about his connection to CARE. I’m very glad I did.
We’re working a big project with Leo and Helga that we won’t finish for a while. In the meantime, I wanted to acknowledge their anniversary.
If you have a second to leave them a happy anniversary message, we’ll make sure they get it.
City of Atlanta Deputy Chief Operating Officer Tom Weyandt downplays the 2nd major postponement of the Atlanta Streetcar’s opening:
“My prediction is six months after this opens, no one will remember opening day … the system will be open and we’ll see all kinds of impact,”
No one? I suspect the small business owners who opened new shops timed to the planned June launch of streetcar operations, and are now losing money because there’s no streetcar, might remember.