2005 Archive of Blog posts
Apprentice Program Teaches Construction Skills to Young Iraqis
As a continuation of our efforts to stimuate the local economy and job growth, Spirit of America provided tool kits for young Iraqis learning construction skills. Programs that provide employment and offer a stable future for Iraq's young men are essential steps in rebuilding Iraq and creating an safer environment for American troops.
As Lt.Col Stephen Grumbach of the Air Force Center forEnvironment Excellence notes in an article on the program, "the locals are less likely to attack when everybody is benefiting. This program is improving the lives of Iraqi people and making it safer for us."
"Merry Christmas" from Baghdad
The Baghdad team of Spirit of America sends their wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to the many wonderful individuals that have supported their efforts this year.
Sample Letter from an Iraqi Student
My name is M. Faris,I'm 17 years old , i live in Baghdad and I'm studying the last year of Al-Nedamia high school ,, I study very hard to make my dream true becouse i like to be a phisition ...
I like play basket ball and listining to music (POPand RAP) i like reading and i love to make alot of friends ,, im working with my friends and some people to serve my country to be more beautifull and help our people espisially the children to live with each other with happy and love and forgot every thing about wars and live in peace... i like to contact with you and with all guys and girls to make a friendship and i will e-mail you later.
Yarmouk University Memorial Labs Completed
We certainly feel like this is the giving season with all the good news reports on SoA sponsored projects these last few days. We've just received word from Sgt. Robert Ness working with the 445th in Baquba, Iraq that construction on the English Chemistry Labs at Yarmouk Unviersity, supported under the Re-equip Universities in Baquba project, are finished. SoA supporters provided for these labs to renew the facilities at this school looted and damaged by insurgents.
The commenorative sign in the picture that Sgt. Ness provided says "Dr. Talib Al Zaidy Sound Lab". He reminded us that "Dr. Al Zaidy was one of the leaders in Diyala's academic community. He worked with the Coalition Forces on reconstruction projects despite receiving threats against his personal safety, which culminated in his being killed by insurgents. We hope that this lab will be a fitting tribute to his life and his courage."
We're humbled to play a small part in remembering Dr. Al Zaidy's sacrifice by helping to secure the opportunity for higher education at Yarmouk.
University personnel will provide a complete update in the next few weeks but in the meantime, enjoy these pictures of the construction.
Operation Snapshot: A Picture IS worth a thousand words
Cost of 40 Polaroid Cameras sent to the troops in Iraq: $400.00
Seeing the faces of Iraqi children enjoying their photos: Priceless
You have to think that if mass media could read more emails and see pictures like these, we'd hear more news stories of the good things that our troops are doing in Iraq. These photos and update on the success of Operation Snapshot make it all worthwhile:
Thank you so much. I was completely amazed. I am always thankful to get out of this office and out into the field. This, by far, was the greatest adventure yet.
We convoyed out and drove to a local Iraqi Army Station, from there the IA Soldiers took on us a foot patrol out to a local school not far from their area.
Yes, it was a little tense, but once we arrived at the school the children started to come from everywhere. The team I was with was delivering backpacks and I toted along with my backpack full of Polaroids and film.
The pictures were the hit of the day. I showed the Iraqi Soldiers how to take pictures and just let them go with it.
Again, thanks for all your support.
Operation Snapshot Brings More Smiles to Iraq
Thanks to our donors and Polaroid, a new shipment of cameras and film have reached 3 different requestors in Iraq to bring smiles to the Iraqi people. Operation Snapshot remains one of our most popular project requests and is a wonderful opportunity for our troops to create positive relationships with the children and families in Iraq.
Marines LtCol Tayrn Gude and 1stLt Pat Keane and Army Sgt. Charity Lewis each received 40 cameras and 725 packs of film.
As Sergeant Lewis wrote, "Your organization has given the American people the perfect avenue to put the help and aid where it is truly needed, I hope that we can continue to do good things."
We can't do it without caring and committed troops and without the support of our amazing donors. Thank you for helping us make a difference.
Children's Books Destined for Libraries Arrive in Baghdad
Spirit of America purchased 16 titles of children's books directly from author Taghreed Najjar, a Lebanese woman from Beirut who currently lives and works in Jordan where she runs her publishing company. All the Arabic titles have been received in Baghdad and will be distributed to nine schools. The list of books was compiled by a joint coalition of the CPA and Iraqi education professionals.
English translations of these books are being shipped by an ocean freighter and will arrive in four to seven weeks.
You can visit Taghreed Najjar's Web site at www.alsalwabooks.com.
Soccer Equipment Delivered to Eastern Afghanistan
Spirit of America supported the Army's request and efforts to supply soccer equipment to a remote village in eastern Afghanistan. The request was for some basic items for the men's team, and for good measure we included enough equipment to supply a kid's team as well. The package included jerseys of all sizes, shin guards, goal keeper's and referee equipment, rule books, goal posts, nets, corner flags, shoes, balls, and various other items to turn out professional-looking teams.
US civil affairs soldiers from Ft Bragg also provided school uniforms, equipment, and other humanitarian supplies to this village in eastern Afghanistan. Our grateful thanks and appreciation to KwikGoal in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, and Goetz Brothers in San Francisco for supplying these items at a generous discount.
Special kudos to Carrie Griffen for tracking down these photos for us!