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Thousands raised in fundraising drive for specialist hospital in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: August 26, 2020)

The Bayat Foundation, in partnership with Muslim Aid USA, held a successful Telethon on Saturday night to raise funds for the new Maternal and Neonatal specialist hospital being built in Kabul. 

Calling on the Afghan diaspora, a three-hour phone-in fundraising drive was broadcast on YouTube and managed to raise thousands of dollars. 

Hundreds of people came out in support of the initiative, along with well-known artists and celebrities from around the world.

By 12 noon Kabul time on Sunday just over $80,000 had been donated but this was still short of their $100,000 target.  

With these funds the Bayat Foundation will be able to continue building the state-of-the-art hospital and equip it with up-to-date technology and the equipment needed.

The hospital will be able to provide specialist treatment that is not available in the country currently and will provide the most advanced levels of Surgical, Maternal, Pediatric, and Cancer treatment available for women and children.

Speaking during the April 2018 inauguration of the project, Dr. Ehsanollah Bayat, the Co-Chairman of the Bayat Foundation said: “The new Bayat Maternity and Neonatal Hospital, when it is complete, will be the most modern, advanced and capable medical facility in Afghanistan.” 

 “We look forward to the day that the new Bayat Maternity and Neonatal Hospital is open, and we can begin providing healthcare to the people who need it most.”

This hospital initiative is part of the foundation’s commitment to improving the lives of all Afghans who have endured decades of hardship and war. Poverty levels are currently at an all-time high and with the COVID-19 pandemic, an already fragile health system is struggling.

Women and children meanwhile have borne the brunt of this and are in desperate need of assistance, especially as Afghan women suffer in silence because of the lack of proper healthcare facilities and the necessary medical resources, including equipment and medicine, and also the limited access to any form of specialist treatment. 

But the Bayat Foundation continues to work towards improving conditions for women and children in Afghanistan and is committed to breaking down the barriers preventing women from getting the help they need. 

Many Afghan women do not know they have serious medical conditions that can be easily diagnosed, treated and cured. Instead, they suffer in silence and all too often die at a young age due to a lack of knowledge and limited access to doctors – along with social stigmas. 

The new Bayat Maternity and Neonatal Hospital aims to end this and to change the lives of women. 

The hospital will have five specialist healthcare centers including a Women’s Surgical Theater (with a special focus on fistula treatment and recovery), Pediatric Audiology Clinic, Endoscopy Clinic, Eye Clinic and Women’s Cancer Clinic.

These five specialized healthcare capabilities, together with the Hospital’s Blood Bank, will be able to provide highly specific treatments that are currently unavailable at other hospitals and healthcare centers in Afghanistan. 

The Women’s Surgical Theater will however be critical in saving the lives of Afghan women as it will provide diagnosis and treatment of Obstetric Fistula, a devastating childbirth injury that occurs when women give birth without hospital facilities, or without the assistance of medically trained attendants.

Afghanistan remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth and there are an estimated 396 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the country, according to MSF which stated that childbirth without skilled attendance represents a major threat to the survival and wellbeing of Afghan women and their newborns. 

But in addition to specialized surgical treatments, the Hospital’s Women’s Cancer Center will provide essential screening, diagnosis and treatment capabilities which will address—and reduce—the rising levels of Cervical Cancer among Afghan women.

Since 2005, the US-based Bayat Foundation has promoted the well-being of the Afghan people. 

Founded and directed by Ehsanollah Bayat and Fatema Bayat, the Foundation has contributed to more than 300 projects dedicated to improving the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan; including the construction of 13 maternity hospitals that have now treated over two million mothers and babies.

Donations for the new hospital can still be made and for anyone who would still like to donate you can follow this link: https://www.launchgood.com/afgtelethon 

Or for more information contact the Foundation at info@bayatfoundation.org

To watch the full Telethon program on YouTube:

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Atmar conveys condolences to Palestine just hours before media offices bombed

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(Last Updated On: May 15, 2021)

Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Haneef Atmar spoke with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Palestine, Riyad Al-Maliki, on Saturday and condemned the escalation of attacks and encroachment on the Palestinian people during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr.

In a statement issued by his office, Atmar said the bloody attacks were unacceptable for Islamic countries and the world’s peace-loving nations. 

He also called for an immediate end to the violence in the region.

Expressing the Afghan people’s solidarity with the people of Palestine, Atmar stated that Afghanistan supported the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to an independent state, within the borders set out in the 1967 UN Security Council Resolution.

Atmar’s conversation came just hours before Israel bombed a building in Gaza City that houses The Associated Press, Al-Jazeera and a number of other foreign media outlets. 

The airstrike on the high-rise came nearly an hour after the Israeli military ordered people to evacuate the 12-story building, which also housed residential apartments. 

The strike brought down the entire structure, which collapsed in a gigantic cloud of dust. There was no immediate explanation for why it was attacked, AP reported

The spiraling violence has raised fears of a new Palestinian “intifada,” or uprising at a time when there have been no peace talks in years. 

AP reported the strike on the building housing media offices came in the afternoon after the building’s owner received a call from the Israeli military warning that it would be hit. AP’s staff and others in the building evacuated immediately.

Al-Jazeera, broadcast the airstrikes live as the building collapsed.

“This channel will not be silenced. Al-Jazeera will not be silenced,” an on-air anchorwoman said, her voice thick with emotion. “We can guarantee you that right now.”

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hamas said it fired a salvo of rockets at southern Israel in response to the airstrike.

 

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Pakistan’s peace envoy arrives in Kabul for talks

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(Last Updated On: April 25, 2021)

Pakistan’s ambassador to Kabul Mansoor Ahmad Khan said Sunday that a high-ranking delegation led by Pakistan’s Special Representative on Afghan Reconciliation arrived in Kabul for talks with Afghan officials.

“Muhammad Sadiq, Pakistan’s Special Representative on Afghan Reconciliation, arrived in Kabul this morning for discussions with Afghan officials on peace,” Khan tweeted. 

During his visit Sadiq will also discuss security and related matters, the ambassador confirmed. 

Sadiq’s visit comes just two weeks after a scheduled visit by another Pakistani delegation was canceled due to security threats. 

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Asad Qaisar, and his accompanying delegation were forced to turn back to Islamabad after entering Afghan airspace following the reported discovery of explosive materials at the airport. 

At the time, Qaisar’s flight was turned back after NATO warned they had found explosives on the runway at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul city.

Qaisar had been scheduled to visit Kabul for three days. 

According to officials at the time, the explosives had been planted on one of the runways years ago.

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CENTCOM chief in midst of ‘detailed planning’ for counterterrorism ops

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(Last Updated On: April 20, 2021)

Carrying out airstrikes against terrorist hideouts in Afghanistan without a US troop presence in the country will be difficult but “not impossible”, the commander of US Central Command General Frank McKenzie said on Tuesday. 

Speaking to the House Armed Services Committee, McKenzie said he is in the midst of “detailed planning” for options for so-called “over the horizon” forces, or forces positioned elsewhere in the region that could continue counterterrorism strikes in Afghanistan. 

He said he plans to give Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin those options by the end of the month.

“If you leave Afghanistan and you want to go back in to conduct these kinds of operations, there are three things you need to do: you need to find the target, you need to fix the target, and you need to be able to finish the target,” McKenzie said. 

“The first two require heavy intelligence support. If you’re out of the country, and you don’t have the ecosystem that we have there now, it will be harder to do that. It is not impossible to do that.”

McKenzie’s testimony comes almost a week after President Joe Biden announced he was withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan and that they would all be home by September 11 – the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. 

According to The Hill, Biden’s decision came despite repeated statements from US military officials that the Taliban was not yet upholding its end of a deal made during the Trump administration to reduce violence and break from al-Qaeda, as well as warnings about the potential for chaos in Afghanistan that could allow an al-Qaeda resurgence should US troops withdraw.

Meanwhile, McKenzie’s comments about the difficulty of intelligence gathering without a troop presence echo comments last week from CIA Director William Burns, who told senators the ability to collect intelligence on threats in Afghanistan will “diminish” with a US military withdrawal, the Hill reported.

On Tuesday, McKenzie also said he continues to have “grave doubts” about the Taliban’s reliability in upholding its commitments under the deal signed last year.

McKenzie declined to tell lawmakers how he advised Biden as the president deliberated the withdrawal, but said he had “multiple opportunities” to provide Biden with his perspective.

The Hill reported that speaking broadly about options to continue strikes once US troops leave, McKenzie said surveillance drones could be positioned in a place where they can reach Afghanistan “in a matter of minutes” or ”perhaps much further away.”

“We will look at all the countries in the region, our diplomats will reach out, and we’ll talk about places where we could base those resources,” he said. 

“Some of them may be very far away, and then there would be a significant bill for those types of resources because you’d have to cycle a lot of them in and out. That is all doable, however.”

Right now, McKenzie added, the United States does not have any basing agreements with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan or other countries surrounding Afghanistan.

McKenzie also said there are a “variety of ways” to strike targets, including long-range precision fire missiles, manned raids or manned aircraft.

“There are problems with all three of those options, but there’s also opportunities with all three of those options,” he said.

“I don’t want to make light of it. I don’t want to put on rose-colored glasses and say it’s going to be easy to do. I can tell you that the U.S. military can do just about anything. And we’re examining this problem with all of our resources right now to find a way to do it in the most intelligent, risk-free manner that we can.”

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley are also scheduled to brief the full House and Senate behind closed doors later Tuesday on Biden’s plan for Afghanistan.

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