About the Author: Jim Carey serves with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Afghanistan.
More than 1,000 kites soared across Herat Stadium yesterday, painting a stark contrast to the time when the Taliban outlawed kite-flying.
The event, which started at 2:30 p.m., was coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development in coordination with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and newly-appointed Herat Governor Duad Sabah. Artfully inscribed with justice-themed messages, the kites served as a medium to increase public knowledge of rule of law issues and to promote the use of Afghanistan's formal justice system.
Several radio stations conducted broadcasts live from the event, playing music, and airing short justice -themed educational messages about basic legal rights, such as the right of women to file criminal charges and the illegality of forced and underage marriage.
Younger children not participating in kite-flying activities were entertained by a mobile cinema production that featured "Yassin and Kaka Raouf," the rule of law comic cartoon series. Children were given these rule of law comic books to share with friends and family. The Supreme Court's Director General, Dr. Abdul Malik Kamawi, commended that the event was a unique and innovative international initiative that respects Afghan culture, while educating the Afghan public about what's possible in a new Afghanistan.
Today's justice-themed kite event was a tribute to an age-old Afghan pastime and tradition, and a reminder of Afghanistan's continuing progress towards a just and modern society.