Afghani Cultural Monument Manager Training
Since 2007, the GWS has worked with the U.S. Department of State's and the U.S. National Park Service's Archeology Program on an exciting program that brings cultural monument managers from Afghanistan to the United States for two months of training, most of it in the field. The program was offered in 2007 and 2008, and plans are in the works for a third offering in 2010.
Our Afghani colleagues typically begin their stay in the U.S. with orientation and training at Park Service headquarters in Washington, D.C., followed by weeks of field training at Southwestern national park system units whose environmental conditions approximate those in Afghanistan. The trainees learn various archeological and site management skills, with special emphasis on earthen architecture preservation and stablization. USNPS arranges the curriculum, while GWS coordinates the logistics of this complex training course.
The conditions under which our colleagues operate in Afghanistan are, needless to say, extremely challenging. They have a lot to teach those of us here in North America about perseverence and dedication; in turn, their evaluations of their American experience have been overwhelmingly positive.