Message from Zakaria Bahaduri, Star Senior Instructor
When I returned back to Afghanistan in 2005, I started taking English classes at Star Educational Society. Upon learning English, my life changed immensely. I graduated from Star`s advance class in December 2008. In 2009, I got my first English tutoring class. It was an elementary class with around 25 students. Teaching school kids learn something new every day, I felt proud making a difference. Later on, in 2012, I moved to the third branch of Star Educational society for two main reasons. Firstly, the branch was closer to my home, taking only 10 to 12 minutes to walk. Secondly, making a difference in the neighborhood where I lived was a goal I used to dream about those days.
Teaching at Star for almost five years, I learnt many things from my fellow workmates, students and staff. Some of the values I learnt are friendship, honesty, generosity and a sense of helping others in need. Star has evolved so much since those days when I was a simple student. Many people have found their desired jobs, others moved to their favorite countries or took scholarships in the country of their choice. Star is way different than other language centers. Starians have made efforts to stay different than others. Most other language tutoring centers have had one goal of running a business of offering language learning courses to the people. Star, however, has not been merely doing business.
Hundreds of people found jobs studying at Star and later on became a teacher. So many people started their jobs as translators with coalition forces as soon as they have finished learning English at Star. Lots of other individuals benefited from the scholarships provided by foreign countries such as India and the U.S.
Keeping these facts in mind, I can say these are not the most fundamental changes Star and other language tutoring centers have brought about. Far beyond these positive changes, Starians have made efforts to change the destiny of my generation and the coming generations. Twenty-two years ago, when rockets were hitting different parts of west Kabul, hundreds died, many were disabled and thousands lost their houses, yet no one or very few people around the world got the chance to know what was going on in the west of Kabul. The reason for that was very clear, No one or very few people could speak English to share their generations` pains and sorrows with the world. There was no one to raise their voice and communicate the pain and sorrow we felt with the world. Today, however, those who learnt English at Star and other English tutoring centers in west of Kabul share their needs, feelings and sorrows with the world.
The smile revolution movement took place in the winter of 2015. Thousands of justice seekers marched on streets of Kabul to ask the government a simple question,” How can you be indifferent to the slaughter of a child?” The march did not shake just Arg, but the whole world because the new generation had the ability to communicate with the world. The Kabul smile revolution lead into demonstrations around the world. We can`t ignore the power of social media for this, but we can`t ignore the power of shared languages for those who wrote their status in English on Facebook and tweeted in twitter to make the world know what they wanted.
In July 2016, the same people created the enlightenment movement. They demanded that the power line be routed through central parts of Afghanistan, an area which has been neglected by the government for the past thirteen years. The demonstration which was initially started in Kabul, continued in countries around the world. After the tragic Dehmazang event on black Saturday, two weeks later the enlightenment movement came up with the idea of a Twitter storm with #enlightenment hashtag. The main purpose of the Twitter storm was to let the world know what happened on black Saturday in Dehmazang, Kabul. Most of the tweets were in English to make the efforts more successful. We could not share our thoughts, needs and feelings with the world if we did not have one tool in hand. That is the English language.
A Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” That is what Star has been doing for the past few years. Starians have strived to equip the nation with the tool to capture better opportunities, defend their rights and communicate with the world. I cherish this value very much. If you want to be equipped with the tool to communicate with the world, join us. We have proved that we are different.