Afghan family helps with quilt auction for Galilean Home


During the invasion Soviet soldiers put out land mines that Afghan children often mistook for toys. At 13, Abdul Samad, an alumnus of the Galilean Christian Academy, became one of the victims of the conflict. He picked up a bomb, thinking it was a toy, and it exploded in his hands, blowing off most of his arms.


(20.10.2005)

As tedious and meticulous are the stitches in handmade quilts, so are the knots in Afghan rugs.

Abdul Samad is an alumnus of the Galilean Christian Academy, and this year he donated several rugs made by his family in Afghanistan to the Galilean Home's annual auction.
The auction raises money to support the Galilean mission. The Galilean Home's mission is to take in abused, neglected and rejected children from all over the world and give them a home, education and medical care.

Samad had not seen or heard from his family in more than 15 years when he contacted them in 2002. He asked them to make a quilt for the annual auction that raises money for the Galilean Home, but they told him they made rugs, not quilts.

Behind the folds of brightly patterned, intricately stitched quilts Samad stood by his racks of rugs. Just like the quilts, each of the rugs is a labor-intensive effort, taking five or six months for his brothers-in-law, sisters and cousins to finish.

Samad left Afghanistan when he was 13.

Before he was born, Afghanistan was ruled by a communist party. In 1979 the Soviet Union invaded the country to squelch resistance to the communist rule in the country.

He picked up a bomb

During the invasion Soviet soldiers put out land mines that Afghan children often mistook for toys. At 13, Samad became one of the victims of the conflict. He picked up a bomb, thinking it was a toy, and it exploded in his hands, blowing off most of his arms.

He was flown to the United States to get medical attention he couldn't get in his own country, which was as war-torn then as it is now. A family in Berea sponsored Samad, and introduced him to the mission at the Galilean Home.

Now, Samad calls Kentucky home.

"I've lived here longer than Afghanistan," Samad said. "Sandy Tucker and Jerry have raised me, treated me like one of their own sons."

Graduating with associate degree in business management

Samad graduated from the Galilean Christian Academy and will graduate from Big Sandy Community and Technical College in May with an associate degree in business management. He then hopes to transfer to Eastern Kentucky University.

Already business-minded, Samad brings potential bidders back to look at the rugs. He points out the tight knotting on the back that makes the wool rugs unique. He explains that it takes an artist to make rugs like these, and he is hoping the people in the crowd appreciated the intricate work.

He said he was nervous about how well the rugs would do at the auction.
"They've never had anything like this before," he said.

Von: 18 October 2005, http://www.amnews.com by LIZ MAPLES

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