On Thursday, February 21, 2013, Marblehead Rotarians had the pleasure to host Shogofa Amini again at their weekly luncheon and measure her progress  from the time she first visited the club upon her arrival to Salem State University as an exchange student from Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan in 2011.

Shogofa,  was a student at SOLA (School of Leadership Afghanistan) in Kabul, when she met Bob McNulty, a Marblehead Resident and the Founder of Pax Populi, who sponsored her initial travel to the States in 2011.  In 2012, Pax Populi again stepped forward and brought Shogofa back to the U.S. upon her mother's passing with the help of her brothers.

Upon her arrival to Massachusetts in 2011, Shogofa stayed with Marblehead Rotarians Paul Crosby and his wife Claire in Peabody, MA, then with Buck Grader and his wife Beth. and is currently living with the McNulty family in Marblehead, MA. Shogofa hopes to extend her stay in the U.S. and transfer to Regis College, Boston next year to complete her B.A. in Political Sciences before returning to Afghanistan, where she plans to get involved in the political process.

The Marblehead Rotarians were happy to see a more comfortable and better assimilated Shogofa, during this most recent week's visit to their club.  She spoke with ease in English about the importance of education to Afghan women, recounting her own journey, when her parents, who are now both diseased, continued to teach her at home in secrecy after the takeover of her country by the Taliban.  Her mother, especially, encouraged Shogofa to continue to read and study no matter what. Shogofa shared with the audience the challenges she had in learning English and how she started writing poetry to cope with the loss of her beloved mother. Shogofa introduced the Rotarians to her recent publication, "The Sky is a Nest of Swallows", a compendium of poems written by Afghan Women, which is a part of the Afghan Women's Writing Project (available on www.Amazon.com).  

The Landing Restaurant in Marblehead, MA will donate a percentage of all dinners sold in their dining room this coming Wednesday, February 27, 2013 towards Shogofa's continued college tuition in the U.S.

The Rotary Club of Marblehead meets Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. at the Boston Yacht Club. For more information about the Club, or membership, e-mail the Club’s secretary Julie Livingston at: Jlivingston@marblebank.com, or visit their web site at www.marbleheadrotary.com.    


 Photo legend: (from left): Paul Crosby, Shogofa Amini, Beth Grader, Buck Grader and Marblehead Rotary Club President, Chuck Bachner.