[Editors' note: As part of Sojourners' campaign to end the war in Afghanistan, we will run a weekly blog about issues in Afghanistan to educate our readers about the latest news and developments related to the war, the U.S. military's strategy, and the people impacted by our decisions. Read more about our campaign at www.sojo.net/afghanistan.]
The United States government has quietly terminated a popular exchange program for high school students from Afghanistan after numerous participants fled to Canada as refugees rather than return home.
The program, the State Department's Youth and Exchange Study (YES), was established in 2002 to provide scholarships to students from countries with significant Muslim populations, and "allows participants to spend up to one academic year in the U.S. while they live with host families, attend high school and learn about American society and values." In 2007, YES Abroad was established to provide a similar experience for U.S students in selected YES countries.
Apart from the Dalai Lama, who reportedly had never heard of him until earlier this week, Tiger Woods is the most famous Buddhist on the planet.
But until Woods invoked his Buddhist identity during a televised mea culpa for cheating on his wife and a spectacular fall from grace, like most of his fans, I had no idea the golfer was a follower of the Eight Fold Path.
Recently, I've begun to think how I can reconnect with God by turning all my travels (including my everyday errands) into pilgrimages. In this quest, I am greatly aided by the Rev. Kurt Neilson, author of Urban Iona.
Just a half-mile or so south of our home is the Illinois Prairie Path. It's an old rail line that was converted to a walking and biking path in the early 1960s. An electric line actually, that once hauled commuters back and forth from the western suburbs to the city.