From the Beacon: "One County Reads One Country" links Beaufort County with Afghanistan

Through a grant from the federal Library Services and Technology Act, the Beaufort County library system is hosting a series of events to celebrate "One County Reads One Country," which began this month.

The country that Beaufort County will be reading about is Afghanistan, and the titles selected are:

  • "The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, is a true story about Kamila Sidiqi and other women of Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban's rise to power
  • "In the Sea There Are Crocodiles," by Fabio Geda, describes a boy's journey from the tyranny of the Taliban to the safety of Italy
  • "Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan," edited by Tony O'Brien and Mike Sullivan, is a book in which two dozen Afghan children tell their stories.

The intent of this project is to engage the community in a thoughtful dialogue about Afghanistan, an important and critical part of the world, by exploring Afghan history and culture through a variety of programming. It is hoped that through these activities, for all ages, that the library contributes to a greater awareness and understanding of another people and culture.

Some noteworthy programs include:

  • "America's Role in the World: What Does National Security Mean in the 21st Century?": This is a discussion prepared by the National Issue Forum Institute ( Dennis Adams, retired Beaufort County library information services coordinator, will moderate this discussion, which will look at three options for America's role. Option 1 is "National Security Means Safeguarding the United States." Thus, we must give national security the highest priority. Option 2 is "National Security Depends on Putting Our Economic House in Order." This option suggests we need to focus on eliminating our staggering public indebtedness and improve the balance of trade. To do this would mean spending less on the military and reducing the amount of money that flows overseas. Option 3 is "National Security Means Recognizing that Global Threats are our Greatest Challenge" and that we must take a leadership role in working with other nations in a collaborative way to address long-term threats to humanity and increase foreign aid so other nations can also address such threats.
  • "Women's Voices From the Muslim World: A Short Film Festival": This festival is the product of Women's Voices Now (, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower women and give a voice to the struggle for civil, economic and political rights. A series of short films will be followed by a panel discussion.
  • "Ethics in Journalism" panel presentation: Jeff Kidd, editor of The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette; Jabari Moketsi, editor of the Gullah Sentinel; and Tom Green, editorial page editor at the Savannah Morning News, will engage the audience in a lively discussion of the dilemmas facing newspapers today.

Other programs include book discussions, lectures, mosaic tile-making, a kite festival, a film series ("Restrepo," "Beauty Academy of Kabul," "The Kite Runner" and "Afghan Star"), and a "History of Tea in Human Culture" display.