Ferris Book Drive to Assist Those in Need in Afghanistan

pictureThe impact of 30 years of war in Afghanistan has created many needs – including a need for academic materials and textbooks for the University of Kabul, its students and others.

Ferris State University’s Office of International Education has stepped forward to do its part to make a difference in the lives of students abroad through a university-wide textbook drive. This student-led project has taken off and organizers have collected more than 700 textbooks toward a goal of 1,000 or more. The drive runs through Friday, June 24 and textbook donations can be dropped off at the OIE office in Room 408 of the FLITE library building.

The textbook drive is being led by a pair of volunteers from the Office of International Education. The project leaders are Illyas Fana, a sophomore from Kabul, Afghanistan, and Manuel Abels, of Osnabrueck, Germany, who has graduated and works as a part-time intern in the office.

“It is an honor to be part of a service that has extended its generous hands overseas and supported another educational foundation,” Fana said.

Abels noted that part of the success of Ferris’ textbook drive has been due to the willingness of those, who can, to give.

“It is not difficult to donate when you know how good life is for you,” he said.

Prior to the wars, the University of Kabul Central Library had more than one million books, research papers and manuscripts, including an important Afghan collection. However, rocket attacks and looting have decimated the collection of educational materials.

Donations from abroad and from teachers and students who hid books in their homes have started the process of rebuilding the collection. The majority of the books on the shelves today are undergraduate textbooks in English, French and German and date back to the 1960s and 1970s. These textbooks were mostly unharmed by the destruction. However, the books are of little use to modern-day users of the library.

For questions regarding this program, please contact Illyas Fana, who is helping to coordinate the project. Fana can be reached by email at fanai@ferris.edu. The Office of International Education can be contacted at (231) 591-2450 to make special accommodations for book donations.

For more information about the Office of International Education, visit: http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/administration/academicaffairs/international/index.htm.

To learn more about where the textbooks will be going and about the donation program, visit: http://www.afghanistan.culturalprofiles.net/?id=324.


22 June, 2011