Reinhard Eroes presented the talk, “Afghanistan: A Country Between Hope and Abyss” in Bowl 1, Robertson Hall at the Woodrow Wilson School on Monday, February 23, 2004. The talk was part of LISD’s project on state-building in Afghanistan, supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Eroes, a medical doctor, has been delivering humanitarian aid to Afghanistan for more than twenty years. He was awarded the “Bundesverdienstkreuz” for his work in Afghanistan under Soviet occupation, when he worked in hiding as a member of Doctors without Borders to treat civilians in Tora Bora cave clinics. In 1998 he founded the first school outside Kabul with his own organization Children’s Aid Afghanistan. In the last five years his organization has founded and has been supporting more than ten schools, mostly for girls, in the eastern provinces of Afghanistan. It is in these provinces where the Taliban are recruiting and are at home. Education on peace is the most important subject in these schools. He spends about eight months per year in Afghanistan and has an intimate knowledge of the current political and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. His book Tea with the Devil was at the time of its release Germany's most successful non-fiction book about Afghanistan.