Qiam Amiry (Colby '09) discussed the Afghan Scholars Initiative which he founded while he was a student at Colby.
Rotary Meeting for Monday, July 20, 2009 held at the Alfond Youth Center - Here is a recap in case you missed our meeting!

Sergeant at Arms


Frank Prelgovisk was our Sergeant of Arms today. Thanks, Frank!!!!!



Elery Keene served as Greeter today. Next week's greeter for the July 27th meeting will be Sally Harwood

50/50 Tickets


Duane Wheeler sold $98 worth of 50/50 tickets. Gene Beaupre won $49 and donated his winnings back to Rotary. Harold Buzzell won 10 free tickets to the next 50/50 drawing.

World Service Cup


The donations for this month's World Service Cup will go to the Seeds of Peace Camp in Otisfield.

Fined for pictures in the Paper


Don Plourde's picture were in the paper last week.


Cell Phones


A $10.00 fee for cell phone ringing continues for the 2008-2009 Club year. No fines assessed today.

On Leave


Cynthia Corbin.

World Service Cups


The World Service cups for this month will go to support the Community Gardens planted near the North Street recreational fields.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests


There were no guests or visiting Rotarians this week.

What can you do?


* Tell Board Members what you are passionate about for community projects

* Tell the program committee about interesting speakers/topics you would like to listen to

* Be involved, join a committee

* Be active

* Be positive

Happy Dollars


Ally shared that she and Chuck attended the Elton John/Billy Joel concert at Gilette Stadium this week end and it was fabulous.

Peter Garrett shared that 2 weeks ago he was in Cape Elizabeth at a Rotary event and met the new RI President. In their conversation, Peter suggested that there is a need for Rotary to become involved with climate change. He said it was a great idea, however, in order to tackle that issue, Rotary needs to complete its commitment to eradicate polio. As a sequae, Peter shared that he will be travelling to Nigeria in the Fall to try and assist with those efforts and indicated that he would welcome any members interested in joining him on this journey.

Sue Guigere shared that she's very happy that she will be a grandmother this fall. Congrats, Sue!

Gary Hammond is happy that he was able to get in a motor cycle trip over the week end. He also announced that he's heading up a committee to buy St Francis Church and was speculating as to whether Fr. Don Plourde has gone into the priesthood. When will you be hearing confessions, Don??

Mark Ford had 27 happy Dollars because Days Jewelers was recently recognized as one of the top 27 jewelers in the US. Congratulations Mark!!

Kim Lindlof is happy about how things are coming together for the Taste of Waterville, which will be held on August 5th. She passed out the schedule of events and shared that she would appreciate everyone's support.

Jim Julia recently had a great vivit with their 3 grandchildren from Tennessee and shared that they tried to give them the kind of experience they would not get down there. He indicated that his other grandchildren will be coming up in 2 weeks for some of the same fun, incluing lots of fishing!

Sarah Sugden had ten happy Dollars for 1) the 1856 NY Post newspapers announcing President Lincoln's Assassination which were found in some old filing cabinets in the Library recently; 2) the great time she and her son Jack had at the Waterville Arts Festival last week end; and 3) MIFF, which she attended for the first time last week. She said that she wished something like that had been around when she was young.

Karen Heck shared that she also enjoyed MIFF and noted that a number of men she talked with were shocked at the amount of domestic violence undertones there were in the movie Carousel. She indicated that it's a commentary on the fact that it is now being recognized, even in a movie we all thought was good in the 1960's.



Don indicated there will be a Membership Committee meeting after today's meeting. Following this, Sarah asked that over the next year, Club members be sure to think about good individuals who might be able to make a contribution to our club.

Upcoming speaker schedule:


July 27, 2009 FairPoint Communications (Bob Froberg)

August 3, 2009 Classification Talks

August 10, 2009 Peter Vigue, CEO of Cianbro

August 17, 2009 Lauren Shaw, Water for Cambodia

August 24, 2009 TBA

August 31, 2009 TBA

2009-10 Board of Directors:

=================== President Sarah Sugden

President-elect Seth Sherwood

Vice President Don Plourde

Immediate Past President Ally Karter

Secretary Cathy Langlais

Assistant Secretary Steve Kelleher

Treasurer-Charitable Allan Rancourt

Treasurer-Operations Don Borman

Fund Raising Ed Oliver

Club Administration Lucille Zelenkewich

Rotary Foundation Suzanne Uhl-Melanson

International Service Chris Gaunce

Vocational Services Tom Longstaff

Public Relations Nancy Gallagher

Community Service Nicky Desjardins

At-Large Cathy Langlais

Waterville Rotary Club Web Site



Today's Program: Afghan Scholars Initiative (Qiam Amiry, Colby 2009 Graduate)

Qiamuddin Amiry spoke at the July 20, 2009, Rotary meeting.

Karen Heck introduced Qiam by describing his election by his class to be the student speaker at the 2009 Colby Commencement [for text of speech -- http://www.colby.edu/news_events/commencement/2009/scspeaker/index.cfm?clear=y]

Qiam's talk to Rotary was "About His Journey."

Qiam was born in 1985 during war with Soviet Union and started school in Kabul during the communist regime. This regime was followed by the Mujahedin -- a bloody civil war, the Taliban, the Karzai regime, and the Bush administration. Sometimes there was school and other times not. When he was not in school he worked many hours each day making rugs to help is family. He also taught younger kids English. His father had lost is used car business during regime changes. After being in Hong Kong for 2 years of high school, Qiam received a scholarship to Colby.

Qiam feels that his dreams are shaped mainly by his experiences in the various environments in which he has lived.

There are those who misunderstand and think that life in Afghanistan was horrible all the time; however, that wasn't true. Although fun was scarce, the fun times like playing soccer were very enjoyable.

Before his years in Hong Kong, Qiam thought that all his values were true and other values were not. But through much conversation with other people, he learned that we all have our own values.

Not all people in Afghanistan are terrorists. Through education, not guns and bullets, there can be more understanding to appreciate that cultures are different.

Qiam feels that he can provide the bridge between two worlds â€" Afghanistan and the United States. One of the ways to accomplish this understanding is to bring more students here from Afghanistan. Then they can go back home to help educate people. In 2006 Qiam and some others started the "Afgan Scholars Initiative â€" Peace Through Education." It is a non-profit organization that creates partnerships between high school juniors in Afghanistan and college prep boarding schools in US.

The Rotary members responded with a standing ovation to Qiam's presentation and very informative answers to questions.

This information was on the flyer that was on the tables --To donate, volunteer of for more information about our project, visit our website www.afghanscholars.org

After the meeting I asked Qiam for the list of books that he recommended during his presentation. Here is his reply with not only the book list but this reference to a recent New York Times Thomas Friedman article.

From Qiam:

"Here is an article that I read. Members of the club might find it interesting. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/opinion/19friedman.html?_r=2

It was r

eally nice talking to you. You guys were a wonderful crowd. Here are the names of some of the books on Afghanistan:

1. Taliban by Ahmed Rashid

2. The Fragmentation of Afghanistan by Barnett Rubin (2002)

3. Decent into Chaos by Ahmad Rashid

4. The Hazaras of Afghanistan by S. A. Mousavi (1997)"

Louise Smith At the conclusion of his presentation, Sarah presented Qiam with a Rotary 4-Way Test keychain as a memento of his visit with us today.