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After 23- years of war, the people of Afghanistan are learning how to rebuild their country. This week, leaders from the Northern and Central regions came to Salt Lake City to discuss Islam and Interfaith relationships.
Standing in front of the bronze sculpture of Brigham Young, Afghani municipal, education and religious leaders are searching for inspiration.
They traveled to see Muslim life in America and learn how to address social issues while rebuilding a war-torn nation.
Daud Azyazi/ U.S. State Dept.: "LEARN, FIRSTHAND, THE STRUCTURE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND HOPEFULLY THEY CAN TAKE THESE EXPERIENCES BACK WITH THEM AND IT IN THEIR COUNTRY, IN AFGHANISTAN... IN THE PROCESS OF RECONSTRUCTION"
Olene Walker/ Lt. Gov. State of Utah: "THEY DIDN'T ASK FOR MONEY OR FOR US TO GO IN AND REBUILD THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE, THEY WANTED US TO SEND TEACHERS OVER THERE TO HELP THEM WITH THEIR EDUCATION SYSTEM."
A visit to City Hall, included a discussion with Mayor Rocky Anderson about basic needs in their capital -- water, electricity and traffic control.
The visitors are struck by the geographical similarities between Salt Lake and Kabul -- desert and mountains.
Here, however, political differences don't threaten lives. There, even these leaders don't know who to trust.
Ahmad Zia Siamak/ Chief Editor Kabul daily newspaper: "THERE HAVE BEEN SOME DONATIONS TO THE CITY OF KABUL FROM VARIOUS SOURCES... BUT UNFORTUNATELY I DO NOT TRUST SOME OF THOSE AND HOW THEY CAN BE USED IN A PROPER MANNER OR PROPER WAY TO REBUILD THE CITY..."
Members of Salt Lake's Alliance for Unity spoke about religious tolerance but told the visitors we, as Utahns, we, as Americans, don't have all the answers.
Dr. Alexander Morrison/ Alliance for Unity: "WE CAN LEARN AS MUCH FROM THE AFGHANS AS WE CAN FROM PEOPLE IN AFRICA, FROM PEOPLE ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. THEY CAN TEACH US. WE CAN HELP THEM PERHAPS, IN SOME TECHNOLOGICAL WAYS... BUT WE HAVE NO MORE WISDOM."
And, says Morrison, we have much to learn from them about humility.
Tomorrow, the delegation from Afghanistan will visit the teachers and students of Northwest Middle School.