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Evenings with an Author: David Sherman
18 June 2019 @ 19 h 30 min - 21 h 00 min
From Machine Guns to Vaccine Guns
Afghanistan is an agrarian society that depends day in and day out on the well-being and productivity of its animals, but which, because of decades of war and the disintegration of civil society, had no reliable access to even the most basic animal health care. In his book, That Sheep May Safely Graze – Rebuilding Animal Health Care in War Torn Afghanistan, author and veterinarian David Sherman describes the successful development of a sustainable, private sector, community-based, national animal health care system for farmers and herders in Afghanistan in the face of numerous political, economic, and logistical obstacles arising from a variety of sources. At the same time, he offers a rare, sympathetic view of ordinary Afghans, the disappointments and tragedies that have affected their personal lives, their everyday graciousness and hospitality, their resilience and determination in the face of thirty years of war, and their hopes and dreams for the future.
Dr. Sherman will give a brief slide presentation describing how the animal health care system was developed and then follow with readings from his book to illuminate the more human side of his experience in Afghanistan.
“Dr. David Sherman’s account of his experiences in post-Taliban Afghanistan, working to improve veterinary training and treatment for livestock by establishing a network of rural vet centers, is a hard-hitting cautionary tale leavened with hilarity and warmth. He and his colleagues must constantly navigate bureaucratic rivalries and improvise to overcome logistical obstacles. Yet the author finds glimpses of charm and beauty in an impoverished, militarized setting. His most meaningful passages are about animals—whether examining an ailing pig at the Kabul Zoo or a cow at the home of his office cleaner, where he relaxes under a mulberry tree and is later gratified to learn the cow has delivered a healthy calf. Despite all the frustrations, the reader can see what keeps drawing Sherman back to this hardscrabble war zone, where both animals and people struggle daily to survive.” — Pamela Constable, Foreign Correspondent, The Washington Post