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The Passion of Nasrine Gross

Posted on Dec 30,2008
Filed Under Local Leaders , Community,

Photo by Terry Nagel
Nasrine Gross is a 2008 Purpose Prize winner who runs Kabultec, which focuses
on Afghani women's rights, studies and education. Her husband, Max Gross, is a
history professor also in his encore career. Dec 5 2008. Taken at Purpose Prize
awards banquet sponsored by Civic Ventures in Palo Alto, Calif.

By Ron Sturman
Nasrine Gross, a U.S. citizen whose heritage is rooted in Afghanistan, speaks with great passion about the cause that divides her time between Afghanistan and the U.S. — the human rights of women in Afghanistan.

Ms. Gross noted that Afghan women have a rate of illiteracy approaching 90 percent and that the civil rights accorded them in the nation’s constitution are largely unrecognized in the villages where they live. She said, “Afghan women have all the rights on paper.” They have to be implemented.     

The many obstacles to progress that Ms. Gross observed in her recent trip to Afghanistan included poverty, the movement of internal refugees, the continuing war, drought, lack of employment, and the growing number of disabled children and adults.

Ms. Gross is helping to solve the problems by teaching coeducational adult literacy classes to couples in the village homes where she sets up shop for several months each year. It is one of 65 current projects of the nonprofit foundation she founded in Afghanistan — the Roqia Center for Women’s Rights, Studies and Education. Roqia’s sister nonprofit foundation, Kabultec, is based in the U.S. and accepts donation designated for Roqia.  

The classes have a dramatic impact on both men and women. One woman student told her, “I didn’t know how blind I was until I came to this course.”

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