Recommended Readings

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The Long Way Back - Afghanistan's Quest for Peace

Cover of The Long Way Back - Afghanistan's Quest for Peace

By Chris Alexander
HarperCollins Canada

Afghanistan is far from stable: Wounds left by thirty years of war are still raw. Terrorism is a daily menace. Roads are littered with Taliban bombs. Targeted killings and international impatience are fuelling Afghan anxieties. Regional warlords, drug barons, and corrupt government officials all flout the conceit of a functional and unified nation. Pakistan's aggressive influence is a real and constant presence. Yet Chris Alexander, former deputy head of the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan and former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan, sees something different: a peace that is not only theoretically possible but practically achievable given the right conditions.

The Long Way Back tells the story of the historic accomplishments and bitter disappointments encountered on the road to political stability. But the book is much more than a firsthand account of recent events: it is a clear-eyed take on what has been achieved, the triumphs and failings of Afghans and foreigners alike, and why the country is still mired in conflict. With his direct access to and experience with the country's leaders, the international players, and ordinary Afghan citizens, Chris Alexander reveals a portrait of Afghanistan like none other and makes an insightful and bold argument for what it will take to attain a lasting peace.

Please Be Upstanding: Letters from Ghana

Cover of Please Be Upstanding: Letters from Ghana

Heather Johnston, Reece Schemmer (Photographer)

Please be Upstanding. In Ghana, West Africa, this means please stand up. Like many instances when crossing cultures, there are double meanings to what is being said or done. Trying to figure them out is half the fun! Author, interculturalist and CIL learning advisor Heather Johnston invites you along on her three year posting to Ghana. Heather shares the high and lows of life abroad. Written as a series of letters home, the author takes you from the initial posting offer to the farewells after three amazing years in Ghana. Funny and insightful, enjoy the journey from wherever you are.