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Archive: March, 2009

POSTED: Friday, March 6, 2009, 4:01 PM

Limits on my column space for March 8, didn't permit me to expand enough on the amazing odyssey of Aldo Magazzeni.

Aldo, 57, who is a owner and CEO of Champion Fasteners in Lumberton, N.J., has another life building water systems in Afghan villages where villagers may have to hike miles for fresh water. His wife Anna, who runs a farm and garden center in Pughtown, and shares their 79-acre organic farm in Perkiomenville, Montgomery County, has to make do without him for months at a time.

To raise money for these water systems, which involve pumping water from springs or rivers into a central tank or cistern, Aldo is trying to connect Afghan villages with communities in the Philadelphia area. In cooperation with local teachers, he has already put together a lesson plan for several area high schools that will connect students with Afghan villagers, and teach local kids how water systems are built. As part of school projects, the local students will raise money to build water systems in particular villages. He's also hoping to work with UPenn engineering professors on a program which will involve students in designing Afghan water projects.

About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

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