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October 27 & 31: from Kabul - Freetown, Sierra Leone - Zimbabwe - Chiquitania, Bolivia

Sohaila's father married her to a warlord to settle a dispute in an Afghan practice called baad. She escaped, married on her own, but she and her husband were captured and sent to jail. Her father says she has to kill her son to come home. (Photo/Laura Lynch)

In Kabul, some disputes are still settled by giving women away. We'll meet those living with the connsequences.   

Afghanistan also turned the Cold War culture of the Canadian military inside out.  A former commander is here with the lessons. 

Then, we'll take Cocktails under the Tree of Forgetfulness with Alexandra Fuller, author of a new memoir on madness and colonialism in Africa.

Hear why our correspondent gets a nasty reception in one country that's mourning Moammar Gadhafi. 

And, Bolivia may not be the first place you think of when you hear baroque music, but it will be by the end of the program. 

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Young women who escape Afghan marriages arranged to settle disputes (a practice called baad) hide in a secret safehouse, where they learn to sew. (Photo/Laura Lynch)

Baad justice haunts Afghanistan

In Kandahar, Canadian troops are taking their base apart now that their combat role is over in Afghanistan.  

Afghans meanwhile, are still putting together the framework for justice and governance to keep the country together once western troops depart. 

Millions have already been spent training judges and building courthouses. 

But ten years after the war began, many Afghans still resort to old traditions which have cruel consequences for women, as we hear from Canadian journalist Laura Lynch at the jail where many wind up.  


Brigadier-General Richard Giguere, shown Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at Kandahar Airfield. (Photo: Colin Perkel/CP)

A Brigadier-General's dispatch

Brigadier-General Richard Giguere spent 18 months inside and outside the wire, practising this mantra: in an insurgency, get the people on your side.  Civilians are the centre of gravity.

Rick asked him about his thoughts on that, on challenges to the rule of law in Afghanistan and the mission still ahead.












Rokupa's Freetown Central Mosque (aka Gadhafi Mosque) (photo: Ambrose Boani.)

The mosque that Gadhafi built

If Moammar Gadhafi still has friends in Libya, they're keeping their mouths shut. 

Not so in distant Sierra Leone, where they're holding an all-night vigil and mourning him at a mosque he constructed in the capital, one of the many he funded in various African states in a bid to become "Emperor of Africa." 

Gadhafi also funded rebels Charles Taylor and Foday Sankoh, who unleashed civil war and the blood diamond trade on the west African state in the '90s.  

But his mosque and other largesse since then seem to have erased the bad memories, and makes folks mad when Canadian journalist Damon van der Linde comes around asking questions. 

Damon's dispatch

Alexandra Fuller with her parents on their land in Zambia (photo courtesy Alexandra Fuller)


Cocktail Hour Under The Tree Of forgetfulness

Madness, insurrection and wine by the box in the African bush are all poured into Alexandra Fuller's new memoir of growing up British in the former Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Despite the gothic elements, her affection for Africa and her formidable mother -- the villian and the heroine of the piece, if you can believe it -- are intertwined in a compelling story of colonial misadventure in Africa.  

The book is called Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness, and Alexandra Fuller joined Rick studio to talk about it.

Rick's interview with Alexandra


Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness is published by Random House. And after a long history in Africa, Alexandra Fuller now lives in Wyoming.

Reinaldo Yambami conducts the baroque orchestra and chorus of young people of Santiago de Chiquitos, in a concert in the village of San Xavier in the Chiquitania region of Bolivia. Baroque music was introduced by Jesuits, more than 300 years ago. (Photo: Mattia Cabitza)

Bolivia's baroque roots

In the early 1700s, the Jesuit composer Domenico Zipoli composed  his share of choral music.

And this music is still vigorously performed today by a children's orchestra from a small town in Bolivia. 
 
Yeah, Bolivia. We wondered about that too.
 
A movement from his mass played by the young people from San Xavier.
 
How is it the baroque music made famous by the likes of Handel and Bach is thriving so far from the salons of Europe where it started? 

Turns out it was used by Jesuits in the quest for converts: Zipoli himself moved to Latin America,  where he composed this.  Now, baroque is preserved in a cultural bubble, protected by rural isolation --and by children for whom this music is a passion. 

That's why choirs and orchestras from 10 villages recently took part in a five-day festival in this remote region, as we hear from journalist  Mattia Cabitza on his way to the show.  

Next week on Dispatches 

Despite elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo, getting public services out of a corrupt government is like breaking rocks. Which is pretty much what it comes down too for some, as we'll hear from Canadian journalist Dennis Porter.

This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally with help this week with voice overs from Nahyat Tzhoosh, Parisa Durrani, and Nelisha Vellani, technical producers Victor Johnston and Tim Lorimer, and Senior producer Alan Guettel.
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