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Alice Springs Sister City to Paghman

09 August 2005

A SISTER CITY RELATIONSHIP IS TO BE ESTABLISHED BETWEEN ALICE SPRINGS AND THE AFGHAN DISTRICT OF PAGHMAN, PRIMARILY TO INCREASE INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING AND TO FOSTER, PEACE AND GOODWILL BY INCREASING COMMUNICATION AND EXCHANGES BETWEEN OUR TWO CITIES.

In January 2005, Mr Mark Blackburn, ASTC Director Corporate & Community Services, liaised with His Excellency Mahmoud Saiakal of Afghanistan to investigate the establishment of a Sister City relationship.

Councils Sister City Subcommittee found that Paghman (located in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan) met the key criteria for selection as a Sister City. Reasons for suitability include:

* The historic connection between Afghans such as Sallay Mahomet and Alice Springs. Sallays father, Gool Mahomet, was originally from Kabul;
* Both cities are national icons because of their landscapes, climates and historical connections; and
* While Alice Springs was named and founded because of its spring fed water source; Paghman is also famous for its springs that provide drinking water to parts of Kabul.
The benefits for local government in having a Sister City relationship includes a wide range of exchange activities under the headings of education, culture, sports, tourism, technology, economy and trade. These contacts could potentially translate to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in tourism and cultural -exchange dollars alone.
Deputy Mayor, David Koch, said he will travel to Canberra on 18 August 2005 to a sign letter of intent as the first step in the development of a formal agreement between the two cities.
We are looking forward to enjoying a vibrant relationship with Paghman with regular and increasing links between schools, cultural and sporting organisations, social clubs, professionals associations, business and governments, said Deputy Mayor Koch.
Alice Springs Town Council is encouraging all members of the community to use this relationship as an opportunity to learn more about the people of Paghman, and to gain a deeper appreciation of the rich and unique Afghan culture.

For further information contact:
Deputy Mayor David Koch (08) 8950 0525 or 0418 890 260
ASTC Chief Executive Officer Rex Mooney (08) 8950 0525 or 0427 161 956
ASTC Media Officer (08) 8950 0546 or 0417 884 449

Alice Springs Town Council Contact Details
Civic Centre, Mon-Fri, 8am 5pm Cnr Todd Street and Gregory Terrace
Phone: (08) 8950 0500 Fax: (08) 8953 0558
Email: astc@astc.nt.gov.au Website: www.alicesprings.nt.gov.au

 

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