An unlikely and beautiful partnership / by KirstenStudio

Nicholas Kristof's recent New York Times' Op-Ed piece, The Healers of 9/11 covers Susan Retik and Patti Quigley, who's organization, Beyond the 11th, was formed as a result of the loss of their husbands in the September 11th terror attacks.  The two women formed an alliance under common grief and their impending births of their children.  Both of these ladies were pregnant when they lost their spouses.  As Mr. Kristof puts it, "So at a time when the American government reacted to the horror of 9/11 mostly with missiles and bombs, detentions and waterboardings, Ms. Retik and Ms. Quigley turned to education and poverty-alleviation projects — in the very country that had incubated a plot that had pulverized their lives." Ms. Retik and Ms. Quigley formed Beyond the 11th, who's mission is to assist Afghan widows in starting small businesses.  Their website explains they do so by, "... increasing awareness of the desperate situation of widows in Afghanistan, and raising funds to help them." According to Kristof's article, they've already done quite a bit and are still going strong.  Beyond Belief is a documentary about Ms. Retick and Ms. Quigley's amazing work.

What I also selfishly found exciting about Nicholas Kristof's The Healers of 9/11, is that he mentioned Business Council for Peace (Bpeace), who happens to be the organization that trained Ferishta for her soccer ball manufacturing business in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan. Ferishta is our main character in our Link TV ViewChange Online Video Contest submission. Heather Metcalfe who visited Mazar-e Sharif last summer met Ferishta through the great people at Bpeace.  Heather is the founder of the not-for-profit, Artfully Unforgotten. Heather also met with a number of widows during her visit to Afghanistan, that lost their husbands for a variety of reasons and have been profoundly hindered both emotionally and financially which has left their lives significantly, to say the least, unstable.

To register with Link TV (a great source for documentary stories) and vote for Ferishta: A Voice From Afghanistan, or any of the other fine 5 minute video stories in the contest, visit  They also have other great programming in their line-up.