Afghan Orphans Visit Laguna

Volunteer Ian Pounds, left, chaperoned Hala,16; Maria, 17; Shokofa, 11; Lida, 18; Araj, 13; and Mohsen, 12; residents of an orphanage in Kabul. Photo by Mitch Ridder

Six Afghan orphans traveling the U.S. for 10 weeks stopped in Laguna Beach over the weekend for a sample of beach culture.


Fifteen students from teacher Jun Shen’s Laguna Beach High School model United Nations and history class greeted them.


The Laguna Beach host was Afghanistan-native Sadiq Tawfiq, owner of Khyber Pass Gallery and founder of the Afghan Amity Society.  His wife and family provided a traditional Afghan meal. Joining him were Afghan Amity board members Kimberly Claiborne, John Tobias, and Tad Heitmann.


The Afghan Child Education and Care Organization runs several orphanages in different parts of Afghanistan. The children are traveling the country in an RV driven by their American teacher Ian Pounds. Turns out, they’ve seen more of the U.S. than their Laguna counterparts.


Their visit to Dana Point’s Ocean Institute was hosted by Mike Whipple, chairman of Laguna Hills’ International Orphan Care.


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