The Books

Afghanistan is as much in the news now as it was when the international coalition led by the United States began operations in that Central Asian country.

Following the overthrow of the Taliban after the September 11th attacks in 2001, military actions have operated side by side with major reconstruction programs funded by the international community aimed at creating a modern infrastructure of roads, electricity, and water systems to support growth and stability.

In Clouded Hopes:
Nine Years in Afghanistan,

Mary Ann Callahan provides an insider’s view of the everyday events in the lives of both the international teams who came to build and the Afghans with whom they work. The second in a series in which Ms. Callahan draws from her years working in the development community in Afghanistan, Clouded Hopes presents a uniquely personal story that will provide readers with new perspectives on the news out of Afghanistan.

It is from the wealth of experiences of her years in Afghanistan that the story of this book has come.

Like many stories, they come from real life adventures.

In this case, they come from the time I spent working in a faraway place called Afghanistan. While I lived there, I took care of 2 cats and a dog who were very lovely and I met a lady there who really did live in Paris and really did have a cat named Minette. When Minette passed away, my friend from Paris was very sad and wrote me such a sad e mail that it broke my heart, so I wrote the first story of Charlie and Minette to make her feel better.

Then something rather wonderful happened.

As I shared the story with my friends and they shared it with their friends, we realized that children enjoyed the adventures of the animal friends in the book. We also found that the story of the brave hearted little cats who faced danger with courage contained topics that could help young readers with the challenges they faced.

So, that’s how the Charlie and Minette series was born, and it is our hope that the challenges faced by our little heroines and heroes will help readers to realize that you don’t have to be big to be a hero… you just have to believe that you can be one!