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Army Artist Paints Governor's Portrait

14 August 2006

Army Artist Paints Governor's Portrait

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Captain Gauldie and Governor Sorabi.


Army artist Captain Matt Gauldie was so inspired by the Governor of Bamyan in Afghanistan, Habiba Sorabi, he has painted her portrait, and presented the finished work to her.

Captain Gauldie is in Afghanistan with the New Zealand Defence Force Provincial Reconstruction Team, where he is recording the team's work. He sat in on recent media interviews with Governor Sorabi, and was, he says, "very impressed with her presence".

"I was moved by her story, personality, courage and commitment to move Afghanistan forward, especially with regard to providing a voice for the women of Afghanistan. I felt honoured to be able to present the painting to her, he said.

"When you paint a portrait you need to get a vibe from the person you are painting. I tried to include strength, humility, a sense of humour and charisma in the painting." Captain Gauldie has also completed a mural at the local orphanage in Bamyan.

Governor Sorabi is the first woman to become a governor in Afghanistan. She has been a high-profile figure in the promotion of women's rights and of the plight of Afghani women under the Taleban regime. Following US military action in 2001 and the removal of the Taleban, she was appointed Women's Affairs Minister prior to taking up her current appointment.


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