Fame Day: Massoud Hassani

Anyone know what this alien-looking device is?

Any guesses?

That right there is the “Mine Kafon,” an ingenious device used to safely blow up land mines. Light enough to be blown around by the wind, the Mine Kafon is still heavy enough to touch off detonation when it comes into contact with a mine or pressure-activated explosive. While there’s some skill that goes into getting the weight right, the real beauty of it is it’s simplicity- anyone anywhere in the world could mass produce these. Definitely a blessing for areas emerging or dealing with long periods of conflict and militarization.

And this guy invented it:

That right there is Massoud Hassani, an Afghan-born designer currently residing in the Netherlands. Having learned by the age of 9 how to weld, Housani designed the Mine Kafon after a toy he had built during his childhood in Kabul. With approximately 50 people a month being killed by mines (almost always civilians and often children), Hassani decided to turn his creative ability towards helping others, using this cross between a bunch of plungers and a tumbleweed to do just that. With assistance from public-funding site Kickstarter, Hassani was eventually able to develop a Mine Kafon capable of multiple uses.

In other words, he designed a cheap, easily produced device capable of taking multiple blasts from one of the most vicious tools of destruction out there.

I’ll give you all a minute to just sit there and be impressed by that.

Now I could just leave it at that.

Young inventor comes up with a great idea that will save hundreds, if not thousands, of lives. What else is there to add?

He’s Muslim.

Now why do I bring that up?

Simply because the only time you’re going to hear about Islam in the mainstream media is when it’s in the form of some kind of fear-mongering propaganda. Muslims and Arabs alike (two different things) have been the go-to bogeyman for the Western world over the past decade, and it’s rare to hear about Muslims in a context that’s not negative. So not only is Hassani saving lives, he’s unwittingly helping showcase a much-needed alternative to the constant stream of bigotry we’re fed on a daily basis.

Massoud Hassani- you’re already receiving some much-deserved recognition (the MoMA had a March display set aside for the Kafon), but for what it’s worth, here’s some applause from us here at the CWR. Keep up the great work.

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