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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

November 17, 2006

 

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

Joshua Gross, Director of Media Relations

(202) 483 6410 ext. 8002

gross@embassyofafghanistan.org

website: www.embassyofafghanistan.org

AMBASSADOR JAWAD ATTENDS GRADUATION OF

AFGHAN BUSINESSWOMEN IN ARIZONA

PHOENIX, AZ – Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States Said T. Jawad spoke today at Thunderbird University where 15 Afghan businesswomen were graduating from Project Artemis, an intensive two-week fellowship focusing on entrepreneurial training, coaching, mentoring and access to resources.

Building on the success of last year’s program, the participants will return to Afghanistan to expand their own business operations and assist other entrepreneurs. “This multiplier effect shows us that education is the best tool of empowering women in any society, particularly in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan where the future of our country rests on women,” said the Ambassador in his commencement remarks. He explained that throughout the 1960s and 1970s Afghan women played a crucial role in Afghan society, but that two decades of war and destruction resulted in their economic, political and social marginalization. “Despite their victimization by the Taliban, women have played a vital role in Afghanistan’s reconstruction since 2001. Women were elected to 68 of the188 seats in the lower house of Afghanistan’s Parliament,” he said. Ambassador Jawad thanked Thunderbird’s President Dr. Angel Cabrera, Ms. Barbara Barrett and the attending guests for their support in providing Afghan businesswomen with a unique opportunity to improve their management skills through Project Artemis.

During his visit to Arizona, Ambassador Jawad met with local business leaders, community members and the Artemis Fellows. He also traveled to Luke Air Force Base and spoke to an audience of men and women who have served in Afghanistan. The Ambassador expressed the gratitude of the Afghan people for their service. “You have all truly made a difference in Afghanistan. We value the sacrifice of every American soldier who is fighting alongside Afghans to defend freedom and to make Afghanistan, America and the world a safer place,” he said.

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