Ambassador Hakimi Welcomes Founder of Zarif Design

Ambassador Eklil Hakimi with Afghan entrepreneur, designer, and human rights activist Zolaykha Sherzad

WASHINGTON, DC (February 23, 2012) - Today, Ambassador Eklil Hakimi met with Afghan entrepreneur, designer, and human rights activist Zolaykha Sherzad at the Embassy, following a trunk show featuring Ms. Sherzad’s elegant sportswear, evening wear and accessories at the United States Department of State.

Ms. Sherzad’s collection, which has been shown and sold around the world, made its first appearance in the Capitol this week. Ms. Sherzad started a non-profit organization in 2000 that has successfully rebuilt and supported primary and secondary schools in rural Afghanistan and developed programs in the US and Europe to raise cross-cultural understanding. In 2004, while living in Kabul supporting these schools, she started Zarif Design with the goal of reviving the Afghan culture.

“The success of Zolaykha’s business and humanitarian initiatives is tremendously inspiring,” Ambassador Hakimi said. “Her passion for beauty and compassion for all people shows the true spirit of our country, and the fact that her beautiful products have been embraced by people around the world is a leading indicator of what we envision – an Afghan renaissance, not just a post-war recovery.”

“I am so grateful for the warm welcome in Washington this week,” Ms. Sherzad remarked, “and impressed by the partnership shown by a breadth of supporters, from the State Department to the Afghan Embassy to the U.S. – Afghan Women’s Council.”

The Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. is honored to support initiatives like Zarif Design that promotes Afghan female entrepreneurship and sustainable economic growth.