Embassy hosts University of Maryland Honors students

Embassy of Afghanistan

Ambassador Hakimi greets the UMD Honors students and welcomes them to the embassy.

Embassy of Afghansitan

Ambassador Hakimi thanks UMD Honors Director Dr. Tim Nusraty for bringing his students to the embassy.

Embassy of Afghanistan

Deputy Chief of Mission Minister Faqiri speaks with University of Maryland Honors students.

Embassy of Afghanistan
Photo: Ambassador speaks to UMD students
Photo: Ambassador speaks to UMD students 2
Photo: Mr. Faqiri talks to UMD students
Photo: Faqiri with UMD students

November 1, 2013

WASHINGTON - Ambassador Eklil Hakimi welcomed nearly 20 University of Maryland Honors students to the embassy Friday evening. Deputy Chief of Mission Minister Ahmad Zahir Faqiri then briefed them on the progresses of the last decade and the steps forward into the Transformation Decade before opening the discussion up to students for an interactive conversation.

The Honors students and their directors Dr. Tim Nusraty and Dr. Cathy Barks also presented Ambassador Hakimi with a small token of University of Maryland pride to show their appreciation for the evening's event.

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Below are excerpts from Minister Faqiri's remarks:

  • Since 2001, with assistance from more than 40 other countries, in particular the United Sates, Afghanistan has been transformed. We’ve made notable progress in all spheres of the state-building process. Some 8 million children—40% of them girls—have gone back to school, while thousands of students are busy studying at public and private universities across Afghanistan.
  • Moreover, access to health-care, electricity, and clean drinking water has increased exponentially. As a result, our previously terrible developmental indicators—including high rates of maternal and infant mortality—have vastly improved. Widespread poverty has diminished, as per-capita income has doubled and continues to steadily increase across Afghanistan.
  • And let’s recall the past situation where the Taliban completely banned freedom of expression and denied women their basic human rights to education and work. Today, Afghanistan boasts one of the freest media sectors in the region and women have active roles in all spheres of social and economic life.
  • Private TV channels and newspapers have flourished, raising the voice of a vibrant civil society. And, we’re blessed to have more female members in the Afghan parliament than in the legislative bodies of some of the most established democracies in the world.
  • In Afghanistan today, three defining transitions are underway: a major security transition, a political transition – including a historical Presidential election next April -- and an economic transition.
  • We’re not complacent or naïve to claim that our struggle to ensure the rights and freedoms of our people fully is by any means complete. We have an enormous job before us.
  • But we have made exponential and groundbreaking advances in development indicators, economic growth, governance maturation, and regional cooperation not seen before. And with the selection of a new government in 2014, the people will stay on the path they chose in 2001.