Mrs. Ghani meets Mrs. Obama, Concludes Visit to Washington, DC

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Mrs. Ghani with Ambassador Russell, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues

Mrs. Ghani with SRAP Dan Feldman

Photo: Mrs. Ghani with Mrs. Obama
Photo: Mrs. Ghani with Ambassador Russell
Photo: Mrs. Ghani with Ambassador Feldman

February 24, 2015

Mrs. Rula Ghani, also known in Afghanistan as Bibi Gul, concluded her first visit to Washington, DC as First Lady of Afghanistan.

After attending a meeting of the US-Afghan Women's Council in Dallas, Mrs. Ghani arrived in Washington and embarked on a series of meetings and engagements with US government officials, the press, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Georgetown University.

One highlight of the trip was when Mrs. Obama hosted Mrs. Ghani for tea at the White House. The two First Ladies met each other for the first time and had a private tea.

Several high-level officials from the US Department of State and USAID visited Mrs. Ghani at the embassy: Ambassador Catherine Russell, Ambassador Dan Feldman, Assistant Secretary for Population Refugees and Migration Anne Richard, as well as Larry Sampler and Susan Markham.

Mrs. Ghani appeared on NPR twice, first with a profile on Morning Edition, and then for an hour on the Diane Rehm Show. In her comments to the press and CSIS and Georgetown, Mrs. Ghani spoke about her work on helping vulnerable populations in Afghanistan. Mrs. Ghani believes her role as First Lady is to be a facilitator and listener, helping Afghans one group at a time.

When asked what her message is to the American people, Mrs. Ghani said that the Afghan people are incredibly appreciative of the United States' sacrifices for the Afghan people. She added that she is optimistic about the future of Afghanistan because of the strength and resilience of the Afghan people. Afghanistan is at a turning point, she said, on the way to a brighter future.