Welcome to our e-newsletter Vol. 68 August 2009  

President Obama Sends Best Wishes for Afghanistan's Independence Celebrations:

President Barack Obama sends congratulatory wishes to President Hamid Karzai, as well as to the people of Afghanistan, on the celebration of the nation’s 90th Independence Day.  President Obama called the day “significant.”  MORE

President Karzai Marks Afghanistan’s Independence Day with Poetry:

President Karzai hosted well known poets and intellectuals at the Presidential Palace to mark the country’s Independence Day.The president said he was happy to be among such a creative group of individuals and pay witness to their efforts as their efforts as they help to secure Afghanistan's unity and liberty. MORE

Foreign Minister Spanta Meets with American Congressional Delegation:

Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta welcomed an American Congressional Delegation in late August.  Discussions included the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy and Afghan’s presidential elections. MORE

Afghans Mark the Nation’s Independence Day at the Embassy:

Afghans celebrated the 90th anniversary of the country’s independence this month.  The following day, they lined up to defy terrorist intimidation by voting in the nation’s second ever democratic elections.  Ambassador Jawad remarked that the presidential race is an indicator of the democratic system’s maturityMORE

Ambassador Jawad Attends the White House Iftar Dinner:

President Obama hosted a White House dinner celebrating Ramadan and highlighting the contributions of American Muslims.  Ambassador Jawad was among the honored guests to break the fast with a “feast.” MORE

Afghanistan's Economy Blooms :

Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh Province in northern Afghanistan, is an eight-hour drive from Kabul and a different cultural region, dominated by Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmen and Hazaras. Amiri Park occupies one-sixth of a "new town" of 648 acres planned to accommodate 30,000 people. It's an Afghan version of a gated community, though anyone well off enough to own a car or hire a taxi to get here can use the park without charge. MORE

Ground Breaking for Aynak Copper Project:

Aynak Copper Project was inaugurated in a glorious ceremony in Aynak area of Logar Province. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Mines Dip. Eng. Mohammad Ibrahim Adel, the head of MCC Shen Heting, Representative of Chinese Embassy in Kabul, Tajik Ambassador to Afghanistan, elders and representatives of Logar Province and journalists of media. MORE

Afghan Chief of Army Air Corps Recieve Legion of Merit Medal:

Chief of the Afghan National Army Air Corps, Major General Mohammad Dawran, visited Washington DC and held meetings with the senior leadership of the United States Air Force from July 12-18, 2009. General Dawran extended his personal gratitude to General Schwartz for the assistance the U.S. Air Force had so far provided to help redevelop Afghanistan’s air corps and discussed the status of developing the Afghan National Army Air Corps. MORE

American Senator Reports Positive Election Process:

U.S. Senator Bob Corker a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spent several hours in the western part of Afghanistan observing the election process and saw lots of people waiting in line to vote but no sign of security problems or voting irregularities at the polling places he visited in Afghanistan. MORE

Ambassador Jawad Remembers a Friend:

With the death of American political icon, Senator Ted Kennedy, Ambassador Jawad takes a moment to reflect on the passing of a great man.  Senator Kennedy’s political insight and experience helped shape American policies in Afghanistan.  Ambassador Jawad recalls time spent together, as well as a man who never turned away from trying to make the world a better place. MORE

Afghanistan’s Election Day Turns into a Sophisticated Stump:

Excitement for Afghanistan’s fresh new democracy was evident with the number of political candidates tossing their hats into the ring this year.  But no where else was the advancement of liberty and freedom more evident than among the sophistication of the candidates’ campaigns.  Helicopters took candidates from event to event, while some even risked gunfire to make the campaigns all that they were. MORE

Washington Congressional Report:

Members of Congress spend their summer recess traveling to Afghanistan, before returning home to share their impressions.  One member, Senator Bob Corker, is the sole American Congressional witness to national elections. MORE

Despite Challenges Afghanistan rises to the Occasion:

Ambassador Jawad took to the American radio airways, via, National Public Radio earlier this month.  He discussed the dynamic headway made throughout Afghanistan as candidates took to the political stump, and triumphed over challenges to make this year’s Election Day an outstanding success. MORE

Planning and Preparation, the Key to a Successful Election:

In anticipation of Afghanistan’s Election Day, a lot of thought and planning was needed to secure locations all over the country. Coalition forces created a specialized "tiered" system for securing the polls, and put the effort into effect days before August 20th, 2009. MORE

Securing Afghanistan in a Regional Context :

Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari gave a lecture on "Afghanistan and Central Asia" to the Central Asia Advanced Area Studies at the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Institute on August 6, 2009, in Arlington, Virginia. Speaking to a group of American diplomats soon to be posted to U.S. diplomatic missions in South and Central Asia, Haidari discussed Afghanistan's stabilization and reconstruction efforts in a regional context. MORE

The Work of Midwives Blossoms in Afghanistan:

The first year the Midwifery school in Bamyan opened, not a single application was turned in.  Now, just a few short years later, the school has an overflowing number of students.

Today the graduates of the school are helping to blaze a healthy new trail for women and babies. MORE

She Witnessed Afghan History :

Anita McBride, former chief of staff to former first lady Mrs. Laura Bush, was on the ground to witness history in the making for Afghanistan’s second national Election Day.  Through her eyes, she shares the story of the Afghan people, their fight for democracy and the hope to vote freely.  Her moving story will remind you why so many people are inspired to help Afghanistan advance into a new era of stability and success. MORE

Afghanistan's Poppy Cultivation Falls by More than 20% :

In the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2009 released the amount of land under poppy cultivation has fallen by 22 per cent to 123,000 hectares since last year. The report said the decline was due to a combination of lower opium prices, aggressive interdiction by Nato forces and pilot projects backed by the UK to encourage farmers to grow wheat instead. MORE

Presidential Election and Future of Afghanistan:

Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari interviewed with the International Affairs Forum, a publication of the Center for International Relations, to discuss Afghanistan’s recent presidential and provincial council elections. In addition to highlighting security and logistical concerns voting , the counselor discussed widespread popular support for democratic governance in Afghanistan, as well as building institutional capacity in the post-election Government to deliver basic services to the Afghan people. MORE

In Other News:Afghan celebraties, Civil Societies , UNAMA Join together to launch the 2009 peace in Afghanistan Campaign (UNAMA),AYNAK COPPER Mine predicted to create 8,000 direct jobs once landmines are cleared Afghanistan - (UNAMA),Teacher can we leave now? no (New York Times) ,Afghan Mountaineers make history(BBC) Afghan midwives step up to save lives (CNN) In War and Isolation, A Fighter for Afghan women (New York Times). MORE

Embassy in the News: This month Ambassador Said T. Jawad was interviewed by National Public Radio; The Wall Street Journal; The Washington Times; Ariana International Television and Pasjwak news agency.   He spoke directly with FOX News’s Martha McCallum and Jennifer Griffin, as well as with Indira Lakashaman of Bloomberg TV.  Live to Kabul, the Ambassador contributed to reports from Washington, DC with Sky News’s Jeremy Thomas and the BBC’s Lyse Doucet.  Ambassador Jawad also entertained discussions with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Senator Corker, Senator McCain and Senator Richard Lugar, among others.
Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari interviewed with CNN International, VOA Persian and Urdu Services, Alhurra (Arab TV Networks), Center for International Relations, and the RAND Corporation
. To read these and other articles and op-eds, please click Embassy in the news.

Embassy Events:  On the eve of Afghanistan Election Day, hundreds from Washinton DC's Afghan community packed the embassy to celebrate Independence Day. Great food, music and losts of political discussions were all included on the menu of the day.To read about embassy events, please click on Embassy Events .


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