Welcome to our e-newsletter Vol. 47 October 2007  

President Karzai Visits the United Kingdom:  During the month of October, President Hamid Karzai made an official visit to the United Kingdom. The President met with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, as well as Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Defense Secretary Des Brown, Minister for International Development Douglas Alexander, and other senior UK officials. Following a working breakfast at Number 10 Downing Street, President Karzai and Prime Minister Brown held a joint press conference, where the two leaders discussed the security, narcotics and reconstruction strategy currently being pursued throughout Afghanistan. MORE

Ambassador Jawad Discusses Post-Conflict Management with Business-Government Relations Council: On October 20, Ambassador Said T. Jawad addressed a distinguished audience of business and government leaders during the annual meeting of the Business-Government Relations Council (BGRC) at West Virginia’s historic Greenbrier, a national historic landmark that dates back to 1778 . The theme of the meeting was “Public Policy in a Global Economy,” and the Ambassador’s remarks focused on “Challenges of Post-Conflict Management: Security and Development in Afghanistan.” MORE
President Karzai Demands Better Coordination to Reduce Civilian Casualties:   60 Minutes aired a segment on civilian casualties in Afghanistan this month. After international calls for an end to civilian casualties caused by Coalition air strikes, 60 Minutes reported on this troubling trend and spoke with President Hamid Karzai. Correspondent Scott Pelley traveled to Kapisa Province and investigated on an incident where nine people, representing four generations of a family, were killed by a Coalition air strike. MORE
Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak Expresses Full Confidence in Afghan Security Forces during Official Visit to the U.S.:  Afghan Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak traveled to the U.S. from the 11-20 of October on an official visit. During this visit, Minister Wardak met with Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Charmin of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Michael G. Mullen, Deputy National Security Advisor Lt. General Douglas Lute, Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Mitchell Shivers and other representatives from military and civilian agencies. MORE

Travelers Heed the Call to Bamiyan and the Wakhan Corridor: Bamiyan Province continues to attract adventurers, travelers, journalists, and tourists of all stripes with its sweeping mountain vista, picturesque valleys and limestone cliffs, and stunning rivers and deserts. Ancient fortress ruins provide awe-inspiring views over the valley; the hollow cavities where the Giant Buddhas once stood are a sobering reminder of the Taleban’s reign of terror. MORE

Finance Minister Ahady Predicts Double-Digit Growth at World Bank–IMF Annual Meetings in Washington, DC: Afghanistan’s Minister of Finance Anwar ul-Haq Ahady traveled to the United States to attend the World Bank—IMF Annual Meetings held from October 19-23. Throughout these meetings a series of bilateral and multilateral discussions took place on finance and debt related matters between Afghanistan and the international community. Additionally, Minister Ahady participated in a conference on Central Asian Integration at the Brookings Institution, spoke at the United Stated Institute of Peace (USIP) and interviewed with Al Jazeera International. MORE
Afghanistan's Speaker of the Parliament Promotes Afghanistan's Democratic Transition During Visit to the U.S.:  President of the National Assembly of Afghanistan Younus Qanooni visited the U.S. from October 23-29 on the invitation of the State University of Albany. In a series of high profile meetings, Speaker Qanooni emphasized the importance of a strong Parliament to secure and strengthen Afghanistan’s democracy. Speaker Qanooni met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Speaker of House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Lantos, and numerous other American officials in the White House and Congress. MORE

Ambassador Jawad Receives Honorary Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Education at Argosy University: On November 3, Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad was honored with an honorary Doctorate in Organizational Leadership and Education from Argosy University. The Ambassador gave Argosy’s commencement address entitled, “The Importance of Education,” at the historic DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. On this special occasion, the Ambassador chose to focus on the rebuilding of the Afghanistan’s education system, as well as the importance of global leadership and responsibility. MORE
World Bank Calls Afghanistan a "Success Story" :  Economic and social conditions in Afghanistan have improved dramatically since the fall of the Taliban, despite continuing problems with security, corruption and the drug trade, according to the World Bank's top official responsible for the country. "This is a success story," Alastair McKechnie, country director for Afghanistan at the World Bank, said in an interview yesterday. "Afghanistan has defied predictions and has achieved a lot in a short period of time." MORE

The Ayenda Foundation Celebrates Second Anniversary at the Embassy of Afghanistan: On October 29, a reception in honor of the second anniversary of the Ayenda Foundation, the Afghan Children’s Initiative was held at the Embassy of Afghanistan. Ambassador Said T. Jawad and Ayenda founder Mrs. Shamim Jawad hosted nearly 200 distinguished guests, including Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, Senator John Sununu of New Hampshire, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Mrs. Diana Bodman and many others. MORE

Ambassador Jawad Answers Questions on Popular Blogs: On the sixth anniversary of the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Embassy of Afghanistan engaged a number of new media outlets to discuss the achievements thus far and the challenges that remain. Ambassador Said T. Jawad responded to questions in interactive live chats and interviews with HuffingtonPost.com, CampusProgress.org and ThinkProgress.org MORE

Goethe Institute Launches Exhibition of Young Afghan Photographers : Ambassador Said T. Jawad addressed an audience at the Goethe Institute in Washington, DC on the occasion of the opening of, “Life and Nothing Else: An Exhibition of Young Afghan Photographers,” on October 1. The exhibit chronicles the rebuilding of Afghanistan through the lenses of a number of young Afghans, who chose to focus on personal subjects such as famly life, living rooms, orphans, weddings and religious life. MORE

Embassy Honors American Author Rosanne Klass: The Embassy held a reception for American author Rosanne Klass on October 23 in celebration of the re-release of her classic book Land of the High Flags. Guests were treated to a traditional Afghan feast, and had the opportunity to ask Ms. Klass questions about her life and hear her many colorful stories during an intimate dinner. Land of the High Flags is memoir detailing the author’s experiences as the first woman to teach at a boy’s school in Afghanistan. MORE

Ambassador Promotes Afghanistan During Trip to New York: Ambassador Said T. Jawad traveled to New York on October 31 accompanied by Rachel Pearson of Pearson & Associates, LLP as part of an Embassy initiative to seek new means of promoting investment opportunities in Afghanistan and Afghan cultural events. The famous auction house Sotheby’s hosted Ambassador Jawad for a discussion on Afghanistan’s cultural heritage. MORE

Embassy of Afghanistan Legislative Update for October 2007: This month, President Bush requested additional funding from Congress to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Congress brought US security contractors under the jurisdiction of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. Separate Congressional hearings were held on US Counter narcotics strategy in Afghanistan, the role of Provincial Reconstruction Teams, and Pakistan.. Defense Minister Wardak, Finance Minister Ahady, President of the Afghan Assembly Qanooni and Ambassador Jawad met with numerous Congressmen and women. MORE

OP ED: Women: The Pillars of Afghanistan : The largest defeat of the British-Indian forces in the Second Anglo-Afghan War came through the leadership of one heroic, Afghan woman — Malalai of Maiwand. Malalai called out to dejected Afghan troops and carried the Afghan banner before being killed on the battlefield. A woman who rose to patriotic duty during troubled times, Malalai reminds us all of the critical role women must play in securing peace and prosperity for Afghanistan. While Afghan women have gained formal political suffrage under Afghanistan’s 2004 Constitution, they are yet to secure equality. MORE

US-Afghan Business Matchmaking Conference in Washington November 12 - 13: Investors seeking to obtain information about business and investment opportunities in Afghanistan will be gathering in Washington on November 12 and 13 as part of the US-Afghan Business Matchmaking Conference, organized by the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce. The event will bring together potential investors and representatives of Afghan companies based in Afghanistan and Dubai. MORE

Political Counselor Focuses on Cultural Awareness During Visit to Military Bases: Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari recently visited Ft. Drum, New York and Ft. Polk, Louisiana to discuss the peace-building operational environment in Afghanistan with the New York Army National Guard and the US Army 101st Airborne Division forces, both of whom will be deploying to Afghanistan in the near future. MORE

Washington Performing Arts Society Gets a Taste of Afghanistan : On October 16, the Embassy welcomed the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) for a reception in honor of their Fall Celebration committee members. Ambassador and Mrs. Jawad hosted Fall Celebration Co-Chairs Josephine Cooper and Rachel Tinsley Pearson, as well as Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Mr. and Mrs. Qubad Talabani, and other distinguished members of the WPAS. Proceeds from the Fall Celebration benefit WPAS’ extensive artistic and educational programming. MORE

Asia Foundation Releases 2007 Public Opinion Poll : The Asia Foundation released findings from its most recent public opinion poll in Afghanistan in October. This report covers the largest population sample ever surveyed at one time in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces. “Afghanistan in 2007: A Survey of the Afghan People” follows polls conducted by the Foundation in 2004 and 2006. MORE

Supporting Afghanistan: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Japan: Key nations allied with Afghanistan announced this month that they would be strengthening their missions in the country. This month Belgium sent 40 more soldiers to Afghanistan to reinforce its peacekeeping forces and prepare for the takeover of the command of the Kabul airport, where they will provide assistance to the Afghan authorities in airport management and operation. MORE

Afghanistan's Diaspora Crucial to Successful Reconstruction : Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari discussed the role of Afghan-Americans in helping rebuild their homeland in an interview with the Los Angeles-based Khorasan TV last month. He outlined different ways that Afghan immigrants have contributed to Afghanistan’s reconstruction, and encouraged younger Afghan-American professionals to continue the noble work being done to support Afghanistan’s nascent institutions and civil society. MORE

Kansas State University Strengthens Partnership with Kabul University :  Kansas State (K-State) representatives have made progress at Kabul University in Afghanistan since a contractual agreement took place six months ago to improve two academic sections at Kabul, said two K-State faculty members who have visited the university. Suzanne Donnelly, K-State instructor of international programs, and Garth Thompson, K-State professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, spoke about their Kabul experiences Tuesday afternoon at the Little Theatre in the K-State Student Union. MORE

Female Police Officers Hold Conference in Kabul : Afghanistan hosted a policewomen's conference in October that aimed to help Afghan women gain confidence through sharing experiences with other female law enforcement officers from Muslim countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia. The conference included discussions of women’s contributions to law enforcement, training sessions, and even a fashion show of police uniforms. MORE

Center for Policy Priorities Announces Young Afghan Professionals Summit 2007:  The Center for Policy Priorities (CFPP) will hold the Young Afghan Professionals Summit 2007 from November 20-22 in Kabul with the theme of “Promoting Enfranchisement: Toward Inclusion & Influence in Sustainable Development of Afghanistan.” CFPP recognizes that sustainable development requires a long-term perspective and broad-based participation in policy formulation, decision-making and implementation at all levels. MORE

Embassy in the News: This month, Ambassador Jawad and Embassy officials discussed the situation in Afghanistan with the Washington Times, HuffingtonPost.com, ThinkProgress.org and CampusProgress.org. Political Counselor Ashraf Haidari published an Op Ed in the CACI Analyst entitled, "Women: The Pillars of Afghanistan" To read or watch these interviews, please click Embassy in the News.

Investment News: This month, numerous publications covered business and investment opportunities in Afghanistan. IWRP highlighted Afghanistan's melon industry, while USINFO focused on Afghanistan's rug industry. To read these articles, please click Investment News

Embassy Events: To view photographs from and read about Embassy events, please click on Embassy Events


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