Welcome to our e-newsletter Vol. 46 September 2007  

President Karzai and Foreign Minister Spanta Attend UN General Assembly:  President Hamid Karzai, Foreign Minister Dr. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta and a delegation from the Afghan government travled to the U.S. on September 22 to participate in the 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. In his address to the General Assembly, President Karzai focused on the challenges rather than the achievements made in Afghanistan MORE

President Karzai Meets with U.S. President George Bush at United Nations: On September 26, President Hamid Karzai met with U.S. President George Bush at the 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations to discuss routine security matters and review the progress being made in Afghanistan’s rebuilding effort. At a joint press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, President Karzai thanked President Bush and the American people for the progress that has been made in the last 6 years... MORE
International Community in Solidarity with Afghanistan at Special UN Summit:   22 countries attended a high-level meeting on Afghanistan led by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 23. Participants reviewed progress toward implementing the Afghanistan Compact, a five-year development blueprint launched in January 2006 by Kabul and some 70 foreign partners. MORE
President Karzai Meets with Latvian President and Dutch Prime Minister:  On September 9, President Hamid Karzai met with President of the Republic of Latvia Valdis Zalters in Kabul. During a pres conference following the meeting, President Zalters reaffirmed his country's commitment to reconstruction and security in Afghanistan. "The people of Latvia will continue to stand by the people of Afghanistan in difficult situations," he said. MORE

Embassy Hosts Rumi Scholars from Around the World: On September 28, the Embassy of Afghanistan hosted dozens of scholars who were in the Washington metro region as part of a University of Maryland Center for Persian Studies international conference on Jalal ad-Din Mohammad Balkhi (1207-1273), known in the West as Rumi. The Persian poet is widely read both in his birthplace of Afghanistan and throughout the world, and has recently been honored by the UNESCO declaration of 2007, the 800th anniversary of the poet’s birth, as the International Rumi Year. MORE

Embassy Briefs Congressional Staff on Afghanistan's Counter-Narcotics Strategy: Political Counselor M. Ashraf Haidari briefed the U.S. Congressional staff on September 20 on the current state of counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan at the invitation of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Joseph Biden’s office. Haidari discussed the international counter-narcotics efforts in the context of a recent United Nations report on drug production in Afghanistan and Afghanistan’s Third Annual National Counter-Narcotics Conference in August. MORE
Legislative Update for September:  This month, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates requested an increase in funding from Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, known as the 2008 Emergency War Supplemental. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen wrote a letter to the State Department Coordinator for Counter narcotics, and the House Armed Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held hearings on Afghan Provincial Reconstruction Teams. MORE

Denmark, Latvia and Germany Strengthening Support for Afghan Mission: Key nations allied with Afghanistan announced this month that they would be strengthening their missions in the country. On September 14, Denmark’s Ministry of Defense announced that it would deploy an extra 100 soldiers to the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand in October, bringing the total number of troops to 520. MORE

Everyday Heroes in Today's Afghanistan: Thanks to the generosity and friendship of a family in North Carolina, 15 year old Zaman Rashid will be able to live his life without the constraints of a serious medical condition. Zaman traveled thousands of miles from Farah province to obtain treatment for a benign tumor in his head called an angiofibromo. A substantial operation was required to remove a mass of inflamed blood vessels. The condition causes intense headaches and restricts breathing and speech. MORE

Author Khaled Hosseini Returns to Afghanistan: In September, best-selling author Khaled Hosseini traveled to Afghanistan to raise awareness of the need for continued international cooperation on helping the country rebuild. “Long term engagement is absolutely critical if the country is to continue moving in the right direction," he said. "Afghanistan needs time, patience and relentless effort. This is not the time to give up. It is the time to remain fully engaged so that the positive developments can be built upon and produce long-term results." MORE

Roads, Cellphones and Windmills Improve Quality of Life in Panjshir Valley: The Panjshir Valley’s Z Road started as a simple U.S. project to build a radio tower so people in the valley could pick up commercial radio from Kabul for the first time. What began as a reconstruction project was eventually adopted by private cellphone, television, and wind farm companies. Much of this progress is the result of a synergy among the local government, the people and U.S. soldiers. MORE

American Actor Jude Law Promotes Peace Day During Afghan Travels: This summer American movie star Jude Law took time away from Hollywood to travel to Afghanistan to film a documentary about the United Nation's Peace Day. Peace Day occurs each year on September 21, which the UN hopes will see a day-long global ceasefire. Jude visited British troops, UN diplomats, Afghan government ministers, village elders and children’s groups during the trip.MORE

Noor TV Focuses on Afghan Community: This summer, three brothers from Fremont, California launched a new 24-hour Afghan TV station, called Noor TV. Yousefzai Rahimi, and his brothers, Haris and Farzan set out to create television programming that avoided personal attacks and political propaganda that would serve the interests of the Afghan-American community. Noor means "light" in Dari, and is available throughout the United States and Canada to anyone with a Galaxy 25 satellite dish. MORE

Alt-Afghanistan: Rock Band Looks to Afghanistan for Inspiration: Last year, when young musicians Ariana Delawari and Max Guirand were looking for a unique name for their band, they decided upon “Lion of Panjshir,” a reference to the Afghan hero and military leader Ahmad Shah Massoud. For those who knew who Massoud was, they felt that it represented a vision of truth and fighting for what you believe. MORE

Afghanistan’s Judicial System Strengthened through International Partnerships:  This fall, a course organized by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) will hold specialized courses at Kabul University on "Practical Lawyer Skills Training." The coursework will encompass analyzing evidence, writing defense statements and making oral arguments. Financial assistance was also provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). MORE

Embassy in the News: This month, Ambassador Jawad and Embassy officials situation in Afghanistan with the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Statesville Record, the Hindustan Times, the Morning Call, the Austin American Statesman, NewKerala.com and Austin Bay. 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. The Canadian Press reported on Afghanistan's copper sector, NPR reported on gem mining in Afghanistan and Afghan Wireless - a mobile communications firm - was nominated for a World Communications Award. 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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