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Ambassador Jawad Travels to Arizona to Discuss Education and Social Development

Ambassador Said T. Jawad made his second visit to Arizona from November 7-9 on the invitation of the World Affairs Council of Scottsdale. The Ambassador also participated in an editorial board roundtable with the Arizona Republic, a breakfast reception with Thunderbird University, and a luncheon reception with local business and community leaders organized by Barbara Barrett, a strong supporter of Afghanistan, active member of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council and longstanding friend of the Embassy.

Ambassador Jawad attended a breakfast reception with a number of prominent women to strengthen support for Thunderbird University’s Project Artemis. This was the Ambassador’s second event with Thunderbird, following his participation in last year’s graduation ceremony for their latest group of entrepreneurs from Afghanistan. Project Artemis is a unique business-skills training program that aims to build the entrepreneurial skills of promising Afghan businesswomen. Thirty women from Afghanistan have participated in the two sessions of Project Artemis, held in 2005 and 2006. Included in the project are two weeks of business and entrepreneurial decision-making training; mentorship by women entrepreneurs; site visits to U.S. businesses; and follow up support and business coaching online.

Thunderbird President Angel Cabrera and Management and Event Chair of Artemis Randy Kendrick joined Ambassador Jawad for a presentation about the progress currently being made to advance the cause of women’s rights in Afghanistan, focusing on the economic empowerment of women.

The Ambassador thanked President Cabrera, Barbara Barrett, Randy Kendrick and the other donors and supporters of Project Artemis for their dedication to improving the lives of women in Afghanistan. "Women are changing the entire fabric of Afghan society for the better, and Project Artemis is playing an essential role in empowering many of the key change-makers. After their return to Afghanistan, many of the students have transformed into mentors, helping other entrepreneurs, both female and male, gain new and valuable business skills,” said the Ambassador. “These women are truly seeds of change; they are nurtured here under the Arizona sun and then transplanted back where they are so needed in Afghanistan.”

Following the Thunderbird reception, Ambassador Jawad spoke with the editorial board of the Arizona Republic about the achievements made thus far in Afghanistan’s reconstruction, as well as the continuing challenges faced by the Afghan government. Ambassador Jawad was then hosted by Barbara Barrett for a luncheon discussion with key business and community leaders. The dialogue encompassed achievements in Afghanistan’s health sector, security concerns, regional challenges and counter-narcotics strategy, as well as a serious focus on promoting entrepreneurship and investment in Afghanistan. The Ambassador was joined by representatives from AARP, Arizona State University, USAID, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, the Society of Afghan Architects and Engineers, the American Association of Retired Persons, the U.S. military and Exponent Technology, among others. 

In the evening, the Ambassador gave a detailed power point presentation to the World Affairs Council of Scottsdale, and responded to questions and concerns about Afghanistan’s security situation, the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, global terrorism, regional stability, and tribal and ethnic concerns in Afghan society. The Ambassador was introduced by Ambassador Sharon Wilkinson, the President of the Scottsdale World Affairs Council.


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