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Friends of the American Universty of Afghanistan Honor Former First Lady Laura Bush


Friends of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) recently honored former First Lady Laura Bush with a gala and announced fundraising efforts to build the Laura W. Bush Women’s Resource Center in Kabul, Afghanistan.   

Mrs. Bush, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States Said Jawad, his wife Shamim Jawad who sits on the AUAF board and NBC Today Show’s Ann Curry were in attendance at the event held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express the deep gratitude of the Afghan people for the continued support, compassion and personal commitment of Mrs. Bush to education, literacy and women’s rights in Afghanistan,” Ambassador Jawad told the crowd.  

Over the past several years, Mrs. Bush has dedicated a significant amount of time championing the rights of Afghan women and improving educational resources for all children in the war-torn country.  On many trips to Kabul, she has visited classrooms, met with teachers and students, as well as members of the Afghan government.  Focusing on support and resources for the overall development of the educational system, Mrs. Bush has contributed in many ways; even sponsoring forums at the Bush Library in Dallas, Texas like one held this past spring in support of Afghan Women, Education, and Energy.

“Your work has been instrumental in improving access to education in Afghanistan, and I am honored to be here this evening to convey our appreciation for your support for the American University of Afghanistan,” Jawad told the former First Lady.  “You have been a leader and longstanding advocate for education; and Afghan boys and girls have been lucky to have your endless support.” 

The Laura W. Bush Women’s Resource Center which will be located on the AUAF campus in Kabul and will become an integral part of the country’s only private, independent, not for profit, non-sectarian coeducational institution of higher learning.

“Our country used to be the home of well respected, well organized higher education institutions, but the Soviet invasion led to its downfall. The first group of women went abroad for higher education 90 years ago, and the first Afghan university was established sixty years ago. In 1980, there were 35,000 students in higher education. In 2001 under the Taliban, that number was reduced to 4000, all men,” Ambassador Jawad explained.

“Today we are proud to have 23 universities, educating close to 100,000 students, both men and women. However, we must work hard to improve the quality of education to prepare our students for the jobs of the future,” he said. 

All money raised at the event went to AUAF.   To read more about the university, log on



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