Mrs. Hakimi Featured in The Washington Diplomat

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November 30, 2011
Washington, DC

The cover of the December issue of The Washington Diplomat features an article on Mrs. Sultana Hakimi titled "Reclaiming Afghanistan: Hakimis Embody Country's Past Success, Its Future Hope." The article is based on an interview that Diplomat reporter Gail Scott conducted with Mrs. Hakimi.

The story covers Ambassador and Mrs. Hakimi's marriage and career, beginning at the Polytechnic University of Kabul, where she and Ambassador Hakimi met while studying to get their master's degree in engineering. Mrs. Hakimi describes her childhood in Afghanistan as "perfect." However, she sadly recounts how after the Taliban came to power life in Afghanistan became "unbearable." Therefore, she and Ambassador Hakimi fled the country in 1992 to move to California, where they both found work, she as a banker and he as an engineer.

Despite their pleasant life in California, neither she nor Ambassador Hakimi forgot their commitment to their homeland. Ambassador Hakimi, who briefly took part in the interview, explained that "From the day I knew my left from my right, I was taught by my family that you educate yourself and then serve your country." So when President Karzai called on all ex-pats to come home and be a part of the new Afghanistan, Ambassador and Mrs. Hakimi were ready to serve their country.

In her position as a diplomatic spouse, Mrs. Hakimi devotes her free time to helping empower Afghan women. She argues that "Afghan women make up 50 percent of our population and they have so much to offer to our country and their families." Moreover, she believes that education is the key to restoring Afghanistan's prosperity.

In the article Ambassador and Mrs. Hakimi both express their gratitude for all of the assistance the U.S. has provided Afghanistan. Ambassador Hakimi concludes the interview by stating that "We Afghans are grateful for support from the American taxpayer. This support will be remembered and stay with Afghans forever. It is part of our culture and traditions that once you receive a favor from someone, you are from then on looking for an opportunity to pay that back."