WASHINGTON, DC – September 12, 2012: The Foundation for Afghanistan held its Inaugural Dinner and Award Ceremony in Washington, DC to recognize the support of individuals and friends in its efforts to empower the Afghan people through the development of human capital. (Photos here)
Some of the Foundation’s student-scholars who attend various universities in the United States attended the event. President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, former President of Bolivia, US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, ambassadors, members of US Congress and other high-level government officials, civil society leaders, the media and Washington notables were present at the occasion.
Founder and chairman of the Foundation, Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad, hosted the event and recognized the work of His Excellency Yousef Al Otaiba, ambassador of the United Arab Emirates. Ambassador Al Otaiba is one of the earliest and most committed supporters of education and gender equality in Afghanistan and has played a key role in the UAE’s development efforts in the country. He has also been a steadfast friend of the Foundation for Afghanistan.
“The UAE recognized the urgent need to help reverse the cycle [of violence and poverty]. And in 2003 my government made a ten-year commitment to support the development of Afghanistan through economic and humanitarian assistance,” Ambassador Al Otaiba said.
He also praised the work of the Foundation. “In a just a few short years of existence, the Foundation has quickly established itself as a catalyst to facilitate the redevelopment of Afghanistan, and create social and economic opportunities for the women and youth of that country,” Ambassador Al Otaiba said.
Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, chair of the American Red Cross Society, formally presented to him the Foundation Queen Soraya Award, named after Afghanistan’s early 20th-century reformist queen who pioneered women’s rights and education.
Ambassador Jawad announced the Foundation’s co-sponsorship of TEDxKabul, an independently organized component of the popular TED Talks that focus on innovative intellectual and scientific ideas of the day.
“TEDxKabul’s objective is to celebrate the stories, ideas, and innovations of Afghans effecting positive change in their communities. That is fully in line with what we are doing,” Ambassador Jawad said.
“As a new generation of capable and determined Afghan youth emerges to lead our country, the Foundation for Afghanistan is playing its modest role to equip these young leaders with the necessary skills to sustain our accomplishments and implement the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned security and development strategies,” he added.
The Foundation for Afghanistan, a US 501(c)(3) public charity organization, has offices in Kabul, Afghanistan and Washington, DC. It works to empower Afghans to realize the potential for a stable, prosperous and pluralistic Afghanistan. To that end, the Foundation for Afghanistan offers high school scholarships to Afghan girls at risk of dropping out, supports the college education of the daughters of fallen Afghan soldiers and police, and offers Afghan students of limited financial means but unlimited potential full, four-year college scholarships at leading US institutions. The Foundation’s philosophy is that investing in the potential of Afghanistan’s youth is the best long-term development strategy for Afghanistan, and that an educated, well-trained populace is the foundation for sustained peace and prosperity.