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A New Future for Afghanistan

The ACFR 21st Annual Conference Welcome Reception was hosted by the Embassy of Afghanistan on Thursday, April 21st. The Embassy officials and staff were all warm and hospitable, eager to have the members of ACFR learn more about their country and the efforts of their new Ambassador, Dr. Hamdullah Mohib, despite the terrible bombing that occurred in Kabul that Tuesday, April 19th.

ACFR members listening to the speech of Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib in the courtyard of the Embassy of Afghanistan

Upon arrival, attendees were able to tour parts of the beautiful Embassy and were offered refreshments in the outdoor courtyard. A cloudless evening allowed for the display of Afghan art and rugs outside for all to see before being addressed by the Ambassador himself. 

Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib

Ambassador Mohib spoke of his efforts for revitalization of his country and the obstacles that are still impeding their progress. He has hope for the future and has been a part of a new image for contemporary Afghanistan. In addition, the Ambassador expressed gratitude toward United States servicemen that have aided in protecting and building up Afghanistan.

In the past decade, Afghanistan has become a democracy promoting gender equality, education, a free press and an engaged population. In fact, today more than 9 million children are in school, including 3.6 million girls, whereas only a million boys and no girls were enrolled during Taliban control. This foundation of modern principals has allowed the country to achieve drastic improvement in a short time. For example, total trade went from $2.6 billion in 2002 to $9.2 billion in 2013. This means that not only is Afghanistan obtaining more resources to improve areas such as infrastructure and healthcare, but it is also becoming a more active participant in the world economy. As a result of these activities, Afghanistan has been approved to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Since the implementation of the "Realizing Self-Reliance" reform, the country has had it's "first peaceful transition of power in the history of Afghanistan" and is now headed by the newly founded National Unity Government. With a unified plan, the new government is staying focused on the challenges ahead as it continues to work toward further development and stability.[1]

After hearing from the Ambassador, dinner was served indoors. Embassy officials and staff mingled with ACFR members and joined in discussions. 

ACFR members mingle in the Afghan Embassy courtyard

 

In memoriam of those involved in the Kabul bombing, the ACFR leadership wrote a note of condolence in the Embassy record and all members in attendance signed their name upon departure. To find out more about Ambassador Mohib, check out this recent Washington Post article on his background and vision for the future. 

 

Moment of silence for Kabul bombing victims

[1] The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Washington DC. The New Afghanistan. 2016, pages 2-7.

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