On June 27th, I had the honor to co-host and organize –- in seven short days no less -- the “Women Partnering for Economic Growth in Afghanistan conference in Sen. Curren Price’s office at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
We assembled a coalition of business leaders to hear the Hon. Muhammad Younus Naw Andaish, the Mayor of Kabul, Afghanistan discuss how he is looking forward to work with United States businesses on a multi-billion dollar infrastructure procurement projects.
The Mayor of Kabul shared valuable insight and vision he has for his country and in particular advancing women’s position and her role in society and the importance of partnering with women-owned businesses in California.
I was impressed to learn of his amazing accomplishments for the short period since he has been appointed mayor by President Karkai. Only a true leader would be able to embark such change and make an impact for his city and community.
As Afghanistan rebuilds their country, Mayor Naw Andish feels contracting in Afghanistan has emerged as a force multiplier, front and center in achieving strategic economic development.
To many this is a great business opportunity and while this is true, I believe we need to unite in solidarity for other reasons. We have sisters around the world who need champions. Women champions who are willing to understand their culture and guide their entrepreneurial spirit while maintaining their cultural values.
I speak from experience as a young woman that endured a war in her country. I lived in a war zone from age eight to 23, cheating death by running from shelter to shelter avoiding the showers of bombs. As a child I played with bullets much like children play with marbles here. My interests were great but the culture was suppressed by the law of men. At 16, I insisted to continue my education despite the social pressure for marriage. As a grownup I lost my business during the civil war. As an activist for democracy and peace I was abducted by warlords. I was saved not by the bell, but by the strength of my own will.
Many Afghan women share the same story. They are deprived from the many essentials of life. Water, electricity, income, health, stability, peace, home ... but most importantly they are unsure if there is a hopeful tomorrow.
Although I spoke no English, I was fortunate to immigrate to the United States and live the American dream. That dream has not been available to the women of Afghanistan. Women play a major role for improving the quality of life in our society and we can instill the entrepreneurial spirit in Afghan women while maintaining her cultural values.
For this purpose, I pledge my support to the WAVE Partnership Initiative,
Empowerment for economic growth in Afghanistan.
Join me as we form the advisory council. This advisory council will set the stage to develop the future of empowered Afghan women.
Through WAVE we can help Afghan women rebuild their lives and provide a window of opportunity for women-owned businesses in California.
Contact me at 818-727-7785 or email@example.com as I invite you to ride the WAVE. This is the importance of today. We can make a difference. Women partnering for economic growth in Afghanistan can craft new stories, her success stories; our success stories.
See the event advisory I posted on 6/23/11: click here
Special Thank You's: click here
Click on the form to join the WAVE Partnership Initiative Advisory Council and upcoming Trade Delegations/Cultural Explorations to Kabul.
Pictured above with Hon. Muhammad Younus Naw Andaish, the Mayor of Kabul, Afghanistan