Ambassador Said T. Jawad and Ustad Mahwash visits ARO at 2007 fundraising event
His Excellency Said T. Jawad, the Afghan Ambassador to the United States, joined ARO at the annual fundraising event Feb. 23 in Laguna Hills, CA. The event, Peace Through Education, raised funds for teacher salaries and education programs at ARO’s education center in Kabul, Afghanistan. Peace Through Education event featured live Afghan music, a taste of delicious Afghan cuisine, and sales of Afghan jewelry and art.
Addressing a crowd of close to 500, Ambassador Jawad spoke about Afghanistan’s reconstruction and about the effort to rebuild the national education system. He spoke about the national education plan effort to construct accessible schools, literacy programs and teacher training, urging those in the audience to provide their support.
Live Musical Performances
Joining Ambassador Jawad was famed Afghan singer, Ustad Farida Mahwash—winner of the Janis Joplin Award and BBC World Music Award—and classical pianist Najib Malikyar.
Ustad Mahwash was one of Afghanistan’s most popular singers in the 1960s and 1970s, but was forced to flee as a refugee in 1989. She returned to Afghanistan for the first time in two decades after her concert with ARO, to perform a series of concerts in Afghanistan. Mahwash is the only Afghan woman to attain the title of "Ustad"—an honorific, meaning "master," that Afghanistan's culture ministry gave to her in 1977. Ustad Mahwash sang classical Afghan songs for a full house at the ARO event.
When he was a teenager, Najib Malikyar’s father was the Afghan ambassador to Washington D.C., where he often played for visiting diplomats. In 1978, Malikyar was a student at the Music Academy in Vienna when he learned of the Soviet coup, in which some of his relatives were killed. By 1980, he arrived in the United States as a political refugee. Today, he helps Mary’s Kitchen in Orange, California, raising funds for those who helped him when he needed assistance. Najib played classic continental piano compositions at the ARO event.
Proceeds go to Education
ARO raised $31,108.49 net income for educational programs and teacher salaries at the Peace Through Education event, from ticket sales and donations at the event.
ARO’s Technology Education Center (TEC) in Kabul now provides free education to over 1200 girls and boys in academic programs, and women and men enrolled in adult vocational programs to encourage self-sufficiency. The success of the TEC—which offers classes from morning to evening to meet demand—has created additional expenses for staffing, maintenance, and supplies. With the help of our donors and supports, we can continue!