AACC Launches 6th Annual Matchmaking Conference

The sixth annual U.S.-Afghanistan Business Matchmaking Conference was launched by the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC), with its founding vice president Hamed Wardak, this past November. The event was attended by businessmen and women, government officials and financial company representatives.

The goal of the conference is to increase American-Afghan business deals by identifying new opportunities and presenting the benefits that these partnerships have to offer. Mr. Frank Ruggerio, the Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan-Pakistan (SRAP) also described the U.S. supports four priorities as: new business growth, legal reform, increased economic growth, trade and expanding help for businesses.

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Fatema Tul Zahra School

Fatema Tul Zahra School is one of the many projects initiated in support of Afghanistan society and education. Activists and supporters, such as Hamed Wardak, are greatly involved in projects like these, and also work hard to improve the quality of life of people in Afghanistan.

Sadaf, an eleven year old learning in the school, which is located in Kabul, wrote a letter in broken English to show her appreciation. “We are all fine and amusement with our lessons in Fatema Tul Zahra School and thank you so much about your attention to us we are trying to make our future bright by help of God and you,” she wrote.

New Roads in Afghanistan

Afghanistan activists, such as Hamed Wardak, were most pleased when the Public Works Ministry publicized the plans of the new 7.7 kilometer road in Maimana, Faryab this past September. A local company was employed by the government to complete this task in an effort to boost the country’s business industry.

The ministry also announced the building of a highway between Parwan province and Bamiyan province in support of the economy; travel time will be reduced, and the road will be much safer.

Building Bridges: Afghans and Americans

Hamed Wardak is the founding vice-president of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, which aims to foster an appreciation for Afghani culture and the Afghani people by Americans. The Chamber is primarily focused on Americans in the United States, while other organizations, such as Afghan Hands, works to train service members of the International Security Assistance Force to become experts in Afghan culture and to build strong partnerships between the members of the security force and  Afghan governmental and non-governmental institutions, and with the people of Afghanistan themselves.  Two hundred men and women have now participated in the program.

Hamed Wardak Urges Continued US Presence In Afghanistan

Hamed Wardak was recently interviewed by BBC where he expressed his views on the importance of the NATO and US presence in the country of Afghanistan.

According to Wardak, the Afghanis are striving towards becoming a flourishing and prosperous society, but they need time to arrive at that goal. The presence of the international security forces in Afghanistan play a crucial role in giving the people of Afghanistan that time to develop into a successful and independent country.

The goal of the US is to withdraw by the year 2014, according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  However, Hamed Wardak believes that there will not be a total withdrawal, but some type of reduced presence like a “strategic over-watch”, which means that “there will still be troops out there but not necessarily leading combat operations.”

BBC Interview with Hamed Wardak

In an interview conducted recently by BBC, Hamed Wardak had the opportunity to discuss US-Afghan relations and the importance of the NATO presence in Afghanistan to the people there.

Hamed Wardak explained that while he can sympathize with the west’s desire to withdraw from the conflict in Afghanistan, he nevertheless believes it is in the best interest of the 28 members of NATO to maintain a strong presence in Afghanistan until stability and a lasting peace has been achieved there.

Hamed Wardak emphasized the critical importance of Afghanistan in the crucial fight against international terrorism.  Wardak urges people around the world to “recognize that Afghanistan and the Afghan people are integral towards combating international terrorism.”