About the Author: Maja Boehm is an information specialist at the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany.
The Afghan Ambassador to Germany, Professor Dr. A. Rahman Ashraf, smiles warmly at the group of four young Afghan civil society leaders. They smile back, timidly. “This is the best day in my life in the past eighteen 18 months since I became Ambassador to Germany!” he proclaims. The group now smiles with a more complex mixture of embarrassment at being in the spotlight and pride, obviously moved by his words. He continues: “When I was teaching at the university in Kabul, I was hoping that one day my students would go out and present Afghanistan to the world. And now you are doing just that.”
The Ambassador’s reaction was perhaps more personal than the reactions in some of the other meetings to which I accompanied the group, but it is hardly atypical. In their day in Berlin — part of a week-long tour through Germany, Hungary, and Spain, from April 15-22 — these four… more »