At a small compound not far from the airport in Dushanbe, an Afghan, a Tunisian, and a Tajik official sit side-by-side listening to a lecture on weapons smuggling interdiction. As the American instructor’s words are simultaneously translated into Dari, English, and Tajik, the students furiously scribble notes. They will have to present research projects on this material in the near future. They do not want to be caught unprepared.
The students are but three of 41 border management and/or security officials from Central Asia and beyond who have come to the OSCE Border Management Staff Collegein Tajikistan to learn how to fight terrorism, human trafficking, illicit drug trade, and many other threats that governments face as they manage long, porous borders. More Afghans have… more »
U.S. and Afghanistan Announce $18.2 Million in Good Performers Initiative Awards for Provincial Counternarcotics Achievements
Media Note Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC February 13, 2013
On February 12, 2013, Afghanistan’s Minister for Counter Narcotics Zarar Moqbel Osmani and U.S. Embassy’s Coordinating Director for Rule of Law and Law Enforcement Ambassador Stephen G. McFarland announced $18.2 million in Good Performers Initiative (GPI) awards. GPI awards are given to provinces that achieved or retained poppy-free status, reduced net poppy cultivation by more than 10 percent over the previous year, or made other exceptional counternarcotics efforts during the cultivation season. Twenty-one of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces received GPI awards, including 17 provinces that earned $1 million awards for being poppy-free. MORE
Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Winter Academy Gala Concert of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM). Students ranging in age from 10 to 20 played Chopin and Ravel, as well as Afghan traditional songs and collaborative fusion pieces.
In a historic tour that began February 3, 2013, ANIM students are traveling in the United States to perform at venues ranging from the world-famous Carnegie Hall andKennedy Center to the headquarters of the World Bank and Fordham High School for the Arts. Even more… more »
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry surprises children from the Afghan National Institute of Music at their performance at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., February 4, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
On Wednesday, January 16, Ambassador James Warlick answered questions about America’s future partnership with Afghanistan. Ambassador Warlick serves as the U.S. Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Rabia Mariam is a businesswoman who employs an all-women workforce to manufacture scarves and rugs from silk, cotton-silk blend, and wool in Mazar-e-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan. Working with the USAID IDEA-NEW program, she employs nearly 1,000 women — many of them widows. Many of these Afghan women raise silkworms at home and boil cocoons, and go to weaving centers to weave the scarves and other handicrafts. Rabia’s work is bringing economic opportunity and hope to Afghan women.
I had the privilege of meeting Rabia and learning about her work at the South Asia Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, which was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh last month. The event exemplifies several of our bureau’s highest priorities… more »
Dr. James Billington of the U.S. Library of Congress speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Dr. Vartan Gregorian of the Carnegie Corporation of New York listen at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., January 13, 2012. Secretary Clinton presented President Karzai with a gift from the U.S. Library of Congress and the Carnegie Corporation of New York – a digital copy of the entire body of Afghanistan-related works at the library, as well as a framed copy of a rare manuscript from the collection. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton hosts a working dinner for Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., January 10, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]