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REMARKS BY SAID T. JAWAD AMBASSADOR OF AFGHANISTAN AT THE U.S. CONGRESS “EVOLVING AFGHANISTAN BY CAROLINE FIRESTONE”


WASHINGTON, DC FEBRUARY 24, 2010

Thank you, and good evening!

Caroline Firestone,
Members of Congress,
Friends of Afghanistan,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is a distinct honor and privilege for me to be with you this evening. And it is truly an honor for me to have known Caroline for a number of years. Indeed, she doesn’t need introduction, as most of you are familiar with Caroline’s excellent philanthropic work, as well as her compassion, generosity, and commitment to many humanitarian causes.

I commend Caroline’s work in Afghanistan, as well as the good work of the New Hudson Foundation which has implemented a number of critically needed aid programs to assist women and children. Caroline and her Foundation have often joined hands with local Afghans or Afghan civil society organizations to address the kinds of problems facing vulnerable women and children that don’t usually get attention from others.

I remember that in 2006 Caroline worked with PARSA, an Afghan NGO, to help them implement a vulnerable children program. Caroline looked in an area of basic need which had been neglected and taken for granted. The orphans at the Allahoddin Orphanage in Kabul lacked toothpastes, toothbrushes, and towels—which Caroline and her Foundation immediately provided. I also appreciate her support of a dental hygiene training program, which have not only helped improve dental healthcare but also provided jobs for those benefiting from the training.

These are but a few exemplary efforts of Caroline to assist Afghanistan. On the advocacy front, Caroline has been a strong voice and published two books. Her latest book, Evolving Afghanistan, looks at our past and compares it with our present. Flipping through each page of this beautiful book and looking at every photograph or painting sums up the saga of the Afghan people. But one also notices, as Caroline wants us to appreciate, the so many sacrifices that Americans and Afghans, the military and civilians, have made to rescue Afghanistan from the tyranny of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

I pay tribute to the fallen and these precious sacrifices, and the people of Afghanistan are grateful to the United States for all that this country has done to help Afghanistan rebuild. And I am grateful to the individual efforts of so many great Americans, like Caroline, for their continued support and dedicated work to help us secure a better future for our children.

Thank you.