You know what happiness is?
Studying at the American University of Afghanistan!
You know what happiness is?
Studying at the American University of Afghanistan!
Are you looking for quality?
The quality of education offered in AUAF is not comparable with any other institution in the country.
You don't want to study abroad?
I always wanted to be able to get high quality education without travelling to another county. I found AUAF!
Are you looking to build a successful future?
AUAF helps me to build a bright future, and admirable character for being man of values.
Dr. Michael Barry, University Professor, is a US citizen, largely raised in France, and he also spent early years in Afghanistan. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, he brought humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan, reinforcing his own commitment to education as the critical element to protect basic human rights. He reminisces on the delivery of supplies in 1994 to a Kabul hospital which had nothing, but was quickly back in operation, because the hospital team could draw upon their store of knowledge to use the tools supplied. After a distinguished career at Princeton University, Dr. Barry joined AUAF in 2017, where he brings the same commitment to help students rediscover the glories of Afghan history, politics and culture from the time of the Greeks to modern day. For his vast body of work as humanitarian, historian and cultural activist, the French government named him as a Knight of the Legion d’Honneur in 2021. As he looks ahead, Professor Barry urges students to recognize that "every bit of knowledge gained provides the moral strength to face the challenges of the future"
Dr. Omar Sharifi brings a strong academic background to his many scholarly pursuits with degrees in anthropology from Columbia (MA) and Boston (PhD) Universities. He is an Assistant Professor in AUAF’s Social Sciences and Humanities Division; Country Director and Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies (AIAS); and collaborator with the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University (ACKU). Dr. Sharifi enjoys engaging with students, motivating them to learn and sharing ideas and methods from his studies. At AIAS, he is helping to guide foreign and Afghan scholars conducting research across a range of social scientific and humanities disciplines in Afghanistan. AUAF is proud to have his active voice bringing academic rigor to applied studies of anthropology in Afghanistan. Currently, Dr. Sharifi is working with ACKU to organize an international conference on multiple aspects of Afghan studies. He notes that AUAF students are “the first generation who are privileged with freedom of speech” and urges them to “take full advantage of this unique opportunity.” See his latest article about Adapting Solidarity, Navigating Uncertainty: Conflict and Covid-19 in Urban Afghanistan at: https://americanethnologist.org
Dr. Victoria Fontan opened the Fall 2019 semester with three important pieces of advice for AUAF incoming students, stemming from her own student experience at the University of Limerick: 1) Take responsibility for your own learning, 2) Make the most of your time at AUAF and 3) Embrace diversity. As Dean of Faculty, Associate Provost and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at AUAF, Dr. Fontan draws upon a wealth of experience that she is regularly sharing across AUAF and beyond. She is the author of three books, and numerous peer-reviewed publications and commentaries. Her key research areas include Critical Terrorism Studies, Decolonial Peace Studies, and Transformative Education (Co-Creation of knowledge within classrooms). Dr. Fontan’s action research is also being featured in “Zero Impunity” (https://zeroimpunity.com), a trans-media project and documentary aiming to end impunity for sexual violence in conflict and peace. The film is currently featured in the official selection of several key film festivals around the globe. Later in September, she will join with the US Institute of Peace to convene a Peace Summit at AUAF, where students from multiple Afghan universities will shape a victims-centered peace framework for Afghanistan.
AUAF professors are always in demand, and none more so than Professor Ghizaal Haress, AUAF Professor of Constitutional Law. She is currently the Ombudsperson for Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the first woman to ever lead an anti-corruption institution in Afghanistan and one charged with investigation of allegations of corruption for high governmental officials. She has been teaching at AUAF for over 8 years, drawing upon her extensive experience in legal analysis and multiple publications on Afghanistan’s Constitution and her prior position as a Commissioner at the Afghanistan Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution. Professor Haress is committed to the importance of constitutional law, stating that “Constitutional discussions are of high importance for Afghanistan. The Constitution defines our identity as a nation, describes our values, and guarantees our rights and liberties.” She shares that passion with her students who inspire her by their resilience and motivation. Prof. Haress earned her LLM from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and an LLB from Kabul University. Hats off to Prof. Haress for her dedicated service to AUAF and Afghanistan!
Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing, Colleen Foster, now in her 6th year at AUAF, is dedicating her efforts to advancing AUAF as a regional leader in entrepreneurship. Using the re-definition of entrepreneurship, “the mindset of identifying or creating an opportunity, marshaling the resources, and providing leadership”, Foster applied academic innovations into business curricula. AUAF’s “NewCo Awards” and “Entrepreneurial Pitch” contest are now a highlight of the Business Dept. Drawing on her own experience at the global 3M Corporation, she is regularly engaging in outreach efforts to strengthen entrepreneurship across Afghanistan, including the first /AUAF-Kandahar Workshop and the 2019 Higher Education/University Symposium on Entrepreneurship. Foster explains that “These activities reinforce AUAF’s continuing role as a center of "thought leadership" on entrepreneurship.
Pashtana Durrani started her journey as an activist and human rights defender with a special focus on Community development. As a Political Science and Public Administration major at AUAF, she values the opportunity to look at critical issues such as service delivery and conflict resolution at the grassroots level. She is applying those skills in her home province where she is promoting on digital literacy. As the founder and Director of the grassroots level, non-profit "LEARN Afghanistan", she has educated 900 girls and boys (LEARN's project ‘Soraya') and trained more than 80 teachers (Project 'Ayesha Durrani') in digital literacy. Through LEARN’s Project Malalai, Durrani has introduced 150 girls to Menstrual Hygiene Management. In July 2020, Pashtana was selected as a Malala Fund Education Champion award following her selection earlier in year for an Aspen Institute ’New Voices' Fellowship working on sexual and reproductive healthcare. She is a member of Amnesty International’s Global Youth Collective—a 15-member international group of young activists. She also serves a Board member for the UNDP GEF steering committee and is a regular contributor to international and national media.
Like many other students, I set goals when I first joined the university with a lot of enthusiasm. From the very beginning, I was a very passionate student and had an interest in the political affairs of Afghanistan. I have always been involved in civic engagement and community empowerment. As a Political Science student, I have participated in political debates and have been able to meet and engage with many of the most prominent politicians of Afghanistan. To date, I have attended many Model UN and Debate competitions, and I have been leading the Speech Club since I returned to university in 2018. Since then, I have spoken at various high profile events and conferences, and I have won more than 15 awards for participating in them here and abroad. I have my eyes long term on the presidency, but I love, too, journalism. I have started to get established as a journalist since 2018 and have written for a wide range of international publications in India and in the UK. Always I have sought to do my best in whatever that I do, and through my journalism, I want to get positive messages out about Afghanistan.
This month’s spotlight is on Mohibullah Musazai, a senior Law student, who, like so many of our AUAF students, is focused on giving back to his country to build a better future for Afghanistan. As a young man, he watched his father struggle to adapt to war injuries and vowed to find a way to support war victims, which led to his work with the Rehabilitee Organization for Afghan War Victims where he now serves as Executive Director. He has expanded that effort to the Afghan Disability Network, an organization with over 200 NGO national and international members that are working to ensure employment opportunities for “enabled” Afghans. Following his graduation, Musazai hopes to do pro-bono legal aid work to improve access to quality legal representation for those who cannot who afford it.
Mahdiya Erfani is using her time at AUAF to expand her many interests. Today, Mahdiya is at work with fellow students on an “Afghan anti-discrimination law” intended to eliminate discrimination in both community and state structures. They plan to present the draft law to the Parliament in the near future. She regularly participates in conferences on women’s empowerment and peace dialogues. Erfani is also the founder of AfghanCares, a student group engaged in advocacy and fundraising for needy families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, AfghanCares helped some 20 families in desperate need for financial help. Currently, Mahdiya Erfani and her team are working on a job creation project designed for needy families. She believes that developing skills can have a direct impact on life style, health, and education of those in need. Mahdiya was already a high achiever in high school, winning multiple medals and competing in the national science competition--only candidate from Afghan Turk Girls School to do so in grade 11. She also enjoys poetry and literature and hopes to add ‘published author’ to her many accomplishments.
Many AUAF graduates go on to become CEOs of their own companies, but AUAF ITCS major, Shahzada Masood Asir, is already there. He is the CEO of MySkyPower®️ that provides professional IT and electronic services, and has already published eight successful software programs on softpedia.com. He comes to AUAF from Omid High School and quickly settled into the IT department where he is a work-study student helping with robotics and electronic technology. Masood also took first place in AUAF’s IT Poster Day this spring with his “Writing Assistant” project. He has developed several games, some already commercially available, and is at work on his latest effort, Afghan Commandos Game. Masood is also a student volunteer designing for TEDxAUAF. We look forward to seeing what this talented entrepreneur develops next.