RECAP-SUMMER FALL LECTURE SERIES–ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER

December 12, 2011

SINCE MARCH THE ORANGE COUNTY CHAPTER HAS PARTICIPATED IN 6 MONTHLY EVENTS:

EACH OF THESE SUPPORTED THE AWIU MISSION TO BUILD BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING.

American Women for International Understanding
Orange County Chapter
Summer – Fall Lecture Luncheon Series:
“Global Exploration”
*  May, 2011:
Bowers Museum Regional Meeting (O.C. Hosting Committee)
Speaker:  Dr. James Coyle – Chapman University, Director of Global Education
*  July, 2011:
The Honorary Consul for the Republic of Latvia, Jurrs Bunkis extended an invitation to attend the dinner reception honoring Latvia’s Prime Minster, Honorable Valdis Dombrowski (Speaker).
*  August, 2011:
Speaker:   Ms. Patricia English – Author, former US Department of Defense European expert.  “Today’s Europe” with emphasis on Great Britain.
*  October, 2011:
Invitation from Brazil’s Consul General, Honorable Jose Alfredo Graco Lima to attend an afternoon at Brazil’s Los Angeles Consulate learning of “Today’s Brazil”.
*  November, 2011:
Education Forum, Women in Afghanistan (Hostess, Mariam Nawabi)
Speaker:  Farzana Ebrahimi, Afghan woman whose nonprofit provides library and vocational training for women in Kandahar city.
*  December 2011:
“The Christmas Holidays as Celebrated Around the World”
Speaker:  Marilyn Rossow, Educator
(Home of member Patricia Burnes)

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EDUCATION FORUM — WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN

December 8, 2011
Roundtable:  Education forum Women in Afghanistan
 
Members of AWIU recently participated in a roundtable discussion
addressing the needs and challenges of education for women in Afghanistan.
 
The discussion, “Perspectives from Kandahar: Challenges in Promoting Education Amidst the Taliban and Foreign Forces,” was hosted Oct. 30 at the Khyber Pass Gallery in Laguna Beach. Topics included the need for education to help Afghan society combat threats of terrorism and extremism, and the obstacles inherent in that goal.

The special guest speaker was Farzana Ebrahimi, an Afghan woman whose nonprofit provides literacy and vocational training for women in Kandahar City.

AWIU Orange County member Mariam Atash Nawabi organized the roundtable after meeting Farzana at the Institute for the Empowerment of Women’s Peace through Business program.

She was impressed by Farzana’s ability to implement her programs in Kandahar, one of the most difficult places in which women live. Other attendees included Mike Whipple, a board member for International Orphan Care and a former mayor of Laguna Niguel, Tad Heitmann, entrepreneur and a board member of the Afghan AmitySociety; Sadiq Tawfiq, business executive and founder of the Afghan Amity Society, and Asma Salehi, author and illustrator and members of the Orange County Chapter, American Women for International Understanding

Ebrahimi, whose mother and sister in 2008 were victims of an acid attack by the Taliban, discussed the great value of literacy and vocational training programs for women. Her nonprofit operates out of an undisclosed location in Kandahar so as not to increase the risk of attacks against women in the program. Ebrahimi said that despite civilian casualties, most citizens of Kandahar still support the presence of American troops in training the Afghan National Army and National Police.

Atash expressed the need to allocate funds to efforts other than military spending as the gradual withdraw of the troops takes place.

AWIU has provided assistance to capacity building in Afghanistan, having contributed to a grant to the Nooristan Foundation, which utilized the funds to train midwives in a province in northern Afghanistan.

Anyone interested in contributing to a grant to assist Afghan women, please contact AWIU member Mariam Atash Nawabi at
mariam@amdi-international.com