Aseel is Presented to the President of Afghanistan, H.E. Ashraf Ghani

June 19, 2021

On Saturday, June 19, Nasrat Khalid was invited to present ASEEL Everything Handmade at the first ever Afghan Diaspora Virtual International Conference. This conference's main theme was mobilizing the Afghan Diaspora toward more sustainable impacts on peace and development in Afghanistan. Hosted by ERADA and CAPS, this virtual conference featured keynote speakers H.E. President Asheaf Ghani and Mrs. Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Afghanistan

President Ghani spoke movingly on the gratitude he feels for the global Afghan diaspora’s engagement with the country, in spite of the bitter feelings some who are displaced might feel. H.E. highlighted the importance of including all those around the world in the diaspora in building up Afghanistan. He highlighted several missions to the over a hundred participants, including the digitization of the Afghan government and economy, harnessing the entire potential of human capital in Afghanistan, the role of sustainable investment and more effective aid programs, and the importance of inclusion of all those in Afghanistan, including youth and women, to build a better Afghanistan. President Ghani concluded by urging those in attendance to carry forward better institutional frameworks that empower women, youth and poor to break the glass ceilings that these groups experience. Tying all his points together he further stressed, “State building, market building and coalition building— all in the service of the state.”

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative to the UN Secretary General, enthusiastically spoke next of the energy and commitment apparent in the diaspora today by the hosting of this virtual event. She stressed the importance of the creation of this platform for communication and collaboration among the more than 6-million-member Afghan diaspora. She called on the diaspora to be “unofficial ambassadors and critical advocates” for Afghanistan as it rebuilds the country against the challenges the country currently faces. She lauded the impact of multi millions of USD remitted to Afghanistan by the diaspora, which contributed to entrepreneurship and humanitarian aid programs across the country. Notably, speaking about the role that the Afghan diaspora and youth could have, she said “Do not underestimate the influence you {the diaspora} can contribute to the country as it teeters on the edge of conflict.” She concluded by urging the diaspora to advocate globally to local, state, national, and global institutions for diversity in solutions and join the peace process so that Afghanistan can move forward towards peace and stability.

Nasrat Khalid, founder of ASEEL, spoke next, and introduced the platform to the conference attendees. He outlined the problems of digital payments, postal infrastructure, and digital engagements as the three biggest barriers preventing Afghanistan from participating in the global markets. He introduced Aseel’s job creation mission and how the last few years have contributed to the mission to economically empower Afghan artisans. In conclusion, he asked the diaspora members to participate in Aseel’s mission and buy directly from Afghanistan to empower women, youth, and local artisans from the country.

The rest of the presentations for the conference were by other aid and entrepreneurial organizations founded and run by diaspora members. The conference agenda also featured breakout sessions where the participants could discuss the challenges Afghanistan faces and how the diaspora could solve them in virtual, small-group settings.

This conference marks a concrete move towards creating a network of diaspora organizations and people who passionately wish to advocate and work towards a better future for Afghanistan. ASEEL was honored to be invited to speak and proud to be included in such a network of game-changers and world movers who wish peace, economic empowerment, and modernization for Afghanistan.