On Monday, September 25, 2017, The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan held its annual Afghan Independence Day celebration. Nearly 300 guests attended, among them Malala Yousafzai, activist for female education and youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The celebration began with Mrs. Lael Mohib, wife of Afghan Ambassador to the United States Hamdullah Mohib, welcoming guests with, ” it is always an honor, a pleasure, and a great moment of pride for us to host our annual National Day celebration and share with all of you the
richness, diversity, and warmth of the Afghan culture and tradition”. Mrs. Mohib introduced students from John Eaton Elementary School who then performed both Afghan and American national anthems, warming the hearts of all guests. The Embassy of Afghanistan formed a strong partnership with John Eaton Elementary School through the Embassy Adoption Program which aims to establish bonds between local and international communities. One of Afghanistan’s most beloved contemporary poets and writer of Afghanistan’s national anthem, Mr. Abdul Bari Jahani, former Minister of Information and Culture, was in the audience as the children sang the anthems.
Following the performance of the national anthems, Ambassador Mohib addressed guests in a keynote speech. He spoke of the significance of Afghanistan becoming a nation free to determine her future and make her own foreign policy, which he said is as meaningful to Afghans today
as it was nearly 100 years ago. He also added that while Afghanistan is still reaching for independence from violence and corruption, Afghans are tirelessly pursuing the realization of their full potential to be a beacon for democracy in the region; a regional hub for trade and transit of goods, natural resources, and ideas; and a country where men and women have equal opportunities and can contribute valuable ideas, knowledge and products to the world.
Following Ambassador Mohib’s address, Acting Assistant Secretary and Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Alice G. Wells delivered remarks. She spoke of the close cooperation and partnership between Afghanistan and the United States and the decade and a half spent working and fighting together against global terrorism. Ambassador Wells also spoke about the U.S. administration’s new strategy for Afghanistan and the region and concluded her remarks by offering official congratulations of President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson to the Ambassador and the people of Afghanistan.
Lieutenant General John Dolan of the United States Air Force was the final keynote speaker of the celebration. He stated that the Afghan people see victory and are determined to attain it in order to bring peace to their country.
The remarks were followed with traditional Afghan Attan folk dance and the cutting of the celebratory national day cake.