The Middle East Institute and the Hollings Center are proud to present:
Afghanistan's Cultural Institutions & Private Sector in the Shadow of 2014
Partner and Chief Operating Officer at QARA Consulting, Kabul
Co-founder and director of Moby Group, Afghanistan's leading media organization
Cultural Heritage Program Manager, Department of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Director of Untold Stories: Oral Histories of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage
Amb. Wendy Chamberlin
Executive Director, Hollings Center
Light Lunch:12:00 -12:30pm
Video Presentation: 2:00-4:00pm
*Please note that this event is not being held at MEI*
The Middle East Institute and the Hollings Center are pleased to co-host a panel discussion and video presentation on Afghanistan's cultural institutions and the private sector in the context of the U.S. withdrawal in 2014.
International headlines about Afghanistan are consistently filled with stories about the sad state of security and politics in the country. Yet, underneath these headlines, Afghanistan's cultural institutions and private sector have grown significantly. From Afghan archaeological sites to TV channels, the country has experienced a quiet and fragile cultural renaissance. This panel will bring together archaeologists, media professionals and other experts to discuss Afghanistan's cultural institutions and the private sector. The discussion will cover subjects such as archaeological digs across the country and the rebuilding of the Afghanistan National Museum; the challenges of producing TV shows for a diverse and divided country; and the role of the US and the international community. Panelists will debate the likelihood that these cultural institutions will survive a reduced international engagement and whether these institutions will unify Afghans or draw the ire of insurgents and extremists. The main panel will be followed by a special presentation of Untold Stories, video shorts that document efforts by Afghans and Americans (such as Nancy Hatch Dupree) to preserve Afghanistan's archaeological sites and cultural heritage.
Shaharzad Akbar is partner and Chief Operating Officer (COO) at QARA Consulting, Inc. in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is co-producer of Untold Stories: Oral Histories of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage.
Joanie Meharry is director of Untold Stories: Oral Histories of Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage. This summer she lived in Kabul while researching the archaeological site of Mes Aynak and directed the Untold Stories project with the support of a Hollings Center grant.
Jahid Mohseni is co-founder and director of the Moby Group, an organization which has driven the resurgence of Afghanistan's contemporary media industry. The award-winning and multi-faceted Moby Group dominates audience share across traditional and new media in Afghanistan, and continues to expand regionally.
Laura Tedesco is the Cultural Heritage Program Manager at the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. She most recently returned from Afghanistan where she served as the Cultural Heritage Advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan.
Wendy Chamberlin has been president of the Middle East Institute since 2007. A 29-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, she was ambassador to Pakistan from 2001 to 2002, when she played a key role in securing Pakistan's cooperation in the U.S.-led campaign against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan in the wake of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. on September 11.
George Gavrilis is Executive Director of the Hollings Center for International Dialogue. Dr. Gavrilis has written extensively about the Middle East, Central Asia, and Afghanistan.