Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Join Congresswoman Schmidt this Friday in Raising Awareness for Girls' Education in Afghanistan

Letter from Congresswoman Jean Schmidt:

I hope you will be able to join me this Friday at 7pm as I host an event to raise awareness about girls’ education in Afghanistan. The Taliban and other extremists have targeted women’s education in their effort to halt progress made in Afghanistan. As Afghanistan continues to combat terrorism and extremism, we must remain committed to guaranteeing women access to one of the developing world’s greatest enablers – education.

Our guest speaker will be Zahira Zahir, founder and president of Friends of Zahira Schools. Zahira is a native of Afghanistan who came to the United States in the mid-1970’s when her husband was working as an envoy to the United Nations. When the Soviets invaded, she was unable to return to her country. Zahira and her family started their lives over again in the United States and she became a United States citizen in 1992.

Since the fall of the Taliban, Zahira has actively been involved in improving girls’ access to education in Afghanistan. In 2002, she founded a non-profit – Friends of Zahira Schools – to reconstruct the high school that she attended as a young woman. Because of her unwavering dedication, Zarghoona High School (located in Kabul) currently provides an education to 14,000 students. Instead of holding classes outside under UNICEF tarps as they once did, the students now go to school in a building with new desks and chairs.

On June 12th Zahira will share her experiences with Cincinnati and address the cultural resistance to girls’ education in Taliban strong-holds of Afghanistan. I believe we must support the Afghan government in order to guarantee a brighter future for Afghan women and girls, especially those living in vulnerable parts of the country.

Zahira’s lecture will start at 7:00 pm and will be held at the Mariemont High School Auditorium. A private reception will be held at the National Exemplar Restaurant in the Mariemont Inn at 8:30 pm. The suggested donation for the private reception is $500 per person.
Friends of Zahira Schools is a tax exempt non-profit organization.
The tax ID number is 30-0127177. Checks can be made out to "Friends of Zahira Schools" and sent to:
Zahira Zahir
5505 Seminary Road, #2412
Falls Church, VA 22041

If you will be able to join us, please RSVP to or 513-236-9290.
I hope to see you there!

Jean Schmidt