May 26 – The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) celebrated a milestone moment today, successfully completing its second commencement ceremony. 49 graduates, including five women, received degrees.
Masouma Maqsoudi, a graduating senior who majored in business, was thrilled to be walking across the stage after completing four years at AUAF. “This is great, this is amazing. A major step in my life plan is finished, and now I can move on to the rest of it,” she said. Masouma plans to open her own business in Kabul and eventually pursue a master’s degree.
Honored guests at the event included: Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, who will run for president in 2014; Minister of Education Farooq Wardak; Minister of Higher Education Dr. Obaidullah; Mr. Miwais Azizi, the head of the Azizi Bank; and several parliamentarians.
“I’m so pleased to see that the American University is providing a high level of quality. Surely this university will stand alongside the other great American international universities,” said Dr. Obaidullah.
Dr. Kenneth Yamashita, USAID’s mission director for Afghanistan, sent a letter congratulating the graduating students, and said AUAF’s contribution to the entire country was “significant.”
More than 750 guests attended the graduation ceremony.
Also on May 26, AUAF broke ground on the $3 million Bayat ICT Building, which will be a cornerstone of the university’s new International Campus. Ehsan Bayat, for whom the building is named, received an honorary PhD from AUAF, and is funding the construction of the center.
Two other buildings, the International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Development and a building for staff and faculty housing, are also under construction on the International Campus.
The American University of Afghanistan is located in Kabul, and enrolls more than 1,700 students between its full and part time programs.