From Hindu Kush to the White House

Posted on Posted in Ahmad Mohibi

From Hindu Kush to the White House

As a boy growing up in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan, who would have dreamt that I would one day have the honor of shaking President Obama’s hand while at the “Eid ul-Fitr" held on July 21 at the White House.

President Barack Obama speaks at an Eid al-Fitr reception in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Somehow, life has been kind to me, amidst the decades of turmoil and strife that has surrounded all Afghans. War, murder, and suicide were the daily experiences of we children, and how our parents and elders managed to raise us with some sense of normalcy is almost beyond comprehension. For myself, I was fortunately born with a talent for language; speaking over six by the time I was a teenager. At age fifteen, I found myself teaching English to leaders at the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

There, something magical happened, for I realized that translation not only entailed defining words from one language to another but also required the insertion of cultural meaning to those words that reflect the mores and customs of the people. In other words, through my teaching, I was learning to speak the language of diplomacy and tact. Soon, I found myself interceding in arguments and confrontations between officers and ambassadors representing various nations, with the outcome in most instances, smoothing the way to amicable resolution. While this talent of mine was well known to the diplomatic community, it was a new discovery that intersected with the military world. My role quickly expanded to field operations, where I participated in projects such as “Operation Enduring Freedom”, assisting the troops to communicate safely and bridging a much-needed cultural divide between perception and intent.

Together, we can make this world a better place. Because of my experience working with the international community and learning about different languages and cultures, I recognize that “different” does not mean “wrong”, but instead represent countless opportunities to embrace the beauty of what is unique about people and learn to understand the many cultures around the world.

Ahmad at the White House, where he joined President Obama’s 2016 Eid al-Fitr reception.

As an optimistic person, I aim to make the world a “better place” through my experience and innovative ideas for change. I hope, through my work, that those others, who, like my family members, friends and countrymen currently suffering from the effects of geopolitical instability will find sanctuary, with the backing of the educational tools and a community of international talent, all working to help make this a more peaceful and caring world.

I am looking forward to being a voice of reassurance and kindness to those people, while at the same time observing first-hand the power of hope that proper education brings to their land.

2 thoughts on “From Hindu Kush to the White House

  1. Dear Mr. Mohibi,
    I am very happy for you that you did meet with the President of the United States of America during the “Eid ul-Fitr”. I am also proud of you as a friend, your countrymen and an old colleagues of yours who worked with you shoulder-by-shoulder for couple of years. Establishing this great Non-Profit Organization of yours truly mean something to me and I believe it means a lot to you as well. Finding yourself from a war-torn country to the United States of America and achieving goals and your dreams as you move forth has made you a man of patient with great knowledge and understanding of both countries, cultures, people and religions to decide what to do to better not only your fellow countrymen and women but also all human beings.

    Once more, God Bless You and keep up the good work.

  2. Dear Mr. Ramazani,

    Thank you so much for the nice words and your support. I’m happy to have the support of great people like you in our Rise to Peace movement. -Ahmad

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