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History-Making Conference on Afghanistan April 28
Untitled Document


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-559

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


--Keynote speech by a former senior economic advisor to Pres. Karzai; organized by a QC Bangladeshi Student to Raise Awareness of Problems in Afghanistan and Present Solutions--

WHAT: “Afghan Peace and Development Conference.” Officials from the government of Afghanistan and experts from academia, journalism and non-profit organizations will discuss that nation’s problems, particularly in the areas of political and economic development, and propose policy recommendations to the Afghan government. This conference, the first of its kind to bring together primarily Afghans to produce solutions for Afghans, is sponsored by Queens College and a variety of student organizations. (Queens has the largest Afghan population in New York City.)

The conference was organized by Glen Oaks, Queens, resident Aniqa Islam, a graduating honors student of Bangladeshi heritage at Queens College. Islam, who has many Afghan friends and aspires to a career in economic development, feels passionately about the importance of bringing peace and stability to this impoverished, war-torn nation. Through a connection at the Afghanistan Peace Association (APA) and with the help of her fellow students and academic organizations at Queens College, she was able to contact and engage Afghan leaders to participate in the conference.

WHERE: Student Union, 4th floor Ballroom, Queens College: 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, NY. For travel directions:

9 – 9:30 am Breakfast

9:30 – 9:45 am Greetings by QC President James Muyskens

9:45 – 9:55 am Welcome by Dawer Nadi, Afghanistan Peace Association president (Queens College class of 1988)

10 – 10:50 am Keynote speech by M. Ishaq Nadiri, who has been senior economic advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and was a key architect of the 2001 Bonn Agreement that created the Interim Government in Afghanistan. Dr. Nadiri is a Jay Gould professor of Economics at NYU and a longstanding member of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Council of Foreign Relations.

11 – 12:30 pm Panel I: “Assessing U.S. and NATO Strategies for De-escalating the Regional Conflict”/


  • Waheed Waheedullah, U.N. Ambassador to Albania

  • Ved Pratap Vaidik, Chairman of Council for Indian Foreign Policy (NGO)

  • Mohauddin Taeb, member of the Central Council of Ayenda Movement in Afghanistan

  • >Moderated by: QC Political Science Professor Peter Liberman

    12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch for speakers, same location. Media who wish to conduct interviews during the lunch break will be admitted.

    1:30 – 3 pm Panel II: “Re-building Afghanistan: Recommendations for Economic and Social Development”


  • Ashraf Ghani, director of the Institute for State Effectiveness and candidate for president of Afghanistan (pre-recorded video message)

  • Sonali Kolhatkar, co-founder and co-director of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a U.S.-based, non-profit organization, and the hostess and producer of Uprising, a nationally syndicated political radio show

  • Fariba Nawa, award-winning Afghan-American journalist who is writing a book about the drug trade in Afghanistan

  • Bahaudin Mujtaba, department chair and associate professor of Human Resources/International Management at Nova Southeastern University’s H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business & Entrepreneurship (FL)

  • Dr. Paul O'Brien, director of the Aid Effectiveness Unit with OXFAM International

  • Moderated by: QC Political Science Professor Francois Pierre-Louis

    3:10 – 4:30 pm Panel III: “Developing a Case for Withdrawal and Exit Strategy for U.S./NATO From Afghanistan”


  • Ann Jones, journalist, photographer, author and authority on violence against women, who serves as a gender advisor to the U.N.

  • Sameer Dossani, director of Amnesty International’s Demand Dignity Campaign, which focuses on economic, social and cultural rights

  • Jawied Nawabi, professor of Economics and Sociology at Bronx Community College, CUNY, and an APA member

  • Christian Parenti, contributing editor to The Nation, who has reported extensively from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America

  • Moderated by: QC Urban Studies Professor Madhulika Khandelwal

    4:45 – 5 pm Closing remarks by Dawer Nadi






     Office Information

    Deputy Director of News Services
    (Position vacant)

    (718) 997- 5597

    Maria Matteo
    Assistant Director of News Services
    Queens Hall, Room 270B
    (718) 997-5593

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