Afghan Human-Rights Worker to Speak at Bridgewater College
An Afghan native who made a comfortable life for herself in the United States – and then abandoned it to return to Afghanistan where she confronted the Taliban and drug lords and delivered aid to thousands – will speak about her experiences at 7:30 p.m., April 16, in the Carter Center for Worship and Music at Bridgewater College.
Born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, Suraya Sadeed immigrated to the U.S. in 1982 following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and became a successful business woman.
In 1993, at the height of the Afghan civil war, Sadeed returned to Afghanistan and was shocked by the horrific conditions of the children and the destruction of her homeland.
That year Sadeed founded Help the Afghan Children, a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children in Afghanistan by helping them become educated, healthy and productive citizens. Since then, Sadeed – who is executive director of the organization – has helped provide humanitarian aid, medical care, education and hope against seemingly insurmountable odds to an estimated 1.7 million Afghan children and their families.
Following the overthrow of the Taliban in late 2001, Sadeed was selected as an educational commission adviser for the Transitional Government of Afghanistan and delegate to the Grand Assembly of Afghanistan in 2002.
In 2002 Sadeed established one of the country’s first model schools. She was the first to bring computers and computer education programs into the public school system, and her introduction of peace and environmental education into the curriculum has been lauded by the Ministry of Education and the United Nations.
In March of 2006, Sadeed’s work was recognized by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the White House for making a difference in Afghanistan.
The program is sponsored by the Kline-Bowman Endowment for Creative Peacebuilding and is free and open to the public.