Mr. Abdul Hameed Akbar and his family live in Falls Church, Virginia. 

 

Mr. Akbar was born in the eastern city of Jalalabad in Afghanistan. He was one year old when his family was forced to become refugees in Pakistan due to the intensification of the Civil War in Afghanistan. As an immigrant child, Mr. Akbar would work hard to support his family and education. 

After the international community intervention in Afghanistan in 2001 and the country’s growing reconstruction and development prospects, Mr. Akbar and his family returned to Afghanistan to contribute to the country’s rebuilding. Mr. Akbar received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Khurasan University. 

Among the emerging youthful potential of Afghanistan, Mr. Akbar would outshine many and was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship through which he pursued a master’s degree in Sciences in Foreign Services with a focus on Global Politics and Security at the Georgetown University in Washington DC. 

Dedicated to his home country, after completing his education in the United States, Mr. Akbar returned to Afghanistan in 2014. His recent appointment as the Deputy Head of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA). It would make him one of the youngest deputy ministers in the Republic. Among the young cadre of his age, Mr. Akbar would emerge among one of the tops. 

 However, Mr. Akbar says that “my dream to be more useful for Afghanistan was cut short last year. My people and I lost our freedoms, country, and home. I was evacuated under extremely painful circumstances. I am a refugee again, for the second time in my life. For me, my wife, and two kids, the direction of our lives have changed. But I am stronger than my problems.” 

After the harrowing chaos of the Kabul Airport, Mr. Akbar waited for months in Albania. In his piece written for the South Asian Voices, Mr. Akbar describes “that day and night of August 15th and the preceding two weeks had been tormenting. I can never forget the trauma I sensed in the eyes of my fourteen-year-old little sister that evening. Like millions of Afghan children, she was too young for this pain. Many of us had to fake a reassuring smile to console the younger ones, but most of them knew something terrible had happened.” 

Reflecting on his stay in Albania, Mr. Akbar appreciates the numerous individuals and friends in the United States. The latter made it possible for him and his family to journey to the United States. 

Mr. Akbar is focusing on rebuilding his life all over again. He would like to dedicate his life to the cause of peace and freedom. In Afghanistan, Mr. Akbar dedicated himself to addressing the fragility of the state and society. He led a project on countering violent extremism supported by the British Foreign Commonwealth Office and executed by the National Security Council of Afghanistan. 

Mr. Akbar says, “I have lived war and see myself as a bridge builder who understands how Afghan people feel.” He further adds that he wants to become a bridge builder for peace and freedom. He says that “I strongly believe that every human being is a treasure and can be a force for good.”

Mr. Akbar says that” with greater individual and collective consciousness, the world will move towards understanding, peace, and happiness – this is the direction, and for me, the meaning and purpose of my life.”

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