The Kabul Times.
Politics

NSA Mohib’s speech at the Annual Commencement of the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul.

Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, President Holland, distinguished faculty, and dear graduates,
I want to start today by giving my wholehearted congratulation to the AUAF graduating class of 2019!
It is a pleasure to address you here today on this special occasion in your lives.
I am reminded of the wonderful contributions that this university’s faculty and students have made to Afghan society and the Afghan academic community in particular. I and millions of Afghans remember all that this institution has sacrificed to do so.
This institution is committed to the only truly sustainable way of fighting and defeating violence and war – and that is providing a quality education for some of the best talents in this country. I take this opportunity to pray for the brave souls of faculty and students of American University who lost their lives during the terrorist attack in 2016. We miss them and we owe them a great deal, more than we will ever be able to repay. We also hold in our hearts Mr. Timothy Weeks and Mr. Kevin King, who still remain in the captivity of the Taliban. I reaffirm the Afghan government’s support in bringing these two honorable men back to their families safely.
AUAF is contributing to a generational transformation consistent with President Ghani’s long term vision for Afghanistan, in which youth are a strong force necessary for rebuilding this country. Throughout this on-going process of development and reconstruction, we are grateful for the unwavering support of our international partners, particularly the United States. Our partnership with the US and our other international allies is one forged in blood, sweat, and sacrifices. These joint sacrifices have brought many possibilities, including AUAF, to Afghanistan.
This university is a testament to the fact that—despite whatever differences or challenges we may face along the way—the US-Afghan partnership is strong, and that both of our countries, as key allies, have the same vision for the country’s future for prosperity and peace. We both believe in the same values to realize that vision—education, tolerance, and progress.
As we speak today, there are thousands of young Afghan National Defense and Security Forces holding the line and ceaselessly defending the values that we have achieved together. These are values that define us, that we have fought and died for: governance, rule of law, justice and freedom. Our security and defense forces are our unsung heroes. They fight for an Afghanistan in which individuals, tribes, and warlords don’t get to set the discourse about our ways of life, but rather the people themselves are able to determine their own fate through democratic processes. This is aligned with President Ghani’s vision for sustainable peace in Afghanistan – a vision in which structural and social violence is uprooted, and replaced with dignity and prosperity.
Now, to the graduates, I want to leave you with a few messages:
The first is that you, as graduates of one of the country’s most prestigious universities, now have a responsibility to lead. Leading means making decisions that impact others, it means you have a responsibility to serve the best interests of others. I hope you will approach this responsibility in the spirit of service to your country and your fellow citizens.
Second, you are told repeatedly that you are the new generation of Afghans and you represent the positive changes this country has seen over the past two decades. That’s obvious. But I urge you to think hard about what defines your generation, or, rather, how you will define your generation. Will yours be the generation that leaves behind the shackles of our past tragedies? Will yours be the generation that drives us from economic dependence to self-reliance? Will yours be the generation that puts differences aside and serves the interests of peace and prosperity and not the interests of yourself? This is for you to define.
Third, you are a diverse group of women and men who come from all 34 provinces who have all had different life experiences and come from different families, ethnicities, and villages. But this makes no difference. Today I challenge you not to think about your past and where you came from, but where you, as a group of leaders, are going in the future. Where you go is where this country will go. Look forward, and be inspired by the possibilities.
I conclude my remarks with prayers for all those of our countrymen and women, and those of our international partners who have made the utmost sacrifices for a better Afghanistan and allow institutions like AUAF to exist. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and pray for your success and the success of our beloved Afghanistan.

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The Kabul Times.