We kindly invite you for a meeting on the future of Afghanistan and a book presentation of the
‘Biography of Ehsan Turabaz’ by Ms. Marloes Borsboom-Turabaz. The book will be presented to Ms.
Sharon Dijksma, Mayor of the City of Utrecht.
Date: 17 November 2023
Time: 14.00 – 17.00 hours
Location: Paushuize, Kromme Nieuwekracht 49, Utrecht
14.00 hrs. Welcome, Shafiqie Rahamanzai, Afghanistan Human Capital Foundation
14.10 hrs. Afghanistan today, Marloes Borsboom, Friends of Afghanistan Foundation
14.30 hrs. Discussion on ‘working towards a new perspective for Afghanistan’,
Frans Werter, moderator
15.45 hrs. Tea break
16.00 hrs. Book presentation to Ms. Sharon Dijksma, Mayor of Utrecht
16.15 hrs. The way forward: main conclusions of the discussion, Frans Werter, moderator
16.30 hrs. Closure and informal get-together
The situation in Afghanistan is not figuring in the headlines of the newspapers these days. However,
the plight of the Afghan people is becoming more severe with each passing day. The Taliban
government is not able or not willing to provide basic social services to its citizens, such as health and
education for all. The economy is hardly functioning and households are struggling to make ends
meet, if they are able to survive at all. Natural disasters such as drought and earthquakes add up to a
seemingly hopeless future. The international, geo-political situation is also discouraging. Pakistan is
sending hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan where an uncertain, insecure
future is waiting them. At global level the international community is not willing to recognize the
Taliban government because of its poor human rights records, especially regarding their treatment of
women. Yet, the Taliban government is there to stay for at least the coming years.
The world cannot turn its back on the Afghan people. The international community has to admit its
own role and responsibility in the present situation, and find ways to support the Afghans in their
struggle for immediate survival and for long term development. Afghans in the diaspora and in
Afghanistan are looking for ways to develop a hopeful perspective for their country. A perspective to
be developed by and for Afghans, owned by Afghans with support from but not dependent on
international actors. The Afghan initiators are looking for space in the present condition of the
country to start home-grown, small interventions leading to positive change.
In this meeting we explore the opportunity to lay a firm, organizational foundation for potential
linkages between Afghans in the diaspora and international, notably Dutch, committed professionals
and organizations. We also discuss the conditions and process for the development of a locally
owned, new perspective on Afghanistan, and the role of local government.
We hope to see you in Utrecht.
Shafiqie Rahamanzai, Afghanistan Human Capital Foundation
Marloes Borsboom-Turabaz, Friends of Afghanistan Foundation
Frans Werter, Buro de Steeg
3512 JJ Utrecht