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Ayni’s Fall Event: November 20, 2014, 5:30-9:00 p.m. at The Foundry in Seattle 

Featuring poet and war correspondent Eliza Griswold

eliza-newAyni Education International is hosting our second annual event this fall on November 20, 2014. This year the event will take place at The Foundry, 4130 1St Av. South, in Seattle, Washington. We are pleased to announce that poet and war correspondent Eliza Griswold, published in The New York Times, The New Yorker and other media outlets, will be our featured speaker. Eliza is currently teaching at Princeton University and recently published the book, “I am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan.” Learn more here. Be on the look out for more information about the Ayni fall event as the date nears and send any questions to or call us at (206) 331- 3786. For more on Eliza Griswold, check out her website or her recent New York Times article on U.S. Special Forces in Africa and the roots of extremism here.

Blog with Ayni!

Join us in a conversation about the critical topics facing Afghanistan’s girls and women. 1rX2MqShmi2Wxo9o0xQNuVtrg13ywoNqoW0nQiV70AIHere you will find anything from thought-pieces about for possible interventions of early marriage as well as ways to continue bridging the digital divide for Afghan girls.  We will also  feature pieces about the innovative connection between architecture and poverty eradication along with insights from Ayni board members and Afghan and US based interns. Please engage with us and learn more, not only about the great work we are doing in Afghanistan, but about the people who make it happen and our goals for the future.

Click here to read what our president, Catherine Gelband, wrote about her involvement in Ayni, and her strong passion for girls’ education in Afghanistan.

Child Marriage

Over the summer, MBA graduate student intern Ha Tran, researched child marriage in Afghanistan. Her findings make clear that in order to educate girls, we must also continue to educate families, communities, leaders and girls’ about the serious impact early marriage has on girls’ access to education. Part 1 is about using business tools for social issues, and how applying these tools and strategies can help Ayni find solutions in preventing child marriage. Read part 1 on our blog!

Ha concludes her research by providing staggering statistics on child marriage in Afghanistan, and how it is affecting girls’ education in Afghanistan. The research concludes with ways that Ayni and our supporters can take steps in preventing child marriage so that more girls can attend our schools and earn an education. Read part 2 on our blog!

Architect Dave Miller to Serve as Principal Architect for Gohar Khaton Girls’ School: A Tribute to Partner Robert Hull

dave1We are pleased to announce that as tribute to his partner and dear friend, Robert Hull, architect David Miller of Miller/Hull Partnership has agreed to serve as the Principal Architect for the Gohar Khaton Girls’ Schoolproject. Miller steps in at an especially critical phase as the final design elements are put into place for the school’s completion targeted for next fall. Miller’s design team includes architect and Assistant Professor of Architecture, Elizabeth Golden, and architect Yassaman Esmaili.

A founding partner of the Miller/Hull Partnership, Miller leads a fundamentally design oriented firm emphasizing a rational design approach based on culture, climate, and building traditional of a place, Dave brings both strong professional and personal experience to his project. Currently Dave is Chair for the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington, where he is also a tenured Professor of Architecture. He teaches design studios, a systems integration seminar and the thesis preparation course in the March Program. He has been a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Michigan, the University of Maryland, and the University of Oregon. In 2005 Dave authored, Toward a New Regionalism, which promotes environmental architecture and showcases the work of Northwest architects from Portland to British Columbia.

As Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington, Elizabeth Golden was on the ground floor of the design process for the school, first co-teaching a graduate seminar at the University’s design studio. Ms. Golden has been instrumental in ensuring the ongoing success of the Gohar Khaton project. Yasaman Esmaili serves as both architect and coordinator of a girls’ and women’s art project for the school’s interior. Professor Golden is a founding member of united4design, a practice dedicated to providing design services for underrepresented members of society.

To learn about Gohar Khaton check out the website here.

Smith College Honors Janet W. Ketcham

Our long-time supporter Janet Ketcham recently made a significant contribution to Smith College to endow a professorship in Middle East Studies. Her hope is that the new faculty position will expand students’ interest in a region of the world that might benefit from more scholarship, especially from women. Janet has been a major contributor in Ayni’s mission to increase access to female education in Afghanistan. Her passion and commitment to female empowerment has strengthened our mission and made her an important philanthropic presence. To check out the complete article click here.

Featured Partner: Janet W. Ketcham Foundation

Click hereJanet Ketcham to see the new link to our featured partner to learn more about the Janet W. Ketcham Foundation. With a remarkable commitment to Afghanistan, the Janet W. Ketcham Foundation is briefly described as its main current project, the Gohar Khaton Girls’ School enters its final stages of construction.

Robert Hull Memorial Fund Established for Gohar Khaton Girls’ School

BOBSmile2In honor of the significant contributions that Architect Robert Hull made to Afghanistan and in particular to the Gohar Khaton Girls’ School in Marzar-i-Sharif, a school that is expected to open its doors  to over 3,000, the Hull family has established a memorial fund for the school. All donations received will be directed towards the school. The fund will be  managed by Ayni Education International and directed by the Hull family. If you would like to donate to the fund, please send contributions to: Gohar Khaton Girls’ School (Afghanistan) Robert Hull Memorial Fund c/o Ayni Education International P.O. Box 17672 Seattle, WA 98127

Fall Intern Projects Announced

School Girls smiling outside of class B&W June 16, 2013Afghan national Airokhsh Qaisary, whom many of you followed on our blog this summer as she interned for us in Mazar-i-Sharif continues to serve as counsel to Ayni as she concludes her undergraduate studies in the United States.  Stephanie Tam, an alumnae, continues with Ayni working on grants, social media and research projects. development and social media.  Maggie Cooper spearheads our office operations including assisting with board committee work and preparations for our fall event.  Our alumni network continues as we say thanks and goodbye to Ha Tran who is studying in Japan for a semester as part of her MBA program and Sophia Alhadef who returned to The Overlake School for her senior year of high school. Sam Tarvin departed Ayni in late summer to begin her new job as Program Manager for Burro Brand Ghana, a social enterprise in Ghana. We continue to receive updates from those serving in Tajikistan, India and Sri Lanka as Princeton in Asia Fellows and State Department Critical Language Skills Fellows.  We are heartened by their ongoing interest in and passion for girls’ education globally and especially in Afghanistan.


Afghan Voices: Notes from the Field with Airokhsh and Farkhonda 

Gohar Khaton principal 10-13 Check out our blog, Afghan Voices, for the latest updates on the construction of Gohar Khaton, a girls’ school we are building with the support of the Janet W. Ketcham Foundation. The school uses innovative design techniques by the University of Washington School of Architecture, sustainable materials, and generates jobs for the local community.

 See photos from construction by clicking here

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