UVU has invited Said T. Jawad, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States, to campus to discuss his country’s development and its most pressing challenges, including security and the relationship between the new U.S. administration and President Hamid Karzai. Jawad will speak Dec. 8 from 10 to 10:50 a.m. in the Library Auditorium (LI 120), followed by an open discussion from 11 to 11:50 a.m.

Jawad’s appearance at UVU is provided by the school’s Office of International Affairs and Diplomacy, the UVU Center for the Study of Ethics and America’s Freedom Festival at Provo, a community outreach program.

In the seven years since the Taliban were driven from Afghanistan, the country has seen the writing of a new constitution, the election of a president and parliament and a reconstruction of key infrastructure, but there has been a recent upsurge in security “incidents.”

This “upsurge” caused concern between Afghanistan and the international community. Several countries have encouraged a new focus on Afghanistan’s security and development. These same concerns are what Jawad will explain in detail the day of his visit.

Ambassador Jawad returned to Afghanistan four months after 9/11 to assist in the new country’s state-building process. He served as the President’s Press Secretary, Chief of Staff and the Director of the Office of International Relations at the Presidential Palace. In December of 2003, Jawad was appointed as Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States by President Hamid Karzai.

Later in the evening, America’s Freedom Festival plans to provide a special meeting where appreciation can be expressed to military personnel and family members of those who have served or are currently serving in Afghanistan. Attendees are invited to attend and to receive a personal greeting from the Ambassador.

“The outstanding service of Utah Armed Forces men and women is a sacrifice for and a commitment to the freedoms enjoyed in our country,” said Paul Warner, executive director of America’s Freedom Festival. “We are grateful to be a part of such an event.”

The Ambassador’s lecture at UVU is free and open to the public. For more information, call (801) 863-6455 or visit http://uvu.edu/ethics/.