Established in 1938, Hatifi High School is one of the largest school in Herat, Afghanistan and has 8,300 students. The students attend the classes in rotations. The school offers 116 classes only for female students. Film Annex and Citadel are building an INTERNET classroom at Hatifi High School in June with twice as many computers to satisfy the needs of the school.
Building schools in Afghanistan with INTERNET classrooms is the most rewarding initiative I have ever endeavored. I could have never done so much in such little time without the help of Roya Mahboob and her team at Afghan Citadel. NATO was right by naming Citadel “the most successful digital company in Afghanistan”.
Roya Mahboob's hard work and accomplishments allowed us to promote this initiative to other Digital Media companies and in particular Ad-Networks. AdonNetwork's CEO, Bhaskar Ballapragrada, and Advertise.com's CEO, Daniel Yomtobian, joined forces with us offering valuable promotion and advertising exposure to the Afghan Development Project. The financial support is extremely appreciated, but above all, it is the professional support that demonstrates that Afghanistan is not the land of War and destruction as described by traditional media, but the land of social and digital development. Investing in the Afghan education system and economy is good business.
Today, I had a great conversations with Laura Rodriguez, the deputy director for interactive communications at USAid; we discussed our current collaboration and future developments. Film Annex wouldn't be able to operate at this speed and be so effective if USAid had not invested its resources in Afghanistan. It's our job to leverage their good work and share this information with Film Annex's 12 million monthly viewers. The power of information goes two ways. It's great to get Afghan children connected to the global community of the World Wide Web, but it's also very important to show Americans and Europeans where their investments are being directed and what the results are.
Today, we uploaded the first video from Hatifi High School. This is the first step for this school and its introduction to our viewers. In two weeks, we will have the videos of the classroom construction, and a few days later, the video of the inauguration.
Digital media allows us to eliminate barriers and erase the 7,000 miles of distance between New York and Herat. It allows us to put Afghan children online and have them compete with American and European children on similar subjects and curriculum. I am the father of three children born and raised in the US. The biggest favor I can do to my children is to expose them to the competitive world of international education and give them a taste of the best that Afghanistan culture and other developing countries have to offer.
Khan Academy is free and open to all; it's the way to conceive education today and in the future. Just like my friend Richard Furlin, an investment banker, is studying Chemistry on his free time at the Khan Academy, a 12 year-old Afghan child can do the same and compete with Rich in understanding and results.
Artist Tomas Schats prepared incredible illustrations to be printed and presented in the classrooms in Afghanistan, but above all inspired the future illustrators of the world. I am excited and honored to work along with people like Roya Mahboob, Daniel Yomtobian, Bhaskar Ballapragrada, Laura Rodriguez, Kathleen McGowan, and Tomas Schats in changing the landscape of the world and opening the eyes of billions of people to see that all children have the right to achieve their dreams and compete in the global community of the World Wide Web.