Afghanistan News Center is a privately-owned, independent website committed to providing updated news and information about Afghanistan. It began originally in 1998 under the URL www.afghanradio.com (Azadi Afghan Radio) serving those interested in Afghanistan’s current affairs. In 2002 it was changed to e-mail service and in 2006 the whole system was revamped to provide more consolidated information services including current affairs and archival records of over 10 years of news about Afghanistan. In its present shape, the ANC boasts of more than 50,000 articles. Its daily report is currently delivered to more than 17,000 subscribers.
The main objective of the news site is to provide an updated archive of publicly accessible articles via links to saved news item for research purposes only. The news articles and commentaries/editorials are protected under international copyright laws. All credit goes to the original source(s). Being a non-profit organization, the ANC does not accept any advertisements on its website. However, organisations/individuals interested in having their website links displayed on this site can send their URLs to firstname.lastname@example.org. The ANC will consider the links, subject to our policies designed to ensure reliability and non-prejudicial information.
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Some information about the founder of the ANC:
Born in Afghanistan in 1974, Fawad Ahmad Muslim had to leave his country of origin at the age of ten due to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. After living in Pakistan for few years, he went on to resettle in the United States where he started school from grade 7th in a small town (Farmville) in the south of Virginia. The following year he moved to Northern Virginia where his excellent performance allowed him to leapfrog a grade and was admitted to grade 9th at Annandale High School. The same year he started working to help support his family. After finishing grades 9th and 10th he again skipped 11th grade and moved to 12th grade.
On graduation from the high school Mr. Muslim joined the NOVA college to study civil engineering. Towards the end of his two years of part-time study at the NOVA collage he transferred to University of Maryland, where he continued his civil engineering studies for another year. Thereafter he changed his major field of study from civil engineering to computer science and transferred to George Mason University. It took him 7 years to finish collage part-time, while working full time.
In December of 1999 Mr. Muslim began work at Leros Technologies as a software engineer. He worked for Leros Technologies until January of 2002 when Afghanistan won freedom. That is when he decided to quit his job at Leros and move to Afghanistan to help the rebuilding of the war-torn country.
He arrived in Kabul on December 2001 and participated in the inauguration ceremony of President Karzai’s Interim Administration.
Later on, Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah (a long-time acquaintance from Virginia), asked Mr. Muslim to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and start an IT department there. In February 2002 Mr. Muslim launched the Directorate of Technology within the MoFA, which was subsequently restructured under the name Directorate General of Communications and Archives Division. It comprised both the Directorate of Technology and Directorate of Archives.
Fawad Muslim worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from January 2002 to June of 2006. He had great achievements at the MoFA. Starting initially with five dilapidated Pentium 1 computers, he left the ministry with more than 350 terminals when he resigned from his post in 2006. The ministry started with no network or internet connection. In April 2002, the MoFA was the first ministry in the country to be connected to the internet with assistance from the Indian government. Towards the end of 2003, the entire IT infrastructure of the ministry was networked with fiber optic and Cisco switching which included three separate systems of Internet, Intranet, and telephony communication. MoFA was the first ministry to acquire a PaBX system with a capability of 500 extensions.
Parallel to establishing and upgrading the IT infrastructure, Mr. Muslim started training courses for MoFA employees on basic computer skills and office applications including Windows, MS words, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. The training was later on extended to other governmental organizations as well. Within 18 months, more than 2,600 government employees of other ministries and 95% of foreign ministry employees were trained on basic computer skills. A number of brighter trainees were sent to different donor countries for advanced IT training.
Mr. Muslim initiated the first computerized passport and visa system for Afghanistan with the assistance of the Australian Government. He traveled to Australia twice -- to help write the Business Requirements for the new system and to finalize the design and do the testing of the new software. In June 2006, Mr. Muslim helped organize training sessions on the new system in Dubai for the selected members of the Afghan missions abroad, the MoFA and the Ministry of Interior. At the end of June, prior to Mr. Muslim ’s departure from the ministry, he helped launch the new system both inside Afghanistan and at the Afghanistan missions abroad. He worked closely with the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs for almost three years via email, telephone conferences and several meetings.
Another area in which Mr. Muslim has left lasting footprints is the Archieves Department of the MoFA. In December 2003 the Directorate of Technology merged with Directorate of Archive, forming a new Division known as the Directorate General of Communications and Archives. The Archives Department was a dysfunctional section with a pejorative sobriquet ‘the Guantanamu Bay’, signifying the MoFA’s practice of exiling some of the poorer-performing employees to the section. Under Mr. Muslim’s leadership, however, the Archives Department was fully restructured and its employees were professionally trained in Kabul and abroad. Within a year, the Archives Department became one of the most active and prestigious sections of the MoFA. It handled all the incoming and outgoing documents and registered them neatly for future reference.
Mr. Muslim also introduced a computerized communication system at the MoFA and its missions abroad. This, in effect saved over $350,000 per year on facsimile and telephone costs to the MoFA.
Although Mr. Muslim resigned from his post at the MoFA in 2006, he left it with a long-term vision for future infrastructural development over the next 15 years. A seminal task in this regard would be to digitize the 150 years of documents for research purposes.
Mr. Muslim recently opened his own IT company, the Jahaan Technology Corporation.
|Some articles about Fawad Ahmad Muslim|
Brave New World - The Mason Spirit -- George Mason University
The Exiles Return - Afghans want to come home Newsweek International
Reporter's Notebook: High Tech in Kabul -- ABC News
To Afghanistan With Love -- Washingtopn Post
Disclaimer: This news site is mostly a compilation of publicly accessible articles on the Web in the form of a link or saved news item. The news articles and commentaries/editorials are protected under international copyright laws. All credit goes to the original respective source(s).