New SJSU president leads trip to Afghanistan

April 1, 2011 8:40:52 PM PDT
Some Bay Area residents are in Afghanistan right now, visiting Ghazni, southwest of Kabul.

The delegation is being led by Afghan-American Mo Qayoumi and includes former San Francisco Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver. Qayoumi was just appointed president of San Jose State University.

I met him when he was president of Cal State East Bay in Hayward. He said Hayward is the sister city of Ghazni, which is coming back from years of war. He talked with me by Skype about children leading the way.

"The important element is that despite the fact that many of the students who attend school, they attend it at their own risk because of the threat from the insurgency; what one would admire is the courage of all these students, all of them have such a thirst for knowledge," he said.

Qayoumi says Ghazni has a rich history that dates back 4,000 years.

"It was one of the major sites of Buddhist culture, Hindu culture, followed by Islamic culture; this was one of the earlier Islamic civilization centers by the Ghaznovites that started around 900 AD," he said.

Ghazni has been designated as the "Capital of Islamic Culture for 2013" by a coalition of 50 Islamic countries. So, Qayoumi and his delegation are helping plan celebrations in Ghazni and its sister city Hayward.


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