Dr. Ehsan Bayat

Ehsan Bayat

Since returning to his home country of Afghanistan in 2002, Ehsan Bayat has been committed to connecting Afghans with each other and the world at large. He began his mission to help rebuild Afghanistan with the founding of Afghan Wireless, the first mobile phone service provider in the nation’s history. The company played a critical role in the development of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure after decades of conflict. Over the past 15 years, Ehsan Bayat has overseen the launch of Afghan Wireless products and services such as HD voice communications, Internet service, 4G/LTE network coverage, and a mobile banking platform. Today, Afghan Wireless provides jobs to more than 6,000 people and indirectly employs another 100,000 people across the country.

In 2005, Ehsan Bayat founded Ariana Television and Radio Network (ATN), the largest private media company in Afghanistan. Offering programming for Afghans and speakers of Dari and Pashto around the world, ATN has built a reputation for unbiased broadcasting of important world issues. The network also covers a variety of topics within education, women’s issues, health, and children’s programming. Dedicated to its mission of providing a “Window for a Better Tomorrow,” ATN provides a wealth of opportunities for local Afghan directors, writers, and producers.

In recognition of his business accomplishments in Afghanistan, Ehsan Bayat received the first ever Businessman of the Year Award from AACC in 2007. The Canada-Afghanistan Business Council awarded him the Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2008, acknowledging his ongoing mission to help rebuild his country.

Ehsan Bayat has also received several accolades for his humanitarian work with the Bayat Foundation, including the 2007 Humanitarian of the Year Award from Zeba Magazine and the 2010 Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award. More recently, Radio Azadi named him “Nowruz Man of the Year” in recognition of his efforts to support democracy, peace, and culture in Afghanistan. Led by Mr. Bayat and his wife, Fatema, the Bayat Foundation addresses critical social needs in Afghanistan, including education, clean water, infrastructure, and public health.

  • How Is the WCS Helping to Protect At-Risk Afghan Wildlife?

    WCS logoFrom the secretive snow leopard to the majestic Marco Polo sheep, many unique species of wildlife call Afghanistan home. Unfortunately, factors like habitat encroachment, over-hunting or illegal poaching, and ecosystem degradation—all aggravated by Afghanistan’s years of conflict—are driving many of these

  • How Is IOM Supporting Afghans Who Return to the Country?

    Pushed out of their nation of origin for reasons that include war and extreme poverty, Afghans have increasingly been returning home in recent years. From 2012 to 2017, nearly 3.5 million natives of the country made their way back into one of 15 Afghan provinces from abroad, according to

  • The Bayat Foundation Supports Higher Education for Afghans

    Founded by Fatema and Ehsan Bayat in 2006, the Bayat Foundation aims to provide hope and assistance to Afghans in need while working to rebuild the country. A 501(c)(3) charitable organization based in the United States, the foundation focuses on initiatives designed to improve the health and well-being of