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.
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For centuries, the historic Buddhas of Bamiyan stood guard over the Bamiyan valley in central Afghanistan. These two massive sculptures—one measuring 115 feet in height, the other 174 feet—were carved directly into the valley’s sandstone cliffs approximately 1,500 years ago.
Visitors came from around the world to view these unique
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While Afghan cuisine was relatively unknown outside of the country’s borders until fairly recently, anyone who has sampled some of Afghanistan’s exquisite traditional dishes would agree that Afghan food deserves a worldwide following. Drawing from the cultural influences of neighboring countries—including India, Persia (Iran), and Mongolia—Afghan cuisine is
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The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is a US-based organization that works to protect wild places, and the species that inhabit them, all around the world. The WCS has been spearheading environmental preservation and sustainable resource management efforts in Afghanistan since 2004.
Afghanistan’s environment has suffered greatly from decades of