By: The Kabul Times
KABUL: In a rare act, a foreign diplomat based in Kabul inspected academic programs of a private university here on last Thursday and delivered key remarks during a knowledge sharing program that attended by hundreds of students from different education and working backgrounds.
Addressing the students in conference hall of Dunya University of Afghansitan the other day, Korean ambassador to Kabul Zha Hyoung RHEE said that he was very glad to stand in front of the brightest minds of Afghansitan, adding that Korea was totally devastated during the 1950-1953 civil war, but came to achieve developments through the people’s hard works.
“We [Korea] share lots of similarities with Afghanistan. First that we understand your pains, because we experienced extreme poverty and bad security. The three years of war turned the country into ashes and millions of people either killed or disappeared,” Ambassador Rhee added, saying that no industry and infrastructures remained after the civil war between the two Koreas.
The Korean diplomat went on saying that his country made education compulsory after the civil war and increased the literacy rate to 80 percent which was less than 20 percent. “Till now we are not at complete peace and somehow we are at war. Provocations still existed, but cannot be compared to security in Afghanistan, however it is still not compared with other countries.”
“Due to security concerns, Koreans have had to practice Taekwondo. In college even we learned to use guns, because we had to confront security threats,” the ambassador said, adding that war was imposed on Korean peninsula and the same has been taken place against Afghans.
Ambassador Rhee told students that Afghans were fighting violet extremism to defend the values and that Korean people did the same. “We struggle for mankind. Your [Afghans] struggle is not for Afghanistan, but for whole region. Since you are at the heart of such problems, that’s why international community and Republic of Korea is here to help and assist.”
“Failure of Afghanistan means failure of international community and success of Afghanistan is success of the whole region and world,” he noted. Calling hard works, investments on education and competent and dedicated civil servants as the three main elements behind success and development of Korea, Ambassador Rhee said his country’s 70 percent of land was occupied by mountains and that the country was totally lacking natural resources.
“We [Koreans] needed to work hard, and we had to develop human resources since we lack natural resources. The dedicated and competent civil servants helped brought changes to the country,” he said, adding that Afghan people was quite dedicated and hard workers too and sparing no efforts to help build their war-torn country.
“You are the example of investments on education,” the ambassador told the students, who came from different backgrounds and working in different public and private institutions, adding that he had visited 7 provinces of Afghansitan, and everyone was keen to seek knowledge.
“During my provincial visits, I always preferred to visit schools. But when I was asked kids if they were preferring play or study, everyone was answering the study. That’s what I like about Afghansitan and that gives me hope for future of the country,” he added.
Ambassador Rhee went on saying that Afghans were determined to change bad into good situation, calling Afghans as the most bright and smart people in the world.
“Even the people on the streets are intelligent. People saying Koreans are bright, but I must say that Afghans are bright,” the ambassador said, asking Afghans to be proud of their smartness.
Ambassador Rhee went on saying that Afghansitan was having more potentials for development, reiterating his country’s support to Afghansitan in different spheres. “Our assistance to restore Afghanistan past reached one billion USD in last two decades.”
Meanwhile, thanking Korean ambassador Rhee for his knowledge sharing program, president of Dunya university of Afghanistan said that Korea was ranking 11th in the world on the basis of economic development, calling his visit important to the students of university.
“It is of immense important to see that a foreign diplomat is visiting a private university and sharing his country’s development model with a war-suffered nation,” Prof. Ahmad Shah Sangdel said.
Meanwhile a number of students welcomed knowledge sharing programs, asking other universities to follow the path.
“It is rare to see a foreign diplomat is coming in a private university and giving lectures on their experiences and how such can help revive Afghanistan’s glorious past,” a master’s degree student and head of Afghansitan tourism department, Ramin Atiqzada, said.