The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) recently hosted a high-level working luncheon, honouring the WISE Prize for Education Laureate, Dr Sakena Yacoobi, at the ‘Newseum’ in Washington, DC.
The event, focusing on Dr Yacoobi’s work as the winner of the WISE Prize For Education, was hosted by Andrew Rotherham, co-founder of Bellwether Education Partners, and by Stavros N Yiannouka, CEO, WISE. It also provided an excellent opportunity to bring the work of WISE, an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, to the attention of an audience of high-level international stakeholders.
Dr Yacoobi, a US citizen who founded the ‘Afghan Institute of Learning’ (AIL), has worked diligently for over 20 years to bring education to those suffering from the effects of war, displacement and oppression under Taliban rule in her native Afghanistan.
During the event, Dr Yacoobi shared her personal experiences and described the diverse strategies AIL uses to provide access to education and crucial healthcare services for young people and their families. In addition, the organisation aims to provide training programmes to educate communities about general health, hygiene and nutrition.
Engaging guests in an informal conversation, Yiannouka praised Dr Yacoobi for her creative dedication and personal courage in spite of the many difficult circumstances she has encountered. He added that Dr Yacoobi is an inspiration for all who are committed to empowerment through education.
Among the local guests were Mary Landrieu, former senator from Louisiana; John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable and former governor of Michigan; Roger Nozaki of the US Department of Education; Katherine Haley of the Philanthropy Roundtable; Giuseppe Basili of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Krishanti Vignarajah of the White House.
Also in attendance were Sara al-Saadi from the embassy of Qatar in the United States, other diplomatic representatives and US government officials, as well as several senior representatives of the US media.
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