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In the Heart of Afghanistan, Entrepreneurs Innovate For Peace

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Kabul tech entrepreneurs

The small circle of tech entrepreneurs coding for change in Kabul includes, from left, Ahmad Reza Zahedi, Abdulghani Vahidi, and Mahdi Rezaei.

Credit: Mikhail Galustov

Afghanistan's growing technology industry could be a way to help boost the economy and maintain peace, says INEX IT administrator Mahdi Rezaei, who recently established an ACM chapter in Kabul. "Now ACM members can be aware of technology events around the world and bring change to our academic societies and our technology market," Rezaei says.

At the recent ACM Kabul inaugural event, about two dozen tech professionals gathered at the Afghanistan Cultural House to discuss cloud computing and learn about ACM. Although Afghanistan's enthusiasm for computing initially was a surprise to ACM officials, they knew the organization had to provide its support. "My initial reaction was, 'What? This makes no sense,' because I picture Kabul as a city under siege with incredible security issues and with all the standard things that make innovation and education difficult," says ACM CEO John White. "It is clearly a statement about how these individuals in Afghanistan perceive themselves as professionals who really want to be connected to the global computing community."

It also was significant that a few women attended the event. "Investing in technology inside Afghanistan and focusing on business rather than war can change the whole game," says aspiring Afghan tech mogul Jamshid Sultanzada.

From Fast Company 
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