Empowering Afghan Women event in Vineyard Haven


On Monday, August 23, the Katharine Cornell Theatre will host an important and intellectually stimulating event by delving into the realm of Afghan women entrepreneurs. Empowering Afghan Women, sponsored by the Support and Networking Program of CharityHelp International, will focus on how individuals can make a difference by providing mentorship and financial resources in support of female Afghan entrepreneurs. The event will highlight the collaboration of three women and their supporters.

Hassina Sherjan is a prominent Afghan businesswoman who returned to Afghanistan from the United States in 2001. She is the founder of Aid Afghanistan for Education, coauthor of “Toughing it out in Afghanistan,” and the owner of the Afghan textile company Boumi. Patti Quigley is the director of Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation and will speak on her collaboration with Razia Jan, founder of the Zabuli Education Center for Women and Girls. Beth Murphy is a prominent film documentary maker who will present a trailer for her new film, “What Tomorrow Brings,” which explores the village of Deh Subz, where the first-ever girls school is challenging centuries of conservative social tradition.

The event will be moderated by Linda Black, founder and editor of Avalon Magazine, a new Island publication. Avalon Magazine recently featured a story on the relationship between an Afghan woman filmmaker Mahbouba, and an Island artist, Basia Jaworska Silva, that will be discussed Monday evening along with a screening of the film, which aired at the Israel Film Festival in 2010.

CharityHelp International, the event’s sponsor, is a nonprofit organization based in Maryland that was founded in 2004 to support humanitarian programs in emerging nations. Jenna Messier, U.S. networking consultant for the organization, is a current resident of Connecticut who previously lived on the Island for 10 years. Ms. Messier organized the event as a means to connect the Island community with women who are doing notable work in Afghanistan.

“I know this community so I am aware of the breadth of concerned and aware citizens that I thought would be interested in supporting the field.”

The Katharine Cornell Theatre is located in Vineyard Haven. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the meeting will begin at 7 pm and run through 9 pm. For more information contact Ms. Messier at 617-312-9409.