SXSW has been a very positive and inspiring experience. Film Annex's Creative Director, Eren Gulfidan coordinated the trip and the interviews, and I tagged along to help in the shooting of the interviews and exploration of the event. Ziggy Marley expressed tangible interest in the Afghan Development project and appreciated the idea of bringing his music to the Afghan Youth as an inspiration for a peaceful future. We will keep him posted on the developments.
Eren and I met entrepreneurs starting new projects focused on education and social media, representatives of the Associated Press (AP), National Geographic, Dell, AT&T, and Canon, all interested and fascinated by our mission of building schools in Afghanistan (AF) and veteran business opportunities (G.I.V.E.). We were focused on the personality and humanity of the individuals we met. Sadly, many SXSW attendees, are not “humanly interactive”.
90% of people operated Apple equipment, and surprisingly, I didn't find an Apple event or booth; I guess they feel like they own the market! I am wondering if they would support our initiatives with Veteran business opportunities (G.I.V.E.) and the Afghan Development Project (AF).
We are planning to acquire 400 computers or tablets so that Citadel and Film Annex Afghanistan can build 40 Internet points in the schools of Herat (160,000 students) in the next 36 months. The estimated retail cost in Afghanistan is $400k. In the USA, the same equipment would cost $200k,and I hope we can find a partner and reduce the cost to $100,000. Dell and Samsung are in my mind. The technical partner will benefit from the exposure Film Annex can offer to over 12 million unique viewers a month and will help building schools in Afghanistan and change the life of millions of people.
We are looking to acquire digital cameras for American Veterans to film and promote veteran businesses. We are also looking to supply each school in Herat with digital cameras to record school life and students progress. We hope to have access to older models even if they are out of production to be able to negotiate a substantial discount.
The project sounds ambitions but thanks to the logistic support of Roya Mahboob, her company Citadel, and the US Veterans, we are already operative in Afghanistan and are working on the first Internet point this month.
Building schools in Afghanistan and supporting Veteran business opportunities go hand in hand. Computers will replace military equipment, the sound of computer speakers will replace the sound of military operations, Skype video conversations will replace a distant perception of a deadly Afghanistan, internet blogs and chats will feed us the real image of Afghanistan, and the real dreams and aspirations of both Afghan citizens and US Veterans will come to reality.
No Politics, Just Internet
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