Afghanistan senior civilian cultural ambassador visits SIUE for Global Awareness Week

The people of Afghanistan “just want peace,” according to Matin Royeen, a senior civilian cultural ambassador for the country.

Matin Royeen, Afghanistan senior civilian cultural ambassador, spoke at SIUE last week as part of Global Awareness Week.

Royeen discussed challenges and opportunities in Afghanistan last week as part of SIUE’s Global Awareness Week.

The Afghan government, “unfortunately,” according to Royeen, has not been able to meet the needs of the people. Afghan people are “very fiercely independent,” do not like foreign domination and are very traditional – bound by their cultural belief system – Royeen said.

He also noted there are mixed feelings about U.S. involvement in Afghanistan affairs. U.S. assistance has helped with the health sector and technology, such as cell phones, but, on the other hand, there are the war aspects of civilian casualties and search and seizure.

Royeen said he is not sure if the Afghan people have a clear vision of the future, but he does know they want peace.

“They’re really tired of what has been happening the past 35, 40 years in their country,” Royeen said. “…Killing is not going to bring peace, especially in a society where they’re revenge oriented societies.”

Royeen also discussed the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship and the Taliban, among other topics.

The Cultural Ambassador was invited by philosophy professor Saba Fatima as part of her course, “Philosophy 334: Islamic Thought.” Royeen’s visit is part of a series of speakers that aim to provide students with a hands-on perspective of the Muslim social and political world.

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