Friends of Utah: Sayed Ashraf Sadat

Mr. Sayed Ashraf Sadat is currently the Field Manager for the Afghanistan Civil Society Forum Organization in Herat. He has been involved in Herat civil society activities for the past 12 years, including the Herat Youth Association. He also serves as Deputy Chairperson of the Herat Civil Society Network and represents that association in the Herat City Council. Mr. Sadat’s passion for public service and its challenges made him an ideal candidate for the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program hosted by Meridian International Center on fighting government corruption using transparency.

Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy International Visitor Leadership ProgramSayed Ashraf Sadat presenting in Afghanistan

In April, we hosted Mr. Sadat and his IVLP colleagues who met with individuals from key anti-corruption agencies, namely the House Special Investigative Committee of the Utah State Legislature and the Utah Transparency Advisory Board, a state entity striving to provide public access to public financial information. His visit was also accompanied by an informative session with the Salt Lake Tribune, the largest-circulated daily newspaper in Salt Lake City and whose influence extends across the state. He noted that Utah’s strategies to combat corruption are “unique.” Later, Mr. Sadat would comment that the “greatest achievement of [his] career” was participating in the activities of our program. His proactive attitude would eventually lead him to develop his own curriculum on anti-corruption processes.

Rep Dunnigan Afghanistan April 2019 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy International Visitor Leadership ProgramPaul Edwards Utah State Capitol Afghanistan April 2019 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy International Visitor Leadership Program           
Left: Mr. Sadat meeting with Rep. Dunnigan, Right: Mr. Sadat visiting with Paul Edwards both at the Utah State Capitol

Upon his return home, Mr. Sadat demonstrated agility in implementing the knowledge he gained due to his participation in the program. His objective aimed to “exemplify the activities of [Utah].” Throughout his 15-year tenure as an advocate for civic engagement in Afghanistan, Mr. Sadat explained that “most of our perceptions of democracy have been theoretical.” However, as a result of his time spent in Utah, Mr. Sadat’s emphasis is now shifting to a more practical approach to “convey the components of democracy to the people.” UCCD is undeniably elated that Mr. Sadat found genuine fulfillment and success in his professional ambitions.                     

 Afghanistan_Utah Council for Citizen DiplomacyAfghanistan2_Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
Mr. Sadat sharing his Utah experience with his home country

Mr. Sadat closed his sentiments by including a heartfelt message of gratitude for his participation in the program: “I appreciate the help of the people of the United States of America. You spent a lot of money to foster democracy in our country, which if you had not been for this cooperation, the people of Afghanistan would not have been able to stand on their own.” Our greatest desire is to instill within our participants’ minds the intrinsic importance of international integration. We are thrilled that he found his stay to be hospitable and hope that Mr. Sadat accomplishes infinitely more great achievements in his life.