Before delving into her diplomatic duties, HE Roya Rahmani’s day begins with quality time with her 2-year-old daughter. Even though it may be a little hectic getting a pre-schooler ready in the morning, HE Rahmani takes it all in her stride.
She spends so much time at work that every minute at home, with her biggest love, is truly cherished. Once she heads to school, HE Rahmani turns her attention to the most is her favourite part of being an ambassador.
As an ambassador, HE Rahmani gets to meet people from all walks of life. During her tenure, she has met members of the business community, parliament and government, media and civil society, as well as missions and representatives from other countries.
The more people she meets, the more possibilities and opportunities are opened up to achieve great things.
“In this line of work, it is one of the greatest joys to be able to connect with people on an informal level. I’m the type of person that likes getting things done,” says HE Rahmani. “It gives me a great sense of achievement when we can come together to get things done.”
HE Rahmani was in charge of organising the first official state visit of President Ashraf Ghani to Indonesia. President Jokowi welcomed President Ghani to the state palace with a lively ceremony.
In addition to meetings with President Jokowi, HE Rahmani also coordinated with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to hold a business dialogue with President Ghani.
Despite being away from her hometown of Kabul for most of the year, HE Rahmani says that the people of Indonesia make her feel very much at home. Their willingness to help and genuine warmth mitigate how much she misses her hometown.
While there are many things that she misses about Kabul, it was during the discussion of Kabul’s seasonal fruits that her eyes truly lit up.
“While I feel very much at home here, I do miss some of our local fruits,” says HE Rahmani. “From the apples to the cherries and mulberries, they just do not taste the same anywhere else.”
HE Rahmani also suggests that summer would be the best seasons for a taste of Kabul’s most delectable fruits and delicacy.
Summer brings with it the largest variety of fruits and there is nothing better than freshly squeezed cherry juice on a warm summer’s day, she tells us, recalling of her times back in Kabul.
In addition to most refreshing fruits, Afghanistan cuisine is also not to be missed, from kebabs to the variety of rice dishes prepared in a dozen different ways. Kabuli Palaw is one of the most popular dishes in Afghanistan and often considered to be the national dish of Afghanistan.
The dish is made up of steamed rice mixed with a number of spices, fruits or nuts like raisins, almonds, pistachios, cardamom and many more. HE Rahmani noted that Kabuli Palaw is the inspiration behind the popular local dish nasi kebuli.
Summer also gives tourists the best access to Afghanistan’s most majestic and scenic landscapes. Band-e Amir National Park in Bamiyan province is a series of six brilliantly blue lakes separated by natural dams created from years of mineral build-up.
The deep blue hue of the waters is the result of the purity of the waters and the fresh, clean air. The dams reach heights of up to 10m, creating large basins of water: a true wonder of nature.
Next to Kabul, Kandahar and Herat are the biggest cities in Afghanistan. Both cities are steeped in history and culture.
Kandahar was founded by Alexander the Great and was originally named after him. It is a major trading centre of natural resources like wool, cotton, and silk. The region also produces fine fruits, especially pomegranates and grapes.
Meanwhile, Herat is located in the fertile valley of the Hari River and is home to a number of historic sites from mosques to museums to minarets. The Jama Masjid of Herat is more than 800 years old, with some of its original decoration still remaining in the centre section.
HE Rahmani strongly believes that Afghanistan is the perfect destination for the more adventurous traveller and will continue to surprise even the most seasoned globetrotter.
HE Rahmani assures us that among the countless number of people that she has gotten to know over the years, only one single individual has been undecided about returning to Afghanistan. Everyone else has returned to Afghanistan multiple times upon falling in love with it during their first trip.
So, what are you waiting for?
(Text by: Kevin Sjahrial)