Hamed Wardak is at the forefront of a new generation for American refugees. This generation commits to instigating positive changes for the future.
WHO CAME BEFORE
Hamed Wardak was born in 1977 in Kabul, Afghanistan, and raised first in nearby Pakistan and then traveled to the United States of America later in his youth. Hamed is the son of former Afghan Defense Minister, General Abdul Rahim Wardak. General Wardak was appointed Defense Minister of Afghanistan on December 23, 2004, by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Back in the days of the Soviet aggression and the occupation of Afghanistan by the U.S.S.R. in the 1980s, Abdul Rahim Wardak was a national resistance leader who fought against the Soviets.
But this piece of content is not meant to shed light on the brave acts of a resistance leader in his time or even to profile General Abdul Rahim Wardak slightly. This story is about a son that followed in the philosophical footsteps of his father and, an entire decade later, worked to free his country from a completely new, yet equally treacherous faux. This piece of content is about Hamed Wardak, and, more importantly, a timelining of his life, his vision, and his living example of a needed movement to a better, more peaceful world.
THE MAKING OF HAMED WARDAK
Before we get into the “making” of Hamed Wardak, however, it is essential to discuss the vision he received from his father. General Wardak served as the Defense Minister of Afghanistan from December 23, 2004, until the 7th day of August in the year 2012. During that time, Hamed’s father worked with leadership in Afghanistan as well as in the United States of America to oppose the destructive force of the Taliban upon his home country and his attempt to bring peace and stability to the war-torn land he loved. General Wardak is an ethnic Pashtun from the Wardak province who speaks not only Pashto but also Dan (Persian) and English. This background has allowed Hamed’s father to serve his country with a compelling diplomatic voice; urging ethnic reconciliation in Afghanistan. General Wardak has been called upon to speak before the United States Congress. They often seek his advice on how to best stabilize the broader Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
One can see where his son, Hamed Wardak, gets his vision for broader peace and stability not only in this region but also extending to the world at large. His contemporaries, as well as government figures in his “homeland” of Afghanistan and his “new home” of the United States of America, have referred to him as ‘a brilliant young man.’ This statement is undoubtedly true.
HAMED WARDAK, REFUGEE
Hamed attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he graduated in 1997 as the valedictorian of his class, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Political Theory. He also received the coveted accolade of being named a Rhodes Scholar in the very same year.
THE BUSINESS OF PHILANTHROPY
Shortly after his academic career, Hamed Wardak worked with The Merrill Lynch Company in Palo Alto, California, and New York City. His work involved complex mergers and acquisitions with values ranging from $200 million to $1 billion. Among the deals consummated by Mr. Wardak were Avaya’s acquisition of VPNET as well as Veeco Instrument’s acquisition of Applied Epi.
Harmed Wardak served as the Private Envoy to the United States for Afghan Finance Minister, Ashraf Ghanis, from 2002 to 2003. Directly after his time with the finance minister, Mr. Wardak took on the very purposeful and rewarding role as Managing Director for International Operations at Technologists, Inc. from 2004 to 2005. Under his leadership, this firm developed $44 million in design and build contracts in Afghanistan, working in conjunction with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
HAMED WARDAK, THE HOPEFUL HEALER
As one might imagine, the aspirations of this brilliant young man extend beyond pure business dealings. Hamed Wardak was one of the Board members of the Campaign for a U.S.-Afghanistan Partnership (CUSAP). The charter of the organization was to engage the citizens of both countries to form a long-term partnership that can bring stability, prosperity, and peace to Afghanistan for the upcoming generation and into the foreseeable future.
Hamed Wardak continued to shape a new political, business, and cultural mindset in Afghanistan and to offer an ideological alternative to the unstable leadership parties that had permeated the country’s authoritative positions for over three decades. The movement he headed up aimed to be pro-western, reformist, pan-ethnic, and democratic. As he told the online publication “eurasianet,” Wardak believes a great many Afghans want to move toward a more democratic form of self-government (see: “New Movement in Afghanistan Strives to Offer Ideological Alternative to the Taliban,” by Joshua Kucers, February 8, 2007, https://eurasianet.org/new-movement-in-afghanistan-strives-to-offer-ideological-alternative-to-the-taliban ). The name for the movement was “Fedayeen-e-Sol,” or “Sacrificers for Peace.” Wardak indicates that his conception for this ‘new way of thinking’ actually came from traveling throughout Afghanistan, speaking with, and building relationships with local elders. As Wardak is quoted in this publication: “The more I deal with elders, I realize the potential for democracy in this country is so great. The type of ideals that we have, they also share, they express it in different ways.”
HAMED WARDAK FINDS HIS BEAT
Bridging the gap between generations to establish a more beautiful future. This bridge, one might say, was Hamed Wardak’s hope and vision. To further spread this message of peace to a new generation, worldwide, Hamed has ‘taken on’ a new professional persona. He goes by “Valen of Wicked” as he takes to the stage to bring his unique style of techno music flavored by regionalisms and diverse cultural sounds that spread through time from his homeland as a boy to the musical sounds that he hears every day when he takes to the streets in the place that he has adopted as home, New York City. His innovative sounds have won him acclaim from the electronic music houses in New York City to the far reached of the world.