This year PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) graduates had the opportunity to share their stories. Massooma Ibrahimi (2nd from left) shined telling her story of transformation from solo dreamer to intrepid filmmaker.
From L to R: Zahra Jafari, Ibrahimi, Muzhgan Wafiq Alokozai (Class of 2008), Dr. Terry Neese (Founder & CEO, IEEW), Freshta Sarwaree, Kobra Dastgirzada (Class of 2010), and Parwarish Oryakhail.
Photo by: Amanda Harris

August 29, 2017

Author Kate Klise listens to PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) grad Laetitia Umurerwa wow the crowd with her own story of triumph set in a chicken farm.
The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women truly operates as an entrepreneurial venture. And like a good entrepreneur, I like to mix it up each year, bringing in new experts and new sessions to further advance women globally. It’s these moments that take business training into the realm of life-changing. It’s what we strive for each year.
This year, the Class of 2017 enjoyed a first of its kind presentation from author Kate Klise. The goal: to get a room full of women unaccustomed in their own cultures to speaking about themselves to write their own business story. I had my reservations: prying painful memories out of women who have survived genocide and war may bring up unwanted emotions. But Kate believes that stories empower their teller, and by the end of the day all class members, coaches and myself were on board with her vision.
Kate presented thoughtfully and thoroughly on the archetypal pathways that all classic tales tell: a heroine must experience an “oh no!” before she experiences an “aha!” on her life’s journey. In other words, each of us has to overcome something challenging before we can truly succeed. To watch each of the 24 graduates of the Class of 2017 bravely take her story to the front of the room and share her hardest moments along with her biggest triumphs was inspiring and meaningful to every one in that room. Many stuck out, but I especially recall the words of Masooma Ibrahimi (photographed above) weaving the tale of a lonely girl who comforts herself with her notebook and then goes on to empower women through film making.
Read Kate’s article about her experience with PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) and learn about the other student stories shared that day in July at AT&T University in Dallas. Each student took home a booklet containing their newly-written story, a diagram of story structure to use moving forward, and a newly-empowered sense of self and direction for her business. Inspiring words from inspiring women, Kate included!

In case you missed it: a very special video message for the Class of 2017 from

Afghan Ambassador, Hamdullah Mohib, on the day of their graduation.


Applications for the Class of 2018 open on September 5. Help us spread the word! Ask us how.
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We need your help to empower more women in our 12th year of service. Can you help by donating (tax deductible) today? Your dollars will go to textbooks and new classes being taught in the Afghan provinces.
Get involved in the Class of 2018 today!
I look forward to seeing your name on our list of donors.
Best wishes,
Dr. Terry Neese