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Mujda Amini is raising money to build libraries in Afghanistan

Mujda Amini believes education is a way to achieve peace in the world. Photo courtesy of Mujda Amini

Mujda Amini (BA economics and political science ’01) believes education is a way to achieve peace in the world. And she believes it enough to act—by raising funds to build libraries in Afghanistan.

Her first library went up this summer in the small, rural town of Chooqdakh, Afghanistan, where nearly 200 children got their first taste of all that a library has to offer. She hopes it’s the first of many libraries she’ll build in rural Afghanistan to promote education and peace in the region.

“At this point, I don’t have a set number in mind, but if this project is successful, I’d like to build libraries in some of the remote locations throughout Afghanistan where … educational resources are very limited,” Amini says.

Amini was born in Afghanistan; she and her family came to the U.S. 19 years ago as refugees. She says she still has a strong emotional connection to the region.

“Growing up as a Muslim girl, my childhood could have been quite different had my parents not been as progressive as they were,” Amini says. “I was encouraged to get an education and pursue a professional career. Unfortunately, I’m not in the majority; many of the children born in Afghanistan are not encouraged or even allowed to attend schools.”

Last spring Amini earned her master’s degree in international monetary theory and financial policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and began work at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She also tutors middle school students from poor families in language, math and science.

“She’s one of the best students I ever had,” says Spencer Wellhofer, a professor in DU’s political science department. “She’s just a fantastic person, and I’m not surprised she’s helping Afghanistan in this way.”

Amini plans to return to Afghanistan next summer to build another library. Those interested in contributing to Amini’s efforts may e-mail her at

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