The Friends of South Asian American Communities and the Afghan California Business Council awarded Ehsan Bayat the 2010 Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award for contributions to society on September 20, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Representatives of Congressman Brad Sherman, Congresswoman Judy Chu and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa were also in attendance. Bayat humbly accepted the prestigious Gandhi award and thanked everyone who was a part of it. He also received a County of Los Angeles Commendation and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition at the event.
In accepting the award, Bayat said, “I only hope to live up to the ideals this stands for as we continue our work for the people of Afghanistan.”
The Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award represents resistance to tyranny and a philosophy based on total non-violence leading to civil rights and freedom. It represents the highest values of a progressive society. Bayat’s advancement of these values, through educational, civil works and health projects throughout Afghanistan, further the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. The award recognizes the positive effects of Bayat’s lifelong efforts to help those in need.
In his acceptance speech, Bayat quoted Mahatma Gandhi, “We do not need to [teach] either by our speech or by our writing. We can only do so really with our lives. Let our lives be open books for all to study.” During these times, as the world is focused on Afghanistan, it is refreshing to see the positive example being set by a man and organization focused on this approach. The Bayat Foundation’s maternity hospitals, orphanages, schools, sports facilities and houses of worship are peacefully helping to rebuild a nation. This award was presented to inspire others, as well.
About the Bayat Foundation
Since 2005, the Bayat Foundation, led by Ehsan and Fatema Bayat, has contributed to over 200 projects to improve the quality of life for the youth, women, poor, and elderly of Afghanistan by constructing new facilities and infrastructure; and to promote health, education, economic and cultural programs. The independent Kabul-based NGO Bayat Foundation, www.bayatfoundation.org.af promotes the well-being of the Afghan people. In 2002, Ehsan Bayat also launched Afghan Wireless Communication Company, www.afghan-wireless.com, the first GSM wireless service and Internet Service Provider in Afghanistan; followed by the 2005 launch of Ariana Radio and Television Network (ATN), www.arianatelevision.com, which includes Ariana Radio (FM 93.5). For more information, please email email@example.com.