2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Andi Parhamovich Fellowship. The fellowship was founded in memory of NDI staff-member Andi Parhamovich, 28, who was killed on January 17, 2007, when her convoy was attacked while returning from a political party training session in Baghdad. Over the past ten years, the fellowship has had a lasting impact for women’s political empowerment around the world. Over a series of posts, we will examine this impact and remember Andi Parhamovich’s legacy.

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A message from Andi's father, Andre Parhamovich

Dear Andi:

It has been 10 years since we lost you to the war in Iraq. The reality of your loss is this: the intensity of our grief lessens over time, but we all carry a body of sadness and loneliness in our hearts and souls everyday. There are still some days I just live to live. If tears were liquid gold, I would be a billionaire. I believe that love is an eternal flame and that no light born in love can ever be extinguished. The warmth of your love will live on forever in our hearts. May that warmth of your love give us hope to carry on. For hope is the match that lights the candle of courage. I try to live my life as kind as possible so that your legacy of kindness lives on in me. We all miss you so dearly.

Love, dad.

The Andi Parhamovich Fellowship: A worldwide legacy of women's political empowerment

January 17th, 2017, marks the 10th anniversary of the death of NDI Baghdad employee Andi Parhamovich and three security personnel during an ambush in Baghdad, Iraq. While there is no way to adequately respond to such a tragedy, the Parhamovich family hoped to find a way to continue one of Andi’s passions: increasing women’s participation in politics. The Andi Parhamovich Fellowship was created so that young women from all parts of the world would be able to take advantage of resources and connections in Washington D.C. that they could then take home to their countries and move forward Andi’s goals.

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Empowering Women in Nepal for a Better Tomorrow

Prior to my work with NDI, the term “democracy” in Nepal seemed to imply a group of leaders fighting for power, without regard to the norms and values of democracy. Democracy was not for the people, of the people and by the people, but for the leaders, of the leaders and by the leaders. This perception commonly held by political parties in my country made me think - did democracy really exist? Will future generations adopt and carry the same values that we practice in our daily lives or will they bring about changes?

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Continuing an Interrupted Legacy

Before 2003 Iraq was isolated from the world. The country possessed little knowledge of a democratic system, a functioning civil society, a multi-party political system or human rights, especially as they applied to women. As a lecturer at a large university in Iraq, I was speaking with young people every day who expressed their eagerness for freedom of speech. I kept hoping that we would have all of that one day, and I was looking to learn everything I could about democratic systems and human rights.

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