Athenaeum: Nangy Ghafarshad, Afghanistan: My Personal View

This Monday, February 7th, the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum welcomes Nangy Ghafarshad, returning home to Claremont after 13 months in Afghanistan, where he served as senior cultural advisor to the Department of Defense.

Nangy Ghafarshad initially came to the United States in 1960, an officer in the Royal Afghan Air Force reporting for pilot training with the USAF. Upon returning to Afghanistan, Ghafarshad was a rated fighter pilot and responsible for flying Soviet-manufactured aircraft. In 1965, he was sent to the Soviet Union for training in MIG-21 advanced fighter aircraft. Three years later, leadership training brought him back to the U.S., at which point Ghafarshad resigned his commission and opted to remain in California.

Ghafarshad is the owner of Walter’s Restaurant, a favorite of Claremont residents and visitors alike. With the help of wife Fahima in overseeing the restaurant, he flew as a corporate pilot for the law offices of Herbert Hafif, flying Hafif around the state during his campaign for governor. During President Carter’s campaign, it was Ghafarshad who flew Rosalynn Carter.

The Ghafarshads are important members of the Claremont community, supporting numerous charitable organizations, including international orphan care, an Afghan children’s fund, Project Sister, and House of Ruth. Walter’s Restaurant also caters the Concerts Under the Stars event, organized by the Hafif Family Foundation, which raises funds for more than fifty non-profit organizations, providing food at cost, and taking no profit.

Come Monday, Ghafarshad will speak on the situation in Afghanistan from a personal perspective and present a number of photos he has taken in the past year.

For more information, visit the Athenaeum web site.