Dear friends and colleagues,
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of Paula Kantor, a previous director of AREU from 2008 to 2010, during the attack at the Park Palace Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday night.
While at AREU Paula primarily worked on research projects focused around livelihoods and gender relations, both of which were causes close to her heart. Her work focused on social issues and was driven by her desire to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
Paula was in Kabul to begin work on an ambitious new project to empower and improve the livelihoods of women, men and youth in wheat-based systems of Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Pakistan that she was leading for the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (commonly called by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT).
Paula gave her life here – like many other selfless heroes – to make sure millions of people, especially women, get a chance at a better life. She was aware of the risk she was taking to serve in conflict and terrorist-affected places. While we grieve her loss, we shall never forget the cause she gave her life to.
Out of appreciation of Paula’s life and friendship, and with a deep respect for her work, the Gender Studies Center that AREU is planning to establish from its Gender Unit will be named in her honor. In this way Paula’s commitment to her work and to the Afghan people will never be forgotten.
Our sympathies and best wishes go to her family during this difficult time.
Nader Nadery, Director of AREU