Born in 1977, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Hamed Wardak was raised in Pakistan and later moved in his youth to the US. He is the son of General Abdul Rahim Wardak, the former Afghan Defense Minister. Through his education, upbringing, and life-lessons, we need to learn about Hamed. This is about how he philosophically followed in his father’s footsteps and how he worked to free his country. Equally important, this is an account of Hamed’s life and vision.
Shaped By His Father’s Position
Hamed Wardak’s father served as Afghanistan’s Minister of Defense from December 2004 to August 2012. During that period, General Abdul rahim Wardak worked with the leadership in both Afghanistan and the US. Their mission was to oppose the destructive forces of the Taliban and their forceful attacks on their homeland. Hamed Wardak’s father made strides everyday to bring his country and its people true peace. General Wardak was called upon to speak to the US Congress. Leaders from around the world would frequently seek his advice on the best ways to help and stabilize the larger Afghanistan-Pakistan area. His father’s work instilled in Hamad a vision of a broader peace and a universal stability.
Hamed Attends Georgetown University And Begins Career
In print, Hamed Wardak has been referred to as a brilliant young man. Hamed lived up to that high praise graduating from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in Government and Political Theory. Not only did Hamed graduate alongside his 2007 classmates with honors, but Hamed earned the highest award of all and was honored to serve as the valedictorian of his Georgetown University class.
Then, if 2007 had not showered enough praise on the hardworking young refugee turned American scholar, Hamed Wardak was awarded the coveted distinction of being named an International Rhodes Scholar. When he received this honor, it was cited it was due to his brilliant efforts of returning to his birthplace of Afghanistan to appropriate medical equipment as well as provisions to help his people during the civil war.
After a quick goodwill mission trip home to Afghanistan after his graduation, Hamed returned to the states to take his first corporate gig with Merrill Lynch working bicoastally between Palo Alto, CA, and New York City, NY. His position dealt with involved complex mergers and acquisitions with values ranging from $200 million to $1 billion. He also served as the Private Envoy to the US for Afghan Finance Minister Ashraf Ghanis. A few years later, Hamed Wardak became the Managing Director for International Operations for Technologists, Inc. Under his leadership, the firm developed $44 million in design and build contracts for Afghanistan.
A Vision Of a Better World
Aside from his business dealings, Mr. Wardak was offered a position as a Board Member of the Campaign for a US-Afghanistan Partnership (CUSAP). Their goal was to engage citizens from both countries to create a long-term partnership to bring stability, prosperity, and peace to Afghanistan and its citizens. The focus of the partnership was on the youth culture and getting the younger generations motivated and engaged. This made Hamed the perfect fit for the job seeing that he was a peer to those younger citizens being targeted for the partnership.
Hamed Wardak continued to work to create a new political, business, and cultural mindset in his birth country as opposed to the unstable leadership that presently led the people. In an interview with “Eurasianet,” he explained how the Afghan people truly desired a move toward a more democratic landscape they referred to as Fedayseen-e-Sol, which translates to “Sacrificers for Peace.” Hamed Wardak travelled at length through the country of his birth with CUSAP. During this time, he was inundated with the wisdom of his father and his older political comrades . As a result, he clearly sees the potential and the way to democracy in Afghanistan.
Philanthropy That You Can Wear
Incorporating many teachings from his time moving up the corporate ladder, Hamed Wardak saw an imaginative enterprise before him. Taking a cutting about-face from the organizational discourse or the corporate world in America, Hamed Wardak welcomed the entrepreneurial predisposition that propelled him to create his clothing line, Ludas Athletics. The line was primarily athletic apparel.
Hamed Wardak filled his days, making the creative decisions left to a CEO. Still, when the businessperson finished at the office for the day, Hamed Wardak stepped into his second career and became a writer and political journalist/activist. After the sun went down and the clothing lines of the world calmed for the day, Wardak picked up his pen and served as a contributing columnist for The Huffington Post, writing mainly on the war in Afghanistan and how we were going to change the current circumstances of his homeland.
Moreover, Ludas Athletics was not a typical apparel brand. Hamed Wardak would not allow that. He very thoughtfully built and used his new clothing business and brand as a pulpit to bring worldly recognition to the charitable work that Wardak did and principles he fought for from early on.
Hamed Wardak became an apparatus of innovation for the emigrant population of the world, giving not only his time and ideas to their predicament but by holding Ludas Athletics gains for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
Hamed Wardak Sees A Beautiful Future
Hamed’s goal is to bridge the gap of generations to create a more beautiful future. Not only is this his goal, equally important, it is his hope. He realizes the need and urgency to spread the message of peace to the generations worldwide. As a result, he has created a new professional persona. He is known as “Valen of Wicked.” Valen now takes to the stage to provide a unique style of atmospherically-specific techno music. Regionalisms and the diverse cultural qualities of the places that surround his as he creates flavor his music. They represent different and distinct moments of time – the time he spent in his homeland, as a child, to the sounds of the city that he now listens to every day as a young man living and working as an artist in New York City.. His innovative musical creations have won him recognition from many of the electronic music houses in New York that now expand throughout the world.
You can follow Hamed Wardak now Valen of Wicked on his Instagram as well as his blog, Hamed Wardak Speaks.