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In his speech on Tuesday, December 1st, President Obama delivered a speech to the nation on Afghanistan and Pakistan and in his address, he delivered a special message directly to the people of Afghanistan. The U.S. Department of State working with the White House then dubbed this special message into Arabic, Dari, Pashtu, Punjabi and Urdu for distribution on mobile devices.
Secretary Clinton following the President’s speech also created a special message to reach the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. To distribute her message on mobile devices, this was also dubbed into Arabic, Dari, Pashtu, Punjabi and Urdu.
With Internet penetration relatively low in the region (around 2% for Afghanistan and 11% for Pakistan), the U.S. Department of State sought new ways to use technology to share these messages. 52 percent of the 177 million people in Pakistan and 30 percent of the 28.4 million in Afghanistan have mobile devices, according to the White House.
The mobile videos of President Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton’s messages can be viewed at ourSMSvoice.com
Mobile Accord powers the technology hosting President Obama and Secretary Clinton’s mobile message. In addition, Mobile Accord powers Humari Awaz (“Our Voice”), Pakistan’s first mobile social network.
Humari Awaz enables Pakistanis to build mobile-based networks around shared interests and themes. Users can register for keywords to send alerts and subscribe to text message alerts all through the mobile device. The U.S. State Department is supporting the program and is covering the costs of the first 24 million Humari Awaz messages.
President Obama had this message to deliver to the people of Afghanistan:
The people of Afghanistan have endured violence for decades. They’ve been confronted with occupation — by the Soviet Union, and then by foreign al Qaeda fighters who used Afghan land for their own purposes. So tonight, I want the Afghan people to understand — America seeks an end to this era of war and suffering. We have no interest in occupying your country. We will support efforts by the Afghan government to open the door to those Taliban who abandon violence and respect the human rights of their fellow citizens. And we will seek a partnership with Afghanistan grounded in mutual respect — to isolate those who destroy; to strengthen those who build; to hasten the day when our troops will leave; and to forge a lasting friendship in which America is your partner, and never your patron.