Gemstone hunter
Gemstone hunter
Gary Bowersox, The Gem Hunter
Gary Bowersox, The Gem Hunter

8th Symposium on the Gems and Minerals of Afghanistan - Speakers

Khudai Nazar Akbari Khudai Nazar Akbari
Project Manager,
Afghan Expeditions - GeoVision, Inc.
Kabul, Afghanistan

Khudai Akbari was born in Charikar, Afghanistan. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, Mr. Akbari worked for the Norwegian Afghan Committee in Peshawar and Afghanistan as translator. For the last seven years Mr. Akbari has lead expeditions to the lost spinel mines in Badakhshan, the Lapis mines at Sar-e-Sang, the emerald mines of Panjsher, and to the ruby mines of Jegdalek. He has arranged and been involved in planning and coordinating all of GeoVision, Inc's projects in Afghanistan. He has arranged and spoken at numerous meetings with commanders, the Ministry of Mines and Industry and the president of Afghanistan.

Gary Bowersox Gary Bowersox
GeoVision, Inc.
Shawnee Mission, Kansas
Symposium Chairman

Mr. Bowersox received his BBA degree from Western Michigan University where he continued his post-graduate studies in the field of finance and investments. After graduation he joined the United States Army and obtained the rank of Major during the Viet Nam war. After his honorable discharge from the US Army, he worked in the gem industry in Brazil, Burma, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Thailand. In 1973 he began working and surveying the gem mines of Afghanistan. During 1976 he was awarded the exclusive rights for the export of lapis to the United States. After the Russian invasion, Mr. Bowersox worked with the Mujahideen in developing the gem mines in Afghanistan. This entailed many potentially dangerous trips into Afghanistan during the war. In 1997, he was appointed as consultant to the Minister of Mines and Industry-Government of Afghanistan. He has conducted hundreds of lectures and seven symposiums on the gem and mineral industry of Afghanistan. His articles (Gemstones of Afghanistan, Emeralds of Panjsher Valley, Afghanistan, and Ruby and Sapphire of Jegdalek, Afghanistan) and book Gemstones of Afghanistan have been regarded as the original and most complete study of Afghanistan's gems and minerals.

Gary Clifton Charles (Gary) Clifton
Independent Geologist
Coleville, CA

Gary Clifton has been associated with the minerals exploration industry for over 30 years. He obtained his B.A. and B.A. Honours degrees in geology and geochemistry, respectively, from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, after 3 years undergraduate work in the US. He later undertook graduate work in applied geochemistry at U.C. Berkeley and Oregon State University, and served one year as a Research Associate at ARCO Oil and Gas in Texas. Along the way, he worked as an underground miner in Idaho, Queensland, and Tasmania, and as a minerals geologist in the Northern Territory, Australia, Alaska, Sweden, and the western US. Over the last 10 years, Gary has worked in Nevada as an independent geologist and consultant to over a dozen mining companies. He has successfully located new gold properties through prospecting and geochemical sampling. In addition, he founded Clifton Geoscience and Clifton-Campbell Imaging Inc. as service companies to the mining industry. The first company specializes in GIS applications utilizing MapInfo desktop mapping software; the second company provides raw and processed satellite imagery to mining and oil industry clients.

Throughout his career, Gary focused on exploration procedures that can be applied to the discovery of poorly exposed or buried mineral deposits. In recent years, companies such as Gold Fields of South Africa have hired Gary to locate large but buried Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada.

Eng. Es'Haq Engineer Mohammed Es'Haq

Es'Haq was born in the Panjshir Valley of Afghanistan. He attended the school of engineering at Kabul University, where he became involved in politics and joined the Islamic movement, which vigorously opposed communist influence among the students. In 1975 he took part in the abortive uprising with Ahmad Shah Massood and others against then-President Daud. He spent six years in exile in Peshawar, Pakistan before returning to the Panjshir Valley to take part in a Jihad (holy war) against the Red Army.

In 1982 he began publishing a weekly newsletter in Panjshir and founded the first radio station of the Mujahideen. Later he was posted as a political officer of Jamiat-e-Islami (Islamic Society) to Peshawar to represent commander Massood.

Since 1985 he publish a biweekly news bulletin called AFGHANnews which lasted until Kabul fell to the Taliban in 1996.

From 1992 to 1994 he was the Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation.

After the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, he returned to Panjshir and began publishing a weekly paper called Payam-e-Mujahid. This publication is the only one from inside Afghanistan which is also posted on the Internet. Throughout the over twenty years of war in Afghanistan, he has traveled to many countries to speak about the Afghan freedom struggle, including testifying before the United States Congress, and has published many articles about the Afghan Resistance.

Paula Gaillard Paula Gaillard
Tucson Symposium Coordinator

Reared in Hawaii, worked as a Sales Manager for two separate fortune 50 companies (Deluxe Corporation and American Express) and was responsible for managing territories in Hawaii, Alaska, and Guam. Relocated to Tucson in 2001 to assist with husband's new company.

Darrold Holcomb Darrold Holcomb
Special Applications Consultant,
Atlanta, GA

Mr. Holcomb has two degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a B.S. in Chemistry and M.S. in Geophysical Sciences. Mr. Holcomb has pursued a twenty-five year scientific career evolving from academic research at Georgia Tech to innovative commercial and experimental application of remote sensing technology on a global level. Through his affiliation with ERDAS, Mr. Holcomb has been involved over the last decade in applications of satellite imagery in such diverse fields as oil and mineral exploration, ocean mapping, vegetation studies and hydrology. He has developed an internationally respected expertise in software design for computer processing of satellite imagery, specifically radar data, for archaeological applications. In 1970, Mr. Holcomb traveled through Central Asia and Afghanistan. He provided satellite imagery and worked with archaeological expeditions in Turkmenistan in 1995 and Mongolia in 1997.

Charles Johnson Charles Johnson, Ph.D.

Dr. Johnson holds a Ph.D. degree in mineral economics from Pennsylvania State University and a MS degree in geology from the University of California. He completed two years of undergraduate studies in mining engineering at the University of Nevada, and a BS in Geology at San Jose State University.

He has consulted for: the Harvard Institute for International Development, Asia Foundation, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, UN Global Environmental Facility, United Nations Development Program, Commonwealth Secretariat (UK), Ford Foundation, various global mining and oil companies, including: Conzinc Riotinto of Australia, BHP, CRA, PowerGen, Saudi Armco, and Phillips Petroleum.

Dr. Johnson has authored more than eighty articles and chapters in books on energy, minerals and environment issues, primarily in Asia.

Alice Keller Alice S. Keller
Editor, Gems & Gemology
Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
Carlsbad, California

Alice joined GIA 21 years ago from a publishing background to redesign and refocus GIA's quarterly journal, Gems & Gemology. Under her direction, G&G has become the world's premier source of research on new gem localities, treatments, synthetics, and identification techniques. Gems & Gemology has also won several awards from the American Society of Association Executives, including best peer-reviewed journal for 2001. A graduate of Cornell University (B.A.) and Georgetown University (M.A.), Alice has written several articles for G&G, edited two books, and lectured worldwide. She is the 1998 recipient of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the colored stone industry.

Mirwaees Khan Mirwaees Khan
Vice President,
Jegdalek Ruby Corporation
Peshawar, Pakistan

Mirwaees Khan was born in Jegdalek, Afghanistan. After completing medical training at University of Peshawar, Mr Khan joined his uncle in the ruby business. He worked in the ruby and sapphire mines at Jegdalek. For the last seven years he has assisted Mr. Bowersox in his research of the Jegdalek mining area. He is currently working with ruby miners to increase production of the mines. He has been buying and selling ruby for nine years.

Joao Montairo Joao Montairo
JB Gems
Belo Horizonte MG, Brazil

Joao Bosco Monteiro was born in Araxa-province of Minas Gerais, Brasil in 1941. In 1963 he gratitude from law school in Belo Horizante, Brazil and practiced law for seven years. During 1971 he started in the gems business with Halba Com. Ind. Predras Preciosas S/A.

Joao started purchasing rough Afghanistan gems material with Gary Bowersox in 1979. In 1982 he opened his own colored gem business JB Gems of Belo Horizonte MG, Brazil. He currently owns a gem cutting operation in Brazil.

Larry Snee Lawrence W. Snee, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist,
National Cooperative Geological Mapping Team,
US Geological Survey
Denver, Colorado

Dr. Snee received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1982 and then was a post-doctoral fellow with the U.S. Geological Survey where he conducted research on igneous petrology, geochemistry, and isotope geology. From 1983 to 1986 Dr. Snee was professor of geology at Oregon State University. While at Oregon State, he began working with other faculty members, graduate students, and Pakistani colleagues on the tectonic evolution of the Himalayas. This work has resulted in numerous field excursions to northern Pakistan. He has published many articles on geology, tectonics, and emerald occurrences in Pakistan and Afghanistan and has co-edited a book with Ali H. Kazmi, a past director general of the Geological Survey of Pakistan, titled Emeralds of Pakistan: Geology, Gemology and Genesis. He also lectured in 1989 at the Chitral, Pakistan symposium "Gems and Minerals of the Hindu Kush" and coauthored "Emeralds of the Panjshir Valley, Afghanistan."

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P.O. Box 89646
Honolulu, HI 96830

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