Letter from the Director

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Given the tragic damage done to Afghanistan’s musical culture across many decades of war, it is my strong belief that the efforts to rebuild and revitalize Afghan music into a strong cultural voice needs to focus on those who will be our future musicians: the children and youth of Afghanistan. The Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM,) which I founded in 2010 under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, is doing exactly that. Through investing in young musicians, we are not only sowing the seeds for long-term and sustainable growth in the music and culture sectors of Afghanistan but also repairing and honoring the musical heritage that is dear to the heart of every Afghan.

Since its inauguration, ANIM has risen to become known both locally and internationally as the most important, effective, and successful music education institution leading intercultural dialogue in Afghanistan and the region. Through its growth and progress, ANIM has proven that the role of music education is vital in rebuilding a war-torn country and contributing to the establishment of a just and civil society. ANIM is committed to ensuring the musical rights of Afghan children, promoting musical diversity in Afghanistan, transcending cultural ethnic, religious, and gender barriers, and transforming the lives of Afghan children through its many programs.

Additionally, given the healing power of music along with the role music can play in social development, ANIM has a strong commitment to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children in Afghan society – the orphans, street-working vendors, and young girls. These children benefit not only from the proven therapeutic capabilities of music in easing trauma and grief, but also in developing a vocation that will sustain them professionally and economically while contributing to the rebuilding of musical and cultural traditions.. In this manner, ANIM is fully committed to significantly building and improving their social and economic status.

Thanks to the vision and commitment of ANIM, many organizations agreed to support our programs for the lasting benefit of the children of Afghanistan, Given this opportunity, I would like to thank the Afghanistan Ministry of Education, the World Bank, German Foreign Office, Goethe Institut, British Council, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Society of Music Merchants, National Association of Music Manufacturers, and the Embassies of the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Australia for their generosity in supporting ANIM. Finally, I would like to thank my family for their unending support. Their love continues to give me strength and inspiration for my work.

As many people say when they visit ANIM: “this is truly the happiest place in Afghanistan.” The Afghanistan National Institute of Music is a beacon of hope that demonstrates the power of music in bringing people together and contributing to achieving long-lasting peace in our nation.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast

Founder and Director

Afghanistan National Institute of Music