The Path to ANIM
In 2006, Dr. Ahmad N. Sarmast, then a Research Fellow at the Monash Asia Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, initiated the Revival of Afghan Music (ROAM) project. ROAM made nine recommendations, including the establishment of a dedicated vocational music education entity as a pilot project where Afghan children could receive a general education as well as specialist training in Afghan and Western Classical music.
In 2007, a second trip was made to discuss the implementation of the ROAM pilot project with the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan which would dedicate this music education entity for the most disadvantaged children.
In April 2008 after two yeas of planning and negotiations, Dr. Sarmast went to Afghanistan to lead and implement this project. Along with the full support of the Ministry of Education and the Deputy Ministry for Technical Vocation and Educational Training, the Vision of ANIM was well received by the donor community. The first positive and generous response was from The World Bank and German Foreign Office. After this, the process of fundraising began in earnest.
As fundraising continued, Dr. Sarmast began rebuilding music education and establishing Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) by converting the music department of the School of Fine Arts into an independent entity with all the prerequisites of music education including soundproofed rehearsing rooms, a high quality collection of instruments, well equipped library and multimedia rooms. a standard music curriculum, recording studio, and finally the employment of a qualified local and international music faculty.
After four years of hard work, ANIM was inaugurated on June 20, 2010 before an audience who then toured the facilities. Since then, ANIM and its students are progressing at a rapid rate and making a tremendous influence on the social and cultural life of Afghan society.
However, this does not stop here as ANIM is continuing to develop and implement its Vision, grow its resources, and expand its influence to all citizens of Afghanistan. The success of this initial plan will be replicated in three major provinces in the future: the cities of Herat, Mazar-e Sharif, and Jalalabad.