Letter from Dr. Sarmast

“Given the damage done to Afghanistan’s music culture across years of civil war, efforts to rebuild and revitalize Afghan music into a strong cultural voice once more need to focus on those who will be our musicians of the future: the children of Afghanistan.
The establishment of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), is a historic event that will offer the chance for all talented Afghan youth regardless of gender, ethnicity or social circumstances to have the opportunity to study in a world-class music institute to become professional musicians and music educators.
ANIM is a dedicated music education entity where disadvantaged children of Afghanistan, orphans, street vendors, and young girls can get their general education as well as a specialist training in Afghan Traditional and Western Classical Music. This initiative, adopted by the Ministry of Education of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the pilot program of Revival of Afghan Music Project (ROAM), initiated by the author of this message with the support of the Monash Asia Institute, Monash University Australia.
Given the healing power of music as well as the role music can play in social development, ANIM has a strong commitment to support the most disadvantaged group in Afghan society – the orphans, street working kids, and young girls.  ANIM gives them a vocation and helps them become professional and self-sustaining musicians. In this manner, ANIM is fully committed to significantly build and improve their social and economic status. These children also benefit from the healing power of music to ease their trauma and grief while recognizing that music is a unifying force among our ethnically diverse people and can contribute to achieving peace in our country.
As part of the ongoing process of reconstruction that is occurring throughout Afghanistan, the establishment of ANIM is also a serious and fundamental first step in rebuilding and revitalizing Afghan musical traditions, culture, and musical diversity. We are proud to say that our institute will be the model for all music schools and colleges to be established throughout Afghanistan in the future.
To the lasting benefit of the children of Afghanistan, many people and organizations agreed to support the Vision of ANIM.  His Excellency the Minister of Education of Afghanistan also agreed to include this initiative into their developing programs.  The World Bank, German Foreign Office, Goethe Institut, British Council, Embassy of Finland, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Embassy of Denmark, Embassy of the Netherlands, Embassy of the United States of America; along with the Society of Music Merchants and National Association of Music Manufacturers have contributed major funding along with many, many others.  Given these opportunities, I would like to express my profound gratitude to everyone who has extended their hands to support and assure that the musical rights of the children of Afghanistan are restored.
I would like to recognize the dedication and total support of the ANIM faculty and staff.  Finally, I would like to thank my family for their unending support.  Their love continues to give me strength and inspiration for my work.
Thanks to all of this support, the Afghanistan National Institute of Music shines a light in the world.  With your support we can continue to achieve our dream to have the finest music institute and world class musicians in Afghanistan.”

Sincerely,

Dr. Ahmad N. Sarmast
Founder and Director
Ministry of Education, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan