Afghanistan Na­tional In­sti­tute of Mu­sic (ANIM)

Southasia - - 37 -

The Afghanistan Na­tional In­sti­tute of Mu­sic (ANIM) has been run­ning since June 2010. Most of its stu­dents are street kids who lost their fam­i­lies dur­ing the on­go­ing con­flict. One of them is 15-year-old Ne­gin Kh­pal­wak who lost her par­ents sev­eral years ago. She is now one of a hand­ful of stu­dents learn­ing to play the sarod -- a tra­di­tional In­dian clas­si­cal mu­sic in­stru­ment.

Mu­sic is now her fu­ture. “I want to teach other stu­dents, es­pe­cially young girls. I know my coun­try has a lot of prob­lems but I hope for peace so girls in Afghanistan can do what they dream of do­ing.” One of her school­mates, Wahidul­lah Amiri, a 16-yearold boy, was a street ven­dor. He is now learn­ing to play the pi­ano at ANIM. “My fam­ily is very poor. Now I go to school and study mu­sic. Some­thing I never thought I would do,” he says. There are many such in­spir­ing sto­ries at ANIM.

Dr. Ah­mad N. Sar­mast, founder of ANIM, has changed the lives of hun­dreds of chil­dren like Wahidul­lah. The son of a fa­mous Afghan com­poser, Sar­mast, was born and raised in Kabul. He later moved to Aus­tralia where he earned a doc­tor­ate de­gree in mu­sic. With a com­mit­ment to re­vive mu­sic in his home­land, Sar­mast, de­cided to open a mu­sic school in the cap­i­tal. It took years of plan­ning, lob­by­ing and gath­er­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port but fi­nally on June 20, 2010 he set up ANIM. Af­ter a $2 mil­lion do­na­tion from the World Bank, Sar­mast was over­whelmed by in­ter­na­tional in­ter­est and fund­ing from for­eign min­istries, em­bassies and mu­sic schools from Ger­many, Fin­land, Den­mark, the United States, Bri­tain and In­dia. As part of the pro­gram, he has hired nine in­ter­na­tional mu­sic teach­ers from the U.S., Europe, Mex­ico and In­dia to teach stu­dents and train lo­cal Afghan teach­ers. To­day there are more than 200 stu­dents learn­ing mu­sic with pas­sion at ANIM.

Source: http://www.afghanistan­na­tion­alin­sti­tu­te­of­mu­sic.org/

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