Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM)
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.