Did you know that in February of 2013, Ensembles of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music
performed to sold out audiences at the Kennedy Center in DC and Carnegie Hall in New York City. As part of a tour to the United States, this collection of young music students, some plucked from the streets, many girls, all being trained by classically trained or traditionally skilled musicians, inspired audiences by their presence, musicianship, and representation of a new and young hope born of music.
This hope comes in part by the efforts and vision of Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast, first musician from Afghanistan to receive a doctorate in music. He believes that because of the powerful healing nature of music and Afghanistan’s cultural history, music is a key thread to the revival and future flourishing of Afghanistan.
Ensuring that musical traditions not only survive but thrive, Dr. Sarmast has begun the first of several steps to rebuild music in Afghanistan. As part of the ongoing Revival of Afghan Music (ROAM) Project, Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast has opened a music institute that welcomes all students, especially orphans, children from the streets, and of course girls.
With 141 students, half of whom are orphans and 41 girls, the institute is making headway. And this is one step to shoring up the trauma of some of the most disadvantaged people in Afghanistan while restoring and securing the unique musical traditions that have been a vital part of Afghanistan’s cultural identity.
For more information and inspiration about this institute,
- The research project and recommendations
- Letter from Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast
- About the Institute
- The tour to USA
- Clip from Carnegie hall and comments from Christiane Amanpour