Supporting Culture and Better Futures in Afghanistan

In this Feb. 6, 2013, photo, Afghan actor Fawad Mohammadi 14, rides a horse on Nader Khan's hill at the one of the areas where a part of the Afghani Oscar Nominee film titled Buzkashi Boys, shot in Kabul, Afghanistan. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Tara Sonenshine serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

This past month I had the opportunity to meet two incredible groups of young artists from Afghanistan — and to see firsthand evidence of how our public diplomacy efforts for young people in that country are bearing fruit. It was also a chance to underscore our commitment to support the strengthening and preservation of national cultures around the world.

The first artists were students of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), who began a State Department-funded tour in the United States with a concert of traditional Afghan music. I had the pleasure of introducing them, and we were joined by Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who shared his own love for music with the audience. Over the course of their… more »

Afghan Music Students Begin U.S. Tour

Musicians with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music perform during the organization's winter gala in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 1, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: James B. Cunningham serves as Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Winter Academy Gala Concert of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM). Students ranging in age from 10 to 20 played Chopin and Ravel, as well as Afghan traditional songs and collaborative fusion pieces. 

In a historic tour that began February 3, 2013, ANIM students are traveling in the United States to perform at venues ranging from the world-famous Carnegie Hall andKennedy Center to the headquarters of the World Bank and Fordham High School for the Arts. Even more… more »