Annual Report of SAF Afghanistan 2008

SAF Afghanistan is trying to work effectively and coordinate with the Ministry of Higher Education, Kabul University and Ministry of Education to introduce qualified candidates for Madanjeet Singh Scholarships.

In 2008, upon the inauguration of Madanjeet Singh Cultural Heritage Preservation Institute in Kabul, 1st Women Painting Exhibition was held in the institute building. In this exhibition, Minister of Women Affair, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, representatives of SAF Afghanistan, Dean of Art Faculty of Kabul University and a number of high ranking personalities had participated. At the end, gifts were distributed to women painters.
In 2008, Dr.Sayed Makhdoon Raheen resigned from his post as Chairman of SAF Afghanistan Chapter and introduced Mr.Omara Khan Masoodi, Head of National Museum of Kabul, as new Chairman of SAF Afghanistan Chapter.
In 2008, a painting exhibition was held in Kashmir, in which Dr.Sayed Makhdoom Raheen (former SAF Afghanistan Chairman), Mr.Omara Khan Masoodi (Head of Kabul National Museum and SAF Afghanistan Chairman), Prof.Alim Faryad (Dean of Fine Arts Faculty of Kabul University), Dr.Hussun Banu Ghazanfar (Minister of Women Affairs) and Ms.Amina Afzali Advisor to President of Afghanistan and a number of Afghan Women Painters had also participated in the exhibition.
In 2008, Ms.Frozan Nabiyar former SAF Afghanistan Secretary resigned from her post and Dr. Obaidullah Raufi joined as a new SAF Afghanistan Secretary.
In 2007, one student was nominated for BNU scholarship. In 2008, his scholarship was announced to be extended for 3 more years for bachelor degree.
In July 2008, after discussion with Kabul University, the Journalism faculty of Kabul University introduced number of journalists who had English language ability. Finally a number of 11 male candidates were introduced but unfortunately we couldn't find any female candidate. After collecting their CVs and application letters, we took a written test from them to know the level of their English Language and journalistic ability. We introduced three best and top candidates to ACJ and after receiving their invitation letters, their visas were issued and they flew to Chennai to take their classes. 
Since SAF Afghanistan lacked computer and printing facilities, we purchase a lap-top computer and a printer for SAF Afghanistan office to do the tasks in a better way.
Madanjeet Singh Cultural Heritage Preservation Institute in Kabul was furnished and some necessary equipment for the implementation of the training course was purchased.

The training course was started on 13 September 2008, in which 5 Trainers from Kabul University and other related departments and a number of 14 trainees from different departments including the National Museum of Afghanistan, Department of Historical Monuments and other related departments participated in the training which ended successfully on 12 January 2009.
Prepared by: Dr.Obaidullah Raufi
Secretary SAF Afghanistan Chapter.


Founder's prologue

The history and culture of Afghanistan are profoundly interwoven with South Asia. When the Taliban regime destroyed the colossal fifth-century Bamiyan Buddhas and other priceless works of Afghanistan art, the South Asia Foundation pledged a contribution of US$ 1 million at the First Plenary Session of the International Committee for the Safeguarding of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage.

This meeting, held in Paris on 16th June 2003, was attended by Afghanistan’s Minister of Information and Culture, Sayed Makhdoum Raheen. On his return to Kabul, he conveyed the decision of President Hamid Karzai for Afghanistan to accept membership of the SAF.

Furthermore, Afghanistan would establish a UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute for Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage in Kabul to be used for the training of specialists in South Asian heritage.

Accordingly, a tripartite agreement was signed in Paris on 22nd March 2004 between the UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, the Government of Afghanistan and the SAF.

The institute was inaugurated on 13th July 2006 and UNESCO assigned two experts, Dr. Tej Singh, retired Director of the National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC), Lucknow, India and Mr. Robert Knox of the British Museum, London, to visit Kabul and submit a report on the Institute’s administration.

These agreements were the sequel to a resolution adopted by the SAF Governing Council at their Annual Meeting at Beaulieu-sur-Mer in 2002: to locate ways to improve Afghanistan’s participation in both ongoing SAF projects in the field of education and joint programmes on regional cooperation. Subsequently, the Government of Afghanistan applied for membership of SAARC, a request accepted during the Dhaka Summit in 2002.

The South Asia Foundation has decided to establish similar Institutions of Excellence in other SAARC countries in cooperation with UNESCO. The SAF was admitted into a special relationship with UNESCO during its 175th session in Paris.

Madanjeet Singh
SAF Founder

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SAF Afghanistan Chapter

SAF Chairperson: Prof. Omara Khan Masoodi, Cultural Advisor to UNESCO Kabul Office and Formerly Director to National Museum of Afghanistan

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Chairperson: Prof. Omara Khan Masoodi

Vice Chairperson: Mr Hamidullah Arefi