22 May 2019

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Culture

Sunday, April 07, 2019

Kabul (BNA) International seminar on ‘Alama Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan’ was held in Kabul by Ministry of Information and Culture.
In the seminar held with participation of leading body of the MoIC, a number of government officials, the country’s academic and culture figures, scholars from India, Pakistan and Egypt and a number of foreign and domestic guests, acting minister of information and culture Hasina Safi spoke related to personality and works of Alama Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan and said: “Afghanistan is the cradle of nurturing scholars, cultural figures, historians and academic figures who are the honor of not only Afghanistan nation but the entire world.”
Acting minister of information and culture said that Alama Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan was also one of the country’s proud personalities.
“Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan was a flag bearer of freedom and modernity who felt the pain and deprivation of society in particular the Islamic society and struggled towards freedom and awakening of the people, “Hasina Safi added.
Afterwards, message of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was read out by deputy minister of culture and art for information and culture Prof. Mohammad Rasoul Bawary.
“In the past 100 years, lots of researchers have been carried out in connection with personality, thoughts and struggles of Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan, but efforts and visions of him are significant enough as they have great messages for current society and the next generation,” the message said.
Meanwhile, the messages of chief executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was read out by deputy minister of publication affairs for information and culture Fazil Sancharaki.  In his message, the country’s chief executive said: “Alama Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan was the unmatched genius of the east and a great honor of our land.”
At the end of the first day of the seminar, six volumes of books that were written about Alama Sayed Jamaluddin Afghan and published by MoIC were distributed to the participants of the seminar.
 

Saturday, March 30, 2019
Kabul (BNA)  In a meeting with head of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, Acting Minister of Information and Culture Hasina Safi stressed on bolstering cooperation between the two sides in cultural sections, particularly repairing historical monuments, BNA reported the other day.
According to the agency, head of TIKA briefed about his agency’s activities and said their offices were operational in Kabul, Herat and Balkh provinces within which they mostly cover cultural and education sectors.
Appreciating Turkey and TIKA cooperation, Acting Minister Safi added on agreement was signed between the ministry of information and culture and Turkish foreign ministry in 2010 to repair the monastery of Bahauddin Walad, Mawlana’s father located in Balkh province, but the project has not still been started.
She stressed on beginning of the project’s practical work and TIKA’s continued cooperation in cultural sections.
Calling insecurity one of the reasons caused to delay the project’s work, head of TIKA said if the situation was prepared, the project’s practical work will start.
He also assured of his agency’s continued cooperation with the ministry of information and culture.

Friday March 29, 2019

Kabul (BNA) An Eastern man and a Western woman make up one of the most unusual musical groups in Washington, D.C. Masood Omari and Abigail Adams Greenway both play tabla, an Eastern percussion instrument, every day in Greenway’s basement outside Washington. They call this colorfully decorated studio, Tablasphere. And they call themselves Tabla for Two. Omari introduces the instrument: “This is a goat skin and the middle part, the black here, is burnt steel, coming from the steel powder and pasted with a strong glue and put in the center. It makes a cosmic sound, you can see?”
To Greenway, every note that emerges from the tabla is a “prayer.” “It's mathematically perfect and very meditative,” she adds. What is unusual is that she and Omari both play the tabla together, giving them a modern sound. The duo plays three different kinds of music, much of which can be heard on YouTube. The first two are classical music and traditional music of Afghanistan and India. The third:
“We play new music for the New World, we call it. It's our signature music and it is composed by Masood. It's for two tabla players,” Greenway explains.
Greenway
Greenway grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania, a manufacturing city steeped in U.S. history. Her first two names hark back to the wife of America’s second president, Abigail Adams. “I grew up listening to classical music and American Jazz,” Greenway says. “My father was a classical violinist.” A visual artist, Greenway moved a long way from all that when she embraced Afghan music and musical instruments.
She first became intrigued when she was introduced to the music of India. “I heard the music and I just said this is the most amazing instrument I've ever heard, the tabla,” she said, adding, “They say that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.” The pair met eight years ago in an Afghan antique and textile shop in Washington. “I realized that he was this amazing tabla player and I asked for lessons. I didn't know at the time where this was going. All I knew is that I had a huge desire and a force pushing me to learn to play the instrument.” "When I saw her first time Abigail, she doesn’t (didn’t) understand the language of Afghanistan. (But) she understand (understood) the beat and melody, and she was very exciting (excited) to learn. She learned quickly.”
Omari
Omari fled Afghanistan when he was 15 and resettled in Islamabad. There, he studied tabla for 10 years and received his mastership before coming to the U.S. in 2002. “What's really extraordinary is that Masood is singing and playing tabla at the same time,” Greenway says about her teacher. “That is exciting.” Greenway has learned to play harmonium, also known as a pump organ, from Omari. And here, she earns his praise: “Abigail is playing harmonium in a style no one can play like her. She is playing with her fingers. She is playing very soft, graceful and gentle.” After devoting years to intense study and practice, the duo formed Tabla for Two. They play at embassies, museums, universities and at the Tablasphere for special invited guests.
Ambassadors
If Greenway worried about acceptance as a woman playing Afghan music, she discovered differently. “I am clearly an American female and I am playing their music. It's a coming together of cultures,” she says. “When I play this music they are accepting me, the Afghan people are accepting me.” This makes Greenway feel “like an ambassador,” which is something of Omari’s philosophy as well. “I believe that I have an important role playing and preserving the music of my country, Afghanistan and sharing it with the world,” he says. “It's just the beginning. I've just started learning about a place that I knew nothing about that has been so ravaged,” Greenway enthuses. “And I'm thrilled to show Afghanistan in a positive, beautiful light.”
Voanews
 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Kabul (BNA) March 27 is coinciding with World Theatre Day. More than 25 countries of the world formed International Theatre Institute (ITI) in 1948 when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) joined with world-renowned theatre experts to form an international non-governmental organization in the field of the performing arts.
The day was initiated in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute ITI. It is celebrated annually by ITI Centers and the international theatre community. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark this occasion.
The mission of ITI is to “promote international exchange of knowledge and practice in theatre arts in order to consolidate peace and friendship between peoples, to deepen mutual understanding and to increase creative cooperation between all people in the theatre arts.”
Today, ITI consists of approximately 90 Centers worldwide. An ITI Center is made up of professionals active in the theatre life of a country and representative of all branches of the performing arts. The annual message of the World Theatre Day is selected and shared by a figure of world stature. The first World Theatre Day Message was written by Jean Cocteau in 1962.
In Afghanistan, the modern theatre was founded during the reign of King Amanullah Khan and Mahmoud Tarzi was the first person who promoted theatre in the country. Abdul Ghafoor Breshna, who trained lots of students in the field of theatre, was also one of the founders of new theatre in Afghanistan.
The first theatrical show was performed to members of kingdom family on the occasion of Afghanistan Independence Day in 1922 in Stoor palace of the ministry of foreign affairs. On the same year, other theatrical shows were performed by Ali Afandi in Paghman.
In role of woman, ‘Mother of the Country’ was the first play, which was written by Ghulam Hazrat Koshan, was performed and played in Paghman by a young man named Mir Mohammad Kazim Hashimi, who was cooperating with the then press and was a writer and poet.
Meanwhile, Abdul Ghayas and Mahmoud Farouk Afandi were other players who were playing the role of woman in that time.
Besides plays written by Afghan writers, sometimes some plays written by well-known writers of the world were performed by Afghan players in Kabul.
After years, Abdul Qayoum Bashid, Ustad Rafiq Sadiq, Ustad Mashal Hunaryar, Habiba Askar, Parween Sanatgar, Zarghona Aram and Muzaida Saroor did great jot in the field of theatre in Afghanistan.
The art of theatre faced with challenges due to civil war and arriving of the Taliban in the country as many theatre artists moved abroad.
Since 2001 and recent changes in Afghanistan, the art of theatre was revived by national and international cultural organizations as Kabul University’s theatre faculty and Kabul Theatre restarted their art operation.
Since 2004, Afghanistan National Theatre Festival has been annually held in Afghanistan in close cooperation of a number of world countries’ cultural organizations as lots of domestic and foreign artists show their performance in the festival.
Lailuma Noori
 

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