17 October 2017

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Wednesday October 11, 2017

Kabul (BNA) International research and scientific seminar titled ‘role of Sufism in expansion of Islamic culture’ was held yesterday in Kabul.
The seminar was held by ministry of information and culture and attended by the country’s chief executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, a number of cabinet members, national assembly representatives, government officials, religious and cultural figures and foreign guests.  At the beginning of the seminar, acting minister of information and culture Prof. Mohammad Rasoul Bawari spoke related to Sufism and Ahl-e-Tariqat and said that followers of Sufism have lived beside each other as brothers for centuries. He added that any kind of harms was banned in Sufism and this Islamic and human stance of the Sufism’s followers differentiated them from other fundamental, malicious and deviant groups.  In the seminar, the country’s chief executive delivered speech and said Sufism had deep root in Islam and spirituality, culture and destiny of our people, believing that the seminar would pave the way for our today’s generation and the people to live in dignity.
In the seminar, message of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was read out by advisor to president on cultural affairs Asadullah Ghazanfar.
In his message, the country’s President said, “I am happy that a great scientific session was held in connection with a key issue of our culture and history and to discuss role of Sufism and mysticism based on clear essence of Islamic moral and promotion of Islamic culture.”

Sunday October 8, 2017
Kabul (BNA) At first glance, the paintings created by Shamsia Hassani seem to depict a fantasy of doll-like women with very long eyelashes, all dressed in colorful clothing.
But Hassani, who is this year’s Global Artist of Distinction at ArtWalk Ventura, paints a more sobering picture when she describes her art.
Hassani is a 29-year-old artist from Kabul, Afghanistan. She specializes in painting and graffiti.
“The women only have their eyes closed,” she explained as she sat among her works that line the walls at the Vita Art Center in Ventura. “They are not seeing. They cannot see the future. And they have no mouths, but each has a musical instrument to play louder and get attention if she needs to. She can find a solution indirectly to saying something with her voice.”
Mary Perez and Sue Pollock — who, along with Kevin Clerici of the Downtown Ventura Organization are heading up this year’s ArtWalk Ventura — said they decided it was time to invite a woman to be the event’s third Global Artist of Distinction.
“Shamsia embodied everything we wanted to support. We had seen her work when she was an artist in residence at the Hammer Museum” in Los Angeles. Perez said.
However, tracking down the artist — who has no email address or phone number — was a challenge.
“We got all Nancy Drew about it,” Perez said.
Eventually, through the magic of social media, they were able to connect with Hassani, who is now on a weeks-long tour that started in New York, came to Ventura and is going through Italy before she heads back home to Afghanistan.
Hassani is married to Haroon “Shah” Noori, a filmmaker. She said she misses her husband, who came along on her sojourn to Los Angeles last year, a trip that doubled as a honeymoon.
“He would carry all of my artwork,” she said.
As a female artist in a country steeped in tradition — with many unwilling to accept female independence — painting on the walls of buildings in the war-torn capital of Afghanistan is harrowing.
“I always worry about someone coming up behind me," she said. "People will stop and say mean things to me. Unlike many graffiti artists, I spend a lot of time on my murals. It can take a couple of hours. And women aren’t allowed to go out at night.”
Adding to her challenge is that in Kabul, the spray paint differs from American spray paint.
“Our nozzles are big, so we can’t make lines,” she said, “and the paint is watery and drips.”
Hassani said she got interested in graffiti as an art form in 2010. But it doesn't make money, so, to support herself, she teaches drawing and anatomy at Kabul University. Her art is meant to bridge the gap between herself, other women and “the close-minded people.”
“I know people think art does not belong in our religion and a girl cannot do it,” Hassani said. “It’s hard to change people’s minds with art. But I think I’m changing people’s minds slowly. Everybody should find themselves in my paintings.”
She has hope for the future, as younger Afghanis seek education and expression.
This year’s ArtWalk will feature more than 40 venues and PODS storage units sprinkled around downtown and the west side of Ventura, displaying the work of more than 200 local artists.
This year’s Artist of Distinction is Maribel Hernandez, who works in design, photography, ceramics and painting.
Pollock and Perez, joined by Clerici, took over the Ventura ArtWalk seven years ago from the city of Ventura, which had organized the event for decades. The women say this is their last year at the helm of the weekend-long event, but stressed that ArtWalk will continue even after they’re not running it.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Kabul (BNA)  A 14-day workshop on ‘Self-Leadership’ had recently been held by Afghanistan Female Journalists Association led by Shafiqa Habibi in cooperation with hosting country’s female journalists association in Finland’s Helsinki.
The workshop was held on Sep. 9 to 12, 2017, during which 7 Afghan female journalists were also participated.
According to The Kabul Times, at the first day, the Afghan journalists visited Finland’s general retirement center. The journalists were briefed about retirement age and some other specifications.
Retirement process in Finland is divided into three parts, high salary, medium salary and less salary, according to officials.
There are almost 1.5 million people working in Finland and 800,000 people are using the national insurance. The average salary in Finland is 1600 Euro.
On social media, Ms. Poy Lina said, “Social media play key role in people’s life, through which they can get informed about the news and also find jobs.”
“As internet has benefits, it is harmful as well,” she further said.
Likewise, the journalists met with Finnish secretary of urban development and housing, Mr. Kai Mykhanen UM Merikasarm, during which he pointed out at Afghanistan-Finland good relations.
He said his ministry has assisted 30mln Euro to Afghanistan so far, an amount which had been spent in different sectors.
He added there are 30 peace keeping forces in Afghanistan, as well as Finland has assisted 6mln euro in security sector.
In a meeting with a secretary of state’s official, Ms. Paivi Nerg said, “We are part of the international community in Afghanistan that has always cooperated in fighting terrorism.”
“We are also making effort to pave the ground for Afghanistan’s reconstruction. Because, Afghanistan has suffered decades of war and needs international cooperation,” she added.
Finland will continue cooperation with Afghanistan until 2020, she said we are also working on Afghan peace and election processes.
During the workshop, Ms. Tina Tenkanen, deputy to Finland’s female journalists committee said, “This project has started since 2009, in cooperation with that country’s secretary of state and female journalists association and will finish by the end of 2017.”
She said, “Each time, 30 Afghan female journalists has attended the workshop and the Finnish women have voluntarily wanted to teach and share their experiences with them.”
The journalists had also visited Helsingin Sanomat—one of the greatest newspapers in Finland. The Afghan journalists had also attended a few seminars and visited many other places in Finland.
At the end, the workshop had successfully done and the Afghan journalists returned home.
Karima Malikzada

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Kabul (BNA) Dr. Kamal Sadat, deputy minister on youth affairs of the Ministry of Information and Culture has signed three different Memorandum of Understandings with Rapid Relief & Development Association, Global Work Employment Agency and United Dormitory here yesterday, BNA reported.
Addressing the ceremony, the deputy minister on youth affairs said the Rapid Relief & Development Association would ease youth with awareness on fighting illegal human-trafficking and its consequences.
He went on saying that Global Work would provide employment opportunities for the youth inside and outside of the country while the United Dormitory to give 30 percent discount for those students were being introduced by the deputy ministry.
Meanwhile Nabiullah Suhrabi representing the Global Work, Nasir Ahmad Amin from United Dormitory and Ahmad Shabir Sapi from the Rapid Relief and Development Association assured of their long-term cooperation with the deputy ministry on youth affairs.

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