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kabul
September 17, 2018
The Kabul Times

National Archive needs cooperation to develop, official

KABUL: The National Archive of Afghanistan has officially been opened in 1977, during the government of Mohammad Daud Khan, Afghanistan’s first president, and has now turned into a home for tens of thousands of historical manuscripts and documents, an official said.
More than 1oo, 000 historical manuscripts in the fields of culture, literature and religion, various copies of the holy Quran, as well as documents and protocols signed between Afghanistan and other neighboring countries, including four with China are in the archive, Mohammad Afsar Rahbeen, Director of Afghanistan National Archive.
According to Rahbeen, photographs, newspapers, various Quran manuscripts from the Durrani period, old currency as well as both original and copies of many important documents are displayed for visitors, particularly, the treaty signed between Afghanistan and the British Empire in 1919, under which, Afghanistan was given complete independence and another important letter, written by Timur, dating the 14th century.
The building interior design with its beautiful painted ceiling and carved woodwork was as praiseworthy as the archive’s contents.
Regionally known, the National Archive of Afghanistan also preserves some oldest historical manuscripts like the one dating the first AD century and a holy Quran manuscript ascribed to Ottoman and Ali the third and fourth Islamic caliphs, said Rahbeen.
“Among the contracts signed with China is a regionally valid agriculture scheme [Parwan Water-Supply], irrigating wide areas in the province; north of Kabul, the copy of which we received after approval by the country’s National Assembly,” the official added. Despite several decades of devastative civil war and trafficking of numerous ancient relics from Afghanistan to other world countries, the archive remained intact. “Fortunately, the National Archive of Afghanistan, is the only government-run institution that remained intact and safe from any kind of robbery and larceny, during civil conflicts.”
Ordinary people, researchers and students are not more often visiting the still-war-affected country’s archive and the institution yet to have any revenue.
According to the official, usually more or less than 100 people; many of them students, visit the archive on a daily basis.
Mr. Rahbeen who said has never been to China, even during his tenure as Director of the Afghanistan National Archive, expected to visit Chinese museums to know which documents about his country was there. Farsi [one of Afghanistan official languages] was spoken widely in Kashgar and Tibet even some itineraries narrate Farsi songs played in the Chinese ships, highlighting the two countries cultural relations and considering one of the most valid contracts signed with China in 1969, so, both Afghan and Chinese sides need to visit each other archives to get information about both sides’ cultural documents, said Rahbeen.
The National Archive of Afghanistan is housed in own century building, located on the main road in Deh Afghanan, central Kabul. The structure was originally built by Amir Abdul Rahman Khan for his son and successor Amir Habibullah in 1892.
Shukria Kohistani

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