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MoIC’s eye-catching achievements under Minister Jahani’s wise leadership

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MoIC’s eye-catching achievements under Minister Jahani’s wise leadership

The Ministry of Information and Culture, since the last 20 months of Mr. Jahani's incumbency, (despite some challenges and besides high volume of routine performances), could gain eye-catching achievements, which some of them are briefly as follow:

 In cultural area:

1. Large-scale excavation and researches have been conducted in Logar province’s Mes Ainak (Ainak Copper) historical site, where hundreds of transferable and nontransferable historical relics have been unearthed through employment of professional staffs. 2357 transferable relics and 1622 pieces have been taken to the national museum and those of nontransferable ones have been kept in the same area.

2. 231 historical relics, related to the Bakhtar Treasures have been displayed in Japan’s Tokyo and Kyushu museums, Seoul national Museum and Gyenogju museums of South Korea. The program besides strengthening cultural, historical and political relations and sound introduction of Afghanistan with the said nations, could also help gain an income of some 1 million USD.

3. Since the last several years, Afghanistan had only one international exhibition of Bakhtar Treasures, which was put on display in 12 countries, but in the recent years, the Ministry of Information and Culture could complete a new collection of 145 relics from Mes Ainak (Ainak Copper) historical site. The relics have been restored under a contract with the Czech Republic, which have now international insurance.

4. The Mes Ainak collection was displayed in an international exhibition in the National Museum of Prague, the capital city of Czech Republic, from May 9 to September 30 of current year (2016) providing 40 percent gross income to Afghanistan, alongside 125,000 USD fees.

5. 102 of 103 historical relics, withdrawn from the country, during the destructive civil wars and have been optimistically kept by the UNESCO’s goodwill ambassador, Mr. Ecco Herima, in Japan and the remaining one in England, have been returned to the country.

6. Work to build Satellite Map, under a contract with France through its archaeological mission in Afghanistan (DAFA) to specify historical sites and protect the hidden treasuries have been started. The 5-year long project would go ahead through a joint cooperation with the ministry.

7. Work on registration and digital database affairs for protection of the relics available in the National Museum in joint cooperation with the Chicago University is underway, where some 60,000 historical relics had been registered so far. The project plays significant role in registration of the specifications and protection as well as introduction of Afghanistan’s related relics.

8. Work on registration and database of the Arg (presidential Palace) related 22,500 historical relics kept in Da Afghanistan Bank is rapidly underway and the process is expected to be completed in the near future.

9. Takhar’s Aaikhanum historical site, Sar-e-Pul’s Altibay Arab tomb, Imam Jafar Shrine, Imam-e Kalan Mosque, Imamzada Shrine, Bamyan province’s Khawja Sabzposh, Paktia’s Gardiz Bala Hesar (Fortress), Sakhi Mosque (Sakhi Shrine), First Mohammadia Hill and second Naderia site, in Kandahar province; Shir-e Surkh historical site and Sendaria Arakozia, in Nangar province; Sabzabad historical site, Amarkhil Stupa, Shahi Qala Stupa and Zarghondi historical area have been restored and registered.

10. Historical sites in Kabul, Bamyan, Balkh, Nangarhar, Laghman, Faryab, Samangan etc. had been researched, and nearly, 300 relics have been found through excavation in different parts and submitted to the National Museum of Afghanistan.

11. Bamyan was officially introduced as the first SAARC cultural capital. Accompanied by the cultural exhibitions, the opening ceremony was held with the participation of the regional countries guests and visitors.

12. The SAARC Artist Camp was arranged with the participation of member countries, where both Afghan and the SAARC painters jointly shown their paintings under an open atmosphere and share their experiences with each other.

13. Exhibitions showing the different Afghan traditional menus and handicrafts have been also held in Bamyan province.

14. The closing ceremony of Bamyan as the first SAARC cultural capital, was held with holding different exhibitions and cultural programs.

15. Afghanistan related three centuries digitalized books, manuscripts, documents, photographs, maps and other items, in seven terabyte were obtained from the US congress library, and would be protected and provided with online studying and online library in ten academic centers of the country. 

16. Over 10,000 books have been provided free of charge, from different addresses for the Public Library and made available for study purposes.

17. 19 analytic programs are conducted for the contents of the books.

18. Afghanistan National Music (Afghan Orchestra) was established for the first time after 27 years and has now 22 artists, with work is underway on the compositions and epics of the country’s national music.

19. On December 2, 2015, at the threshold of the 100th Indian interim government establishment anniversary’s international seminar and the Amir Ali Shir Nawayee seminar, the ministry could hold 13 national and regional seminars.

20. Holding roads-based theatrical exhibitions to further popularize theater, holding theatrical exhibitions in the theater hall and other appropriate areas for the spectators, popularization of the culture of theater through audio-visual media, and presenting 20 similar programs as well as signing contract with the Marastoon (Poorhouse) general directorate, resulting in providing the youth and teenagers with the theater role and importance in education and training programs,

21. MoU between the Afghan National Theater and the Norwegian Bargain Theater, eased reconstruction of the national theater’s related sites, digging well and providing other needed materials, providing theater-related hundreds of books from the Iranian cultural attaché to be used by the National Theater staffs as well as reconstruction of the Kabul Public Show ceiling and audio-system.

22. Making plan for arrangement of exhibitions to help the youth and children’s advancement in different spheres and providing them with improved level of life in term of education, training and recreational.

23. Using the central library by some 37272 visitors and using the districts and municipality districts-related public libraries by over 22596 visitors, reopening of the Shakar Dara library, after two years of closure, sending 6093 books from the central library to the municipality districts and remote districts and sending 3469 books to the provinces, to enrich the related libraries,

24. Provision of a coaster-type bus for the Nangarhar mobile library, conducing different dialogues and interviews aimed at helping grow and popularize the culture of book-reading among the people, sending the staffs of the public libraries to foreign countries for receiving professional trainings, and rendering the hall of the social sciences, language center, reference hall and the central jail’s library,

25. Holding concerts and music shows on different occasions; such as National and International Farmer Days, 8th Sour, International Women Day, August 19 the Independence Day, Tourism Day, World Mother Day and other events.

26. This is to be planned that the music centers and courses to be professionally tested by the Music Department’s Professional Board for distribution of work licenses, a plan would help further the country’s noble and original music and prevent those of nonprofessional and commonplaces in the country.

27. Description and introduction of some 1800 manuscripts and providing them with catalogues, after 27 years of suspension, description of Amir Habibullah Khan’s and other miscellaneous orders and providing them with catalogues, equipment of the National Archive’s saloons, in which the relics are presented, with security cameras, installation of armored and steely gates for further strengthening of security of the National Archive’s reservoirs warehouses, equipment of the National Archive library and Studying Halls and building the monitoring system for the National Archive storehouses.

28. Providing a developed scanner for digitalization of the National Archive’s manuscripts, conducting three-week training course for the National Archive’s staffs in order to help them well protect the manuscripts, holding three-day training program for the National Archive staffs in cooperation with the Indian National Archive, activation of FM 200 standard fire extinguishing system in the National Archive warehouses to prevent possible fire in the whole offices of the archive.

29. Increase of the National Archive’s documents visitors, increase in the National Archive’s researchers, providing and arrangement of new effective procedures to help well and soundly use the National Archive’s stuffs, building and equipment of the related offices for better and further effectiveness of the National Archive employees’ activities, initiation of work for the digitalization process of the archive’s nearly 20,000 photographs, historical documents and relics.

30. Providing all of the National Archive’s printed relics with catalogues based on classification and gradation of the subjects, regularization and arrangement of the National Archive’s magazines’ unit, publishing of the Afghan calligraphers’ collection entitled ‘Mulk-e-Del’ holding seminar for providing photography and photographs with captions, holding workshop for familiarity with writing.

31. In order to help prevent corruption and interference in the materials of the National Archive, bringing change and exchange in the staff and employees of the archive, under the current law and in consultation with the ministry’s legal advisor and representatives from the high office of oversight  and  counter-corruption, 

The National Archive is a cultural and analytic organ, providing the ground for the domestic and foreign researchers, besides protecting the written cultural heritages of the country. Presenting services of this administration helps improve the country’s scientific and research products and moreover, enables us to offer a better introduction from the country’s culture and history to the world nations. Failure of the ministries to cooperate with the National Archive by sending their historical documents, is a big problem for the archive. The National Archive’s law obligates any of the government ministries and organizations to submit their historical documents to this administration, but despites consecutive demands and sending letters, we failed to have them respecting the law and their ancient documents received. The ministries want to non-standardly archive their historical documents, while the documents of each ministries are kept in special envelope, carton or shelves after providing them with descriptions and catalogues. 

In the field of publications:

32. Under the country’s constitution, article 64 and clause 16 and based on the resolution of the two houses dated 1393/7/26—137 (coinciding 2015/16) law on access to information was approved in 6 chapters and 32 articles requiring designation of a commission for the practice. Considering this law, the ground for activation of the commission, has been provided and right now, the commission, with 11 members including one from the ministry of information and culture, is an active and independent entity, with each member receiving a monthly salary of 10,000 Afghanis from the ordinary budget of the ministry.

33. An independent seven member commission, led by Khpelwak Sapai was set in August, 2015, aiming at standardization of the mass media all over the country. The commission, beside standardization of the media has to provide media with helpful consultation, to investigate their licenses, oversee media’s financial resources and generally help the mass media get advanced.

34. The commission on investigation of media violation and complaints has been legally established through a change brought in the mass media law, articles 44 and 45. Led by Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Abdul Bari Jahani, the ten member commission has investigated up to 150 complaints and resolved media violations. The commission members includes representatives from Civil Society, the Human Rights Watch, media outlets, Ulama Council, Journalists Union and High Council and the Union of Cinematographers. Each member receives 10,000 Afghanis monthly from the ordinary budget of the Ministry of Information and Culture. The ministry’s budget has to specially increase in the future, considering the commissions.

35. Since the separation of the Radio Television of Afghanistan (RTA) that the ministry lacked facilities and equipped section to oversee the media, it had now found opportunity to fill the gap and in the near future, a strong media oversight center would start activity.

36. Another national commission, with membership from different government organs had also been established on billboards and advertisements in the last two years, which in its two recent meeting, could approve the billboards’ control mechanism, and work on the remaining affairs is continuing. The commission demand a monthly allowance of 10,000 Afghanis for each member from the ordinary budget of the Ministry of Information and Culture, for the upcoming 2017.

37. Expected to be cooperated by the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology, the TV networks are expected to be digitalized through an underway plan, for further legalization of the country’s publications, the move would help reduce the number of antennas installed in different parts of the city, feared to cause breakout of different diseases among the nearby residents.

38. The Ministry of Information and Culture has recently published some 25 books including religious, historical, scientific and cultural, and the process is going on, with 14 more are expected to be published soon.

39. The ministry has worked in arrangement and securitization of the calendars and provided some 92 copies of calendars worth 276,000 Afghanis based on the demand of the requesters.

40. Afghanistan annual book (almanac) for the years; 1391 (2012), 1392 (2013), 1393 (2014) have been published and sent to the related organs, work on the color manuscript of the Holy Quran has earlier been completed. The main copy of the said Holy Quran which is kept in the Afghanistan National Archive (ANA), has been published in three golden colors after the approval of the country’s religious scholars in 1394 (2015).

41. 11 book exhibitions have been held in different parts of Kabul city, two joint Turkmenistan and Tajikistan Book Exhibitions have been also attended, some 1,097,792 Afghanis have been profited from the central and provincial bookselling booths, earning a revenue of 35, 049 Afghanis through selling books in the center and provinces of the country, and explanation and setting the prices of 144 books,

42. Arrangement and finalization of the Baihaqi Book Publishing and Distribution House procedure and releasing through the ministry’s website, gratuitous distribution of up to 6,000 books on different occasions, 

43. To revitalize and further boost the culture of book-reading among the people and youth, working on a plan to build bookselling stalls and hold book-exhibitions in the center and provinces of the country, as well as conducting seminars for creating more link and relation among the country’s great writers, poets and authors of the country, holding different competitions for encouragement of the young writers and authors, protection of the country’s cultural and historical values and publishing different books under the people demand as well as popularization of the culture of tolerance among the youths and young generation in the country and plan for digitalization of the books through websites.

44. Printing media is one of the most important means of transformation from one generation to another, which could be called the outcome of the Liberty Printing Press staffs. The media published in the printing press included newspapers, magazines and books which could be provided under a specified timeline for the people’s further awareness and mental elimination. This can be called the government’s considerable achievements, targets and short-term and long-term plans had been extended to the people, by the Liberty Printing Press workers, which is a great success in this field.

In the field of books:

45. Publishing Sarguzasht-e-Tamaddun (Civilization Background), in 800 pages, Ali Ahmad Mukhlis’s Collection in 800 pages and the 1392 (2003) yearbook, as well as for the holy Quran’s fans who are not able to recite it, a special pen-written book had been published to be used via earphones.

46. In the last two years, planning and activation of the newspapers with internet-websites, that all Afghan newspapers could be used through the said website all over the world.

47. Watandaran paper changed into magazine, continuing publications in other languages such as Nuristani, Turkmen, Baluchi and Uzbek.

48. Regulation, endorsement and surveillance of the media activation and establishment rule, which is significant in standardization of media and securing sound work relation between media employees and the employers as well as in the government revenues, under which the media has to collect to the government account.

49. Practical efforts have been made to standardize the governmental newspapers and rise the quality of their contents, including Anis, Hiwad, Islah and The Kabul Times, through a regular plan.

50. Properly use of the ministry’s International Conference Hall for holding different media conferences to arrange the country’s various media related issues and paving the ground for the independent media to hold meetings. The Ministry of Information and Culture has fulfilled its responsibility in better way to provide all facilities including the international media hall to the media outlets.

In the field of tourism, finance and administration:

51. Afghanistan, has for the first time been unanimously selected [among Pakistan and Iran] as deputy for the South Asian Commission (SAC) led by India, in the 21st international tourism organization’s general session. Through the given responsibility, until the end of 2017, Afghanistan could improve the tourism industry and make use of it for development of Afghanistan and creating job opportunities.

52. In cooperation with the internal, regional and international tourism organization, in order to develop the Afghanistan tourism industry, regional and international policy has been prepared and sent for endorsement.

53. Multilanguage (Pashto, Dari and English) website (www.tourism.gov.af), with color pictures is built for providing ease to the tourism related internal affairs and to draw more domestic and world tourists. The website has been cooperated by the private sector and would play significant role in growing the country’s national economy as well.

54. Tourism law and the rules on tourists’ residences and private tourism companies have been reviewed and the key points related to current tourism have been highly focused.

55. In order to help further professionalize and standardize the country’s tourism sector, the tourism department’s staffs are provided with courses related to English learning, hospitality (issues related to hotel), and historical monuments affairs have been established.

56. Four round seminars held for the private tourism companies’ staffs including 25 members of the Hajj and Umra Union and 20 from Neda Union, who received certificates, at the end.  

57. Bamyan has been introduced as the SAARC member countries’ cultural capital and registered and introduced as the most important touristic site in 2015.

58. Herat was also introduced as the UNESCO cultural capital and touristic site in the same year (2015)

59. In 2015, skiers from Afghanistan and other countries have been provided with opportunity to attend the magnificent show, in Bamyan province,

60. Cragsmen from home and overseas have been provided with opportunity to run mountaineering sport in Panjshir province in 2016.

61. Strengthening relations with the World Tourism International Organization (UNWTO) and other regional organizations on tourism, marking the World Tourism Day, exhibiting the country’s handicrafts, while celebrating the world tourism day, participation of the tourism director, as the ministry representative in the commissions on human rights, human traffickers and environment protection, signing economic and trade contracts between Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kirghizstan, Azerbaijan and Russia.

62. Providing mid-term plan for mountaineering and ski sports in the country’s appropriate areas, encouraging internal and foreign investors to help build guesthouses in the areas with natural hot springs (geysers), providing ground for a series of wide tourism activities to help provide work for the unemployed people and raise the level of the people life, and most importantly, bring increase in the country’s revenues,

63. Preparation to install umbrellas, arrange benches and build food selling booths around the country’s seas and dams, plan to build standard pools and sauna to be used during summer and winter seasons, efforts to find a foreign donor to help build a suitable building for the tourism department and seeking development budget to practice the plan, effort to draw domestic and foreign fund to build guesthouse and residences for the tourists,

64. Building strategic plan for big national, sport and recreational parks to be carried out by the foreign donors and private sector, providing facilities for tourists through domestic and foreign donors, providing tourists with required facilities in the country’s national parks.

65. Building strategic plan for Bagh-e-Bala, Bagh-e-Babur, Laghman hill and its related palace, Amir Dam in Bamyan, Jahan Numa park in Nangarhar, encouraging music groups to appear and play in the country’s national parks, in order to secure further easiness for the tourists in the national parks, planning underway to lease horses and camels, equip Band-e-Amir and Qargha Dam with small boats and install the mountainous recreational sites with electric lefts as well as to create a medical tourism complex,

66. Effective and considerable plans have been made for daily affairs improvement of the tourism department’s staffs, as well as some seminars have been held in cooperation with the private sector to restore transparency and prevent corruption in the tourism department,

67. The Tourism Department is an active unit, the professional workers would provide cooperation to arrange work policy, short-term, mid-term and long term strategic plans, the tourism magazine issue 15th has been published, with quarterly one issue, the magazine are also distributed in the airplanes through the air-aviation companies, the tourism website with color pictures from different tourism events has been entered in the system through the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology, playing effective role in attraction of domestic and foreign tourists.

68. A comprehensive mechanism has been scheduled to conduct researches and investigations into the natural, touristic and historical sites, construction process of the tourism institute building has been completed and wide researches have been launched on the touristic site.

The ministry’s development section’s achievements at the capital Kabul and other provinces: 

69. Planning to build five provincial information and culture buildings, while construction projects on five others had been speedily underway. The said provinces, has either lacked building for information and culture department or destroyed during the internal wars, with the projects expected to be completed for the next two years.

70. Construction project of a library, costing some 18 million Afghanis has been kicked off in eastern province of Nangarhar,

71. In the neighboring Laghman province, construction work on library building, worth nearly 18 million Afghanis has been started,

72. In the northern province of Sar-e-Pul, a library building is expected to be built, with the project taking some 13 million Afghanis to complete.

73. Work on a library building in southern province of Khost has been started and the project would take some 14 million Afghanis to complete.

74. 27 million Afghanis has been estimated to be spent in construction of museum, administrative and library buildings in Ghazni province, where the work projects has been kicked off.

75. In Zabul province, work on library building construction, costing some three million has been completed.

76. In the same province (Zabul), work on museum has also been also completed.

77. Ainu Mina Foundation’s contributed land to the Ministry of Information and Culture, would be used, to construct a museum building in the same area (Ainu Mina district) in Nangarhar province, where the work project is expected to be kicked in the current fiscal year.

78. Repairing work on some 10 historical monuments has either been completed or due to be concluded in the center and provinces of the country.

79. The main aim of the anti-corruption administration was to fight corruption and restore good governance and help the government go ahead with developed goal, provide the youth with jobs and pay attention to the security organs, for which a social and economic plan has been made.

Activities of the deputy MoIC on youth affairs:

80. A five-year national strategic policy has been prepared to help provide work, education and professional training.

81. Peace offices are established in the center and other zones of the country to help enlighten the minds of the government armed oppositions and encourage them to peace.

82. Youths national and international days are marked through different gatherings, during which, deserved and talented youth have been praised and appreciated to help many others encouraged.

83. Launching joint national campaigns with other ministries to provide jobs for the youths in order to put an end to unemployment in the country. This is the most helpful plan to help raise the youths’ capacities and efforts are underway to further strengthen it.

84. Launching countrywide supportive campaign for the security forces that not only helped encourage the country’s soldiers, but could also help wide number of youths recruited in the country’s security and defense organs.

85. The USAID cooperated program has been built to provide required loans to the youths, to help them find work and to create a self-trusted environment.

86. Opening Youth Parliament with elected members from the provinces and building the related procedures and bills. The youths’ representative parliament would train the youths’ talents and provide talented and experienced youths for the county’s future and upcoming parliamentary elections. The plan helps further popularize political sense in the society.

87. Launching 15 public awareness seminars about the youths related issued laws in the center and provinces of the country, to help the young generation get awareness about the country’s issued laws and put an end to unawareness and incompetence to the laws.

88. Youth statistic has been implemented all over the government administrations in the center and provinces to help make a precise decision about.

89. Holding one-day, two-day and weekly workshops and seminars on capacity building, elimination of violence against women, Zuma Zhagh Zuma Haq (My Voice My Right), early girls’ marriage, marriage against crime and other vicious traditions.

90. Introducing 20,000 destitute high school’s graduates to the higher education’s institutes, for raising their capacity and provide them with scientific opportunities.

91. Introducing 3000 destitute youths to health centers, under the ministry’s contract.

92. Sending 500 addicted youth to the health centers, in accordance to the ministry’s contract.

93. Launching tens of awareness campaigns on prevention of drugs in Kabul and provinces of the country.

94. Singing 25 professional and technical MoUs to help provide the destitute youths with work.

95. Signing Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with 500 institutes and universities to help those youths unable to pay for education, with higher education in the country.

96. Signing MoUs with 45 private sport clubs and arranging nearly 30 sport competitions.

97. Signing memorandum of understandings with 30 courses in the field of information technology, under which many have been joined.

98. For more succulence of the country and environment protection, launching sapling plantation campaigns in the center and 33 provinces of the country, where over 10,000 fruitful trees have planted.

99. Launching tens of grouping clearance campaigns in the schools, cities and recreational sites, to encourage the area residents clear their nearby sites in grouping and popularize the culture of sanitation among the people.s

100. Launching 45 blood donation campaigns for the security forces’ victims, to help rise the forces’ morale and increase the youths interest to join the security forces of the country and popularize the culture of blood donations,

101. Reopening volunteers federations in the 34 provinces of the country,

102. 11,000 youths have been joined the youth federations, through which they could voluntarily serve the country,

103. In order to help the country’s youths get further familiarized with the country’s historical relics, some 3,000 youths have been helped visit the national museum and historical sites.

 Translation by The Kabul Times