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Awareness program on ‘cultural heritages’ preservation’ held in Panjshir

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Awareness program on ‘cultural heritages’ preservation’ held in Panjshir
 In order to raise awareness on the importance of cultural heritage as a common wealth and the efforts on its protection in the country, the UNESCO-MADANJEET SINGH Center for Preservation of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage (UMCPACH) in close coordination of the Ministries of Information and Culture (MoIC) and Education (MoE) as well as with financial support of South Asia Foundation-Afghanistan organized a workshop for high school teachers and the local employees of the MoIC in Panjshir Province from 3 to 13th of July, 2017.
Since 2013, the UMCPACH has been organizing awareness programs on preservation of the cultural heritages with financial support of South Asia Foundation for the high school teachers in the capital Kabul and other provinces of the country. The program participants were being taught by the professors of the social sciences faculty of Kabul University and were also eased scientific tours to the national museum and other historical sites, aiming to further be familiar with the history and rich civilization of Afghanistan.
In an interview with The Kabul Times reporter, the head of UMCPACH, Fawad Adalatpor Keshmi said: Initially the program was launched for the employees of the MoIC at the capital Kabul and then for the said ministry’s 34 provincial departments and the lecturers of Kabul university and academy of sciences were invited to shed light on the ancient history of Afghanistan, international conventions, Afghanistan’s natural heritages, Afghanistan’s museum and other relevant issues.
The official of the center went on saying the program was going on with a new mechanism and the awareness programs were initially organized for the 12 educational centers of Kabul city. According to him at provincial level, these programs were organized for the employees of MoIC provincial departments with the participation of civil society activists, high school teachers and students.
“This time we organized a program for two weeks in Panjsher department of MoIC with the participation of 25 high school teachers and 7 local employees of MoIC. The program was warmly welcomed and the local officials as well as the trainees requested us to extend the duration of the program,” Keshmi added, saying the center had plan to extend the program to MoD, MoI and others ministries.
Pointing to the program, the head of Panjsher provincial department of information and culture Ghulam Rasool said, the situation of Panjshir cultural heritages was not good and the department lack essential resources for their protection. 
“Despite of many challenges, we made efforts for registration of cultural heritages and no further positive step has been taken in this direction. Only a two weeks workshop was organized with financial support of South Asia Foundation and our elite prof. Panjshiri took active part in teaching of history and culture,” Rasool said.
UNESCO cultural advisor and chairperson of the South Asia Foundation, Dr. Omara Khan Masoudi said, Afghanistan and the world were facing with serious threats of terrorism and extremism and it was needed to extend such awareness program to all over the country.
“We have witnessed destruction of the historical and cultural sites in Syria and Iraq and prior to that destruction of Buddha statues in Bamyan by the insurgents,” Dr. Masoudi said, adding a national-wide consensus was needed to curb such threats and to fight extremism. 
 “It is my pleasure to be a part of this project which aims to promote the importance of preservation of cultural heritage of Afghanistan, in particular the Panjshir province since those who have no awareness on value of our own heritage can hardly have bright future, Ms. Fatima, one of the participants of the program said, thanking the South Asian Foundation and the UMCPACH for organizing of such effective programs. 
“The center and the South Asia Foundation should extend the period of these course so that further teachers would be able to attend it and collect essential information and pave the way for scientific tours to participants to acquaint with cultural-historical relics,” she added.
Karima Malikzada