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Afghanistan’s legacy of publishing is in clear danger of disappearing. The earliest publications appearing in Afghanistan are extremely rare and, judging by their absence from library collections around the world, are to be found now almost exclusively in private collections, where public access is limited or non-existent. Decades of war in Afghanistan have further dispersed and destroyed holdings of books within the country itself.
The immediate objective of the Afghanistan Digital Library is to retrieve and restore the first sixty years of Afghanistan’s published cultural heritage. The project is collecting, cataloging, digitizing, and making available over the Internet as many Afghan publications from the period 1871–1930 as it is possible to identify and locate. In addition to books, this will eventually include all published serials, documents, pamphlets, and manuals. Phase 1 of the project, undertaken in 2005, has drawn materials from the collections of several private collectors as well as from the holdings of New York University Library and the British Library. Phase 2, undertaken in 2006, has trained a staff at the National Archives in Kabul in conservation and digitization and is engaged in the cataloging and digitization of materials held in various public and private collections inside Afghanistan. In time the project plans to carry the dissemination of Afghan publications through the period between 1931 and 1950. Providing universal availability to this broad historical span of Afghanistan’s published history, and in the process constructing a national bibliography for the country, the Afghanistan Digital Library will reconstruct an essential part of Afghanistan’s cultural heritage.
The Afghanistan Digital Library is a project of New York University Libraries with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Reed Foundation, and the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.
Since she has been First Lady, Laura Bush has traveled far and spent considerable time trying to advance the causes that are dear to her. Since 2002, she has been involved with the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, traveling to Afghanistan twice, once as a Council partner. Her particular interest currently is in a Teacher Training Institute in Kabul, but her overarching concern is the well-being of women and children in a country torn by religious, military, and cultural conflict.
Annissa Hambouz, The New York Times Learning Network
Javaid Khan, The Bank Street College of Education in New York City
Grades: 6-8, 9-12
Subjects: Current Events, Global History
Overview of Lesson Plan: In this lesson, students explore the history of ethnic groups, leadership, internal and external conflicts, social and economic conditions, and geographical boundaries of Afghanistan to present to fellow classmates at a teach-in.
The penny, 1% of a dollar, is symbolic of the ‘1% of Gross Domestic Product’ goal set by the United Nations. The goal was for wealthy countries to give foreign aid to impoverished nations each year.
Pennies for Peace teaches children the rewards of sharing and working together to bring hope and educational opportunities to children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A penny in the United States is virtually worthless, but in Pakistan and Afghanistan a penny buys a pencil and opens the door to literacy.
The mission of Central Asia Institute (CAI) focuses on community-based education, especially for girls. A 5th grade education for girls improves not only the basic indices of health for her and her family, she will also spread the value of education within her community. Literacy, for both boys and girls, provides better economic opportunities in the future and neutralizes the power of despot mullahs and other extremist leaders.
Pennies for Peace – Ideas and Resources for Teachers
Afghanistan – Land in Crisis
Source: National Geographic
Interactive map and information from National Geographic. Includes downloadable lesson plans and maps.