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Embassy of Afghanistan Hosts Benefit for Afghanistan Center

On Friday, June 20 the Embassy of Afghanistan hosted a benefit for the Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation and the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University (ACKU). The benefit event brought together friends of Afghanistan for the purpose of helping the Dupree Foundation raise the necessary funds for ACKU's new building.

The Afghanistan Center was established in 1989 in Peshawar, Pakistan by Louis Dupree and Nancy Hatch Dupree, long considered America's foremost academics on Afghanistan. The center's purpose was to collect information, documents and cultural artifacts on Afghanistan, especially during the years of conflict in the country.

In 2006 the center was moved to Kabul University, where it continues to document and catalogue important documents relating to the country's history. The center's next stage of development revolves around the construction of a permanent structure to house the 38,000 documents in its possession and carry out educational programs. The building is expected to cost $1.8 million, and will be built on a prime piece of land on the university campus granted by President Hamid Karzai.

Ambassador Said T. Jawad used his speech during the event to recognize the contributions of both Nancy Hatch Dupree and her late husband Louis Dupree to Afghanistan. On Mrs. Dupree, who was in attendance, Ambassador Jawad said: "[She's] not just a dedicated friend but a committed Afghan herself, who has spent a lifetime in and outside Afghanistan, documenting and helping preserve our cultural heritage. Nancy is the recipient of the Malalai Medal, an honor bestowed by the late King Zahir Shah for her tremendous contribution to Afghanistan." Ambassador Jawad asked the guests to support ACKU.

In a speech during the event, Nancy Hatch Dupree reflected on the importance of the center's mission of educating young Afghan's about their country's history. According to her, the documents held by the center will help Afghans address the challenges of re-building their country in the coming years. J. Alex Thier, a longtime friend of the Dupree's and a current scholar at the U.S. Institute for Peace, similarly noted that 60 percent of Afghans are under 15 and need to have access to the documents and resources that will educate them about their country's past.

Please see here for more information on ACKU and how to donate to it.

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