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News and Views

Washington Performing Arts Society Gets a Taste of Afghanistan


On October 16, the Embassy welcomed the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) for a reception in honor of their Fall Celebration committee members. Ambassador and Mrs. Jawad hosted Fall Celebration Co-Chairs Josephine Cooper and Rachel Tinsley Pearson, as well as Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Mr. and Mrs. Qubad Talabani, and other distinguished members of the WPAS. Proceeds from the Fall Celebration benefit WPAS’ extensive artistic and educational programming. The guests were regaled by a cello performance by Neale Perl, President of the Washington Preforming Arts Society, and dined on traditional Afghan cuisine.

Ambassador Said T. Jawad spoke about the Embassy’s participation in the WPAS Embassy Adoption Program, which partnered the Embassy of Afghansitan with Mr. Burton’s sixth-graders at Birney Elementary School. “We have had a lot of fun teaching them about Afghanistan, and received a truly wonderful gift from them: last May the class came to the Embassy, presented us with a beautiful collage, and sung the Afghan National Anthem. This was the first time that a group of Americans had sung us our own national anthem, and it reminded us of all the sacrifice and work that went into composing this song that tells the story of our country,” he said.

The Ambassador spoke briefly about the state of Afghanistan’s cultural life, and applauded the bravery of numerous Afghan artists, historian and curators who preserved Afghanistan’s cultural heritage through thirty years of war. “How and where will we train the next generation of Afghan artists and musicians?” asked the Ambassador. “I cannot imagine many partnerships that are more valuable than ours that brings young Afghans to America, where they can discover their full potential and talents. We have many gifted young people, who could one day perform before thousands at the Washington Performing Arts Society. We just need to develop the partnerships that will nurture their emerging talents. Afghanistan’s young people are our greatest asset, and are in turn your greatest investment. Nothing would make me feel a greater sense of accomplishment than being able to see the lights come up on a young Afghan pianist or rubab player in your beautiful theater.”

For more information about the Washington Performing Arts Society, CLICK HERE

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