Opening ceremony of Nai Qala’s photo exhibition

An opening ceremony of Nai Qala’s photo exhibition was held in a packed ACKU room

On November 14, more than 300 people gathered in a packed room of the Afghan Centre of Kabul University (ACKU) to attend the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition on the power of education in remote rural regions of Afghanistan.ACKU director, Mr. Abdul Wahid Wafa, Mrs. Fiona Gall from ACBAR and Mrs. Taiba Rahim, president of the Nai Qala Association made speeches on the importance of education whilst Mrs. Haris Coussidis, photographer and author of the more than 50 photos displayed on the walls of the Centre, shared her message through a recorded message. Mr. Wafa summarized the spirit of the event by declaring that “the exhibition is about the hope of the new generation of Afghanistan and the simple livelihood of the people of the central regions of Afghanistan with a great hope for the future of their children“.

An inspiring and hopeful speech

In the ACKU room, one could spot several young women wearing red headscarves; these were former students of Nai Qala school who, on that day, proudly played the role of hostesses. Ms. Shegufa, who had been a pupil in Nai Qala village and who used to study in the open air until a school was built there, took on the role of chairwoman and embodied the Association’s message of hope and empowerment for girls. Ms. Shegufa herself talked of the inspirational example set by Nai Qala’s president as she “shows through her actions that women can be equal to men in the community”.  Shegufa, pointed out that “the President moved the audience and instilled hope because activities in such remote areas are unprecedented”.

Nai Qala’s President’s speech left its mark on many participants who attended the ceremony, like Nadia: “Mrs. Rahim is truly an inspiration to all young Afghans. Her speech highlighted empowerment, unity, hope and commitment, solidarity to succeed, and never losing hope and always being optimistic about the future. Pursuing her vision is a way to strengthen and respect fundamental human rights in our country and to give a different image of Afghanistan. I am pleased to have been one of the participants at the opening of this inspiring and truly stimulating exhibition.” A young man who spoke in front of the audience made an emotional statement by saying, “I lost my father last year, I thought the world was over… today I feel like it’s a new day with a ray of hope”.

The majority of the audience was made up of young university students who left the ceremony inspired by the talks and with a renewed hope for their country.

The exhibition “Hope, Dignity and Commitment: The Power of Education”, 52 photos by Haris Coussidis for the Nai Qala Association on the role of reconstruction and education in remote districts of Bamyan province, can be viewed at ACKU in Kabul until 31 December, 2018.