Over thousands of years, Afghanistan has been the home of myriad civilizations and different religions. Its rich historical culture has played a great and important role in the heritage of humankind.
Afghanistan has attracted the attention of historians, archaeologists, and an endless variety of scholars over many generations. As the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has expressed, the rebuilding of Afghanistan’s cultural institutions is a main priority of the Afghan government and people.
Through the Ministry of Information and Culture, the Afghan government supports various government newspapers, radio and TV stations and initiatives to promote culture, arts, tourism and youth affairs in Afghanistan.
The Social and Cultural Affairs Department of the Embassy of Afghanistan organizes and facilitates cultural shows, art and handicraft exhibitions, and Afghan musical and theater performances and films screenings. It gives regular advice and works closely with American academic and cultural agencies to better expose the American public to Afghan culture and traditions.
Promoting tourism to Afghanistan is an important part of our mission. The department is a resource for those who wish to travel to Afghanistan for tourism purposes. The Embassy provides assistance in obtaining visas and provides information on visiting historical places, museums and art galleries. Additionally, it will provide information to tourists traveling to Afghanistan.
The department believes that a cultural exchange between the United States and Afghanistan is imperative for strengthening U.S.-Afghan bilateral relations. The Social and Cultural Affairs Department works closely with its counterparts in Afghanistan to ensure that its work aligns properly with respective Ministries. The department has worked in close collaboration with the Office of First Lady, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs, and Disabled, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In 2015 and 2016, the Social and Cultural Affairs Department has worked with a number of think tanks, NGOs and academic institutions, and cultural and art organizations based in Afghanistan and the U.S. to address key issues relating to Afghanistan in this area, including the US Afghan Women’s Council, the Bush Institute, the Office of the First Lady of the US, Georgetown University’s Child and Human Development Center, the Department of State, the United States Institute for Peace, the American University of Afghanistan, DC Public Schools, Washington Performing Arts, and many other organizations.
Recent programs and events from 2015/2016 initiated and implemented via the Social Affairs Department include the following:
- Hosting the first Jobs Opportunities Conference: Facilitating Employment in Afghanistan
- Participating in DC Public Schools’ and Washington Performing Arts’ Embassy Adoption Program
- Hosting Her Excellency First Lady Rula Ghani for official visits to Washington, DC, including public events at USIP and Atlantic Council
- Participating in Passport DC, Washington’s largest cultural tourism event
- Active participation and engagement with the US Afghan Women’s Council
- Hosting a networking dinner for leaders of Afghan diaspora organizations
- Support to charitable organizations working for education, including the Aschiana Foundation and the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women
- Co-hosting the launch of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation’s exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Freer Sackler Gallery
Planning is currently underway for a conference on disability rights and programming that will be hosted in the Spring 2017 by the Embassy of Afghanistan, in partnership with the US Afghan Women’s Council and Georgetown’s Child and Human Development Center.
Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan
Radio Television of Afghanistan (RTA)
Bakhtar News Agency (BNA)
National Museum of Afghanistan