Afghans are moving forward

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As the government of Afghanistan and some fundamentalists are trying to prevent private schools and orphanages from teaching music, the first Afghan orchestra played at Carnegie Hall as well as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. This is a demonstration of perseverance of the Afghan people and their commitment to moving forward and competing with the rest of the world despite all the constraints.   

By bringing together Eastern and Western instruments in a beautiful arrangement with girls from all different ethnicity and background sitting next to one another from all different regions of Afghanistan, this ensemble symbolizes the future of Afghanistan.  

All of this has profound political implications for Afghanistan. It proves that the differences at the political level is mostly on the surface with those who feel the need to be in power while the majority Afghans are longing to live in harmony and peace with one another. 

Tribal and regional differences have been used by some people to put pressure on President Karzai and to gain power, while this ensemble shows that most Afghans are determined to learning and working together regardless of their differences. 
 
This ensemble also illustrates that Afghans don’t have to become like others but to be with others appreciating their values while holding on to their own.  

The success of this program is due to the fact that this was an Afghan initiative collaborating with international music teachers as a joint effort. A great listen for development agencies around the world. 

The most successful development in Afghanistan in the past ten years have been in sports, music and media. Afghans have won silver and bronze middles at the Olympics for the first time. Also, Afghan soccer, volleyball, golf, taekwondo, basketball and cricket teams of boys and girls have participated in many national and international tournaments and have won. Afghanistan has fostered more musicians then ever, in the past ten years. 

There are more journalists, print media, radio and TV stations then ever before. These have all been Afghan initiatives and not an international idea being designed outside of Afghanistan. Therefore, it will thrive post 2014.   

Afghanistan can only be rebuilt when our international allies allow the Afghans to come up with their own initiatives to develop the country. Be it the government, civil society, or the private sector and only then, international support will be making a difference bringing peace through collaboration.    

Sherjan is founder and CEO of Aid Afghanistan for Education in Kabul, Afghanistan.