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A Year in Review


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ACKU is a beacon of hope in Kabul

Here, you will read about the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University's (ACKU) activities and events over the past year. We know that you will be inspired by all that the staff has achieved over the past 12 months. We hope that you will lend your support to ensure ACKU can continue to rebuild Afghanistan, one book at a time.

ACKU's mission -- sharing information for nation-building -- is being fulfilled every day by its users. The more than 500 students who come to classes or use the Reading Room daily know that the information they are learning or seek allows them to connect with others and understand the world at large.

Researchers regularly use ACKU's archives for information about the history and culture of Afghanistan, and know that their final publications help all of us better understand Afghanistan and develop ways to help it flourish. Organizational leaders hold events and exhibits at ACKU and know that ACKU provides not only a state-of-the-art and aesthetically pleasing locale but also a resolutely Afghan one that echoes traditional architecture and layout.

When ACKU moved to its new facility three and a half years ago, we hoped that it would become the leading resource center for information about Afghanistan. These aspirations have been met very quickly, and have been recognized in particular by the United States Library of Congress this year:

- On October 27, Founder Nancy Hatch Dupree accepted a prestigious honor from the United States Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program on behalf of ACKU's Box Library Extension (ABLE) project for best practices in literacy promotion. (See more here.)

- On September 21, 2016, Executive Director Abdul Waheed Wafa received a copy of digitized holdings of the Library of Congress relating to the culture and history of Afghanistan in recognition of the importance of ACKU's online database for researchers around the world. (See more here.)

None of this should be a surprise to anyone who knows Nancy and Waheed. Both are indefatigable advocates of the power of knowledge to transform people and society. And ACKU does just that.

Please Support ACKU to help Rebuild Afghanistan, One Book at a Time.

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ACKU Receives Digitized Historic Afghanistan Documents from LOC


On September 21, 2016 Afghanistan Centre of Kabul University Executive Director Abdul Waheed Wafa traveled to Washington, DC, to attend the celebration of the completion of the Library of Congress' Afghanistan Project - Digitization of Historic Afghanistan Documents. Digital copies of the documents were presented to organizations in Afghanistan, including ACKU.

The celebration was attendees included (from left to right) Mark Taplin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Abdul Waheed Wafa, Executive Director of ACKU; Abdul Bari Jahani, Minister of Information and Culture, Afghanistan; Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress; and Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which funded the project.
For more information about the project, see

New ACKU station at the Sharq Institute for Higher Education


ACKU opened a new station at the Sharq Institute for Higher Education in Kabul. Abdul Waheed Wafa, Director of ACKU, introduced ACKU’s online database to the Sharq community: The collection, which mostly relates directly to Afghanistan, contains more than 100,000 documents in Afghan and European languages, over 30,000 of which are digitized and are available online through ACKU’s database. Students at Sharq can now access the database from their campus.

New ACKU Station at American University of Afghanistan


On February 28, an ACKU station was officially opened at American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). In attendance were Mr. Sharif Fayez, founder of AUAF, Nancy Hatch Dupree, Executive Coordinator of ACKU, Abdul Waheed Wafa, Executive Director of ACKU, and Dr. Rebecca Miller, Library Director at AUAF, and a significant number of students from AUAF.

Dr. Rebecca Miller warmly welcomed ACKU members and the participants. Nancy talked about the history of ACKU, how the center was established in Peshawar and about its move to Kabul University. In her opening speech, Nancy mentioned that ACKU’s mission is to share information for the sake of nation-building. She added that “books look lovely in the shelves, but they are useless if we do not take them off the shelves and use them.” In her speech she also emphasized the importance of research.

Abdul Waheed Wafa briefly introduced and presented the ACKU online database to the students. He said that ACKU has not stopped doing what Nancy did in Peshawar; ACKU now has more than one hundred thousand items in its collection related to Afghanistan. Mr. Wafa requested that students become active users of ACKU resources.

To see the original post and more photos, visit

Oral histories available at ACKU


ACKU is proud to have been chosen as a depository of 684 computer optical discs containing oral histories, folklore and interviews recorded by Margaret Mills, the leading expert on Afghan folklore. These recordings in Dari were made by Professor Mills mainly in Herat between 1975 and 2004. By sharing her research, this distinguished folklore scholar strengthens the field of research for students in Afghanistan.

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