Harmonizing Hope

The Resilient Journey of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music


Brought to you by Mubadala and Part of RIWAQ AL FIKR ADMAF Talks

  • icon Location
    NYUAD Campus, Conference Center
  • icon Date
  • icon Time
    6:30 pm / 8:00 pm

In this talk, Dr. Sarmast, Founder and Director of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), shares the inspiring journey of ANIM—a remarkable institution that has overcome adversity to emerge as a national and global symbol of hope, resilience, and artistic freedom. The presentation explores how ANIM—known as Afghanistan’s happiest place— plays a critical role in preserving the nation’s rich musical heritage, while offering a platform for all young Afghans to find their voices and develop their musical abilities. The narrative illustrates the unbreakable spirit of human creativity and music’s transformative power in overcoming difficult circumstances by highlighting ANIM’s role in advocating for music rights, while also fostering excellence, empowerment, and cross-cultural understanding. ANIM’s story is an inspiring example of resilience and unity through the arts.


  • Dr. Ahmad Naser Sarmast, Founder and Director, Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM); UNESCO’s Second Annual Cultural Heritage Rescue Prize; International Music Council Musical Rights Award; David Chow Humanitarian Award

Moderated by

  • Gwyneth Bravo, Assistant Professor of Music, NYUAD; Global Global Network Assistant Professor of Music, NYU


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