The cultural activities of the High Cultural Council of the foundation can be divided into four sections, publications, audio contents, visual contents, and public services.
Publications by the foundation are of two types including regular and irregular (books and articles):
Regular Publications (temporary magazines): In order to compile viewpoints and thoughts of Massoud, and for his commemoration and provision of insight on the struggles and performances of the people of Afghanistan during the Jihad period, the Foundation began to publish a magazine entitled “Yad-e-Yar”. The magazine that used to be published every quarter was distributed to cultural and social institutions, and other interested bodies for free. The magazine was printed in three volumes, and the first one was published in fifty issues during the period from June 2003 (Jawza 1382) to the year 2013 (1392).
In addition to the Yad-e-Yar quarterly, another magazine that focused more on issues related to families, adolescents, and youth was also developed, and mostly covered topics from psychological standpoints adjusted to norms of Afghan community and aimed at resolving current social issues. This magazine was entitled “Baran” and was printed on a monthly basis, and too distributed for free to people and institutions.
Besides these two magazines, i.e. Yad-e-Yar, and Baran, provincial offices and agencies of the foundation in Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat, Takhar, Samangan, and other provinces also published magazines such as Par-e-Parwaz, Sukhan, Andisha, Hamshahri, Daricha-e-Zindagi, Aybak, etc.
The first issue of the third volume of Yad-e-Yar magazine, that was then being printed annually, was published on the sixteenth death anniversary of Ahmad Shah Massoud in September 2017 (Sunbula 1396). The second number of this volume was published on his seventeenth death anniversary.
Irregular Publications (books and articles): This initiative aims to help the cultural community and writers of Afghanistan who cannot afford to print and publish their most valuable pieces. Massoud Foundation has so far supported print and publication of more than 100 books of different authors covering different topics such as history, religion, thought, society, politics, literature (mementos, poems, and stories), and memories to name but few. These contents included but not limited to We and Pakistan, Years of Invasion and Resistance and a Delusive Morning, by Mohammad Akram Andishmand; Highlighting the Work of Massoud, by Hafizullah Mansoor; Massoud: An Intimate Portrait of the Legendary Afghan Leader, by Marcela Grad, translate by Zohra Zaheer; Four Years with Ahmad Shah Massoud, by Dr. Sayed Azizurahman Safawi; Ahmad Shah Massoud: The Martyr of Peace and Freedom, by Mujiburahman Rahimi; The Deadlock, by Ahmad Zia Rafat; From This Viewpoint, by Mohammad Mohiq; Pines Are Still There, by Mohammad Zahir Rustami; Toward Success, by Hamid Elmi; Near and Around the Commander, by Fahim Dashti; and The Candle Land, by Shamriz.
Another section of the Foundation’s cultural activities is concerned with the spoken history of Jihad and resistance. In this regard, the foundation plans to conduct special interviews with commanders and individuals participated in Jihad, and other leaders of different parties and groups to talk about Jihad and resistance.
Since Afghanistan went through hard conditions, it is vital to focus on the training and education of its citizens. Therefore, the main activities of this Foundation focused on two areas, i.e. cultural and educational areas. We would like to first begin by illustrating these two areas here.
1- Conferences and Seminars
Convening conferences and seminars in honor of historical, religious, and social occasions are part of the Foundation’s cultural programs and activities. These includes events such as the death anniversaries of the national hero, international seminars on knowing Massoud, seminars on international day of teachers, mother’s day, woman’s day, Milad al-Nabi (observance birthday of Prophet Mohammad PBUP), conferences on rebuilding Afghanistan, seminars on highlighting challenges and opportunities of university students, an international seminar convened in 2010 in Dushanbe Tajikistan on the role and lessons learned of Ahmad Shah Massoud and the United Front in tackling terrorism, seminar on exploring people’s uprising in the Middle East and the impacts, symposium of Mawlana, Shams; thoughts and knowledges, exhibition of the Foundation’s publications, and more similar events in capital Kabul and other provinces. Some of these seminars have been dedicated to the observance of cultural, Jihadi, and religious personalities.
2- Establishment of Libraries
Establishment of public libraries in Kabul and other provinces is one of the most important programs by the foundation because it is necessary to provide such facilities, especially a calm environment, for the young talents to flourish. So far, three well-equipped libraries have been established each in Takhar, Baghlan, and Herat provinces. Libraries in Baghlan and Takhar cost USD 500,000, and include books of different fields. Interested readers and beneficiaries have free access to these libraries. In addition, and in order to encourage the youth to study, the foundation has convened different book exhibitions in Kabul and other provinces on different occasions.
The foundation has also donated books to the libraries of different institutions including investigative institutions. This included donation of hundreds of different books of psychology, sociology, theology, philosophy, literature, politics, law, language learning, and more to the library of Alama Faizani, Takhar Literary Association, Herat Literary Association, Library of Martyr Mustafa Kazimi, Library of Imam Mohammad Ghazali, Literary and Educational Association of Peer-e-Herat, Library of Ghor province, Cultural Offices of the ministry of defense, and interior, Baihiqi Library, Mazar-e-Sharif Library, Cultural Department of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Strategic Studies Center of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Library of Kapisa province, Library of Parwan province, Library of Panjshir Cultural Foundation, Library of Balkh Municipality, and the Library of Roy-e-Doaab district of Samangan province.
The central office of the Foundation in Kabul also has a library and study room that is available for interested citizens for their studies and investigation.
3- Art Exhibitions, and Quran and Academic Competition
Another part of the Foundation’s cultural programs is to convene exhibitions on the artwork, Quran and academic competition. Some of these events were Exhibition on Artwork and Craftwork in Mazar-e-Sharif, Exhibition of Martyr Massoud’s Photographs in Panjshir, Football Photo Exhibition in Herat, Quran Recitation Competition in Balkh, and Academic Competition among Girls and Boys Schools in Herat to name but a few.
4- Print and Publication of Brochures, Billboards, and Banners
In order to further amplify Massoud’s thoughts and works, hundreds of brochures, billboards, and banners designed with Massoud’s pictures, messages, and sayings addressing problems and social issues were prepared and published. Billboards were placed in public areas most frequented by citizens such as airports, traffic circles, and highways.
5- Audiovisual Contents
Under this section, photos and other contents, especially videos of Massoud, from Jihad and Resistance period, are compiled and disseminated. The team is also responsible to cover different events of the Foundation and share the media contents with the audience. Under this program, the concerned department of the Foundation has conducted training workshops, mostly in Herat province, on scriptwriting for films, making short films, and video dubbing.
Since its inception in 2006, the health section of the Massoud Foundation aims to provide healthcare services by running fixed and mobile clinics. Having 80 staff across seven provinces such as Ghazni, Paktika, Khost, Paktia, Parwan, Nangarhar, and Kabul, the Foundation provides healthcare services to patients in need, help the victims during hard winters, and conduct medical checkups of poor elements of the communities. Services that have benefited a big number of local people in different provinces include vaccination, healthcare services to mothers and children, training on health issues, and more.
Secondary and Higher Education
This section of the Foundation operates in 13 provinces across Afghanistan. The activities under this section include training courses on science, social studies, mathematics, English language, and computer. Different courses have been delivered to beneficiaries across several provinces. Besides these courses, the foundation has established a kindergarten in Parwan province, and two schools, named Rastagaran, and a girls’ high school, Australia-Afghan Muslims Girls Private School, in Kabul. The private school which was established in 2007 (1386) by the financial support of the Foundation, has 50 orphans from one of a public nursery who are trained and provided with school uniforms, textbooks, and stationery for free. In addition, many other students who cannot afford the tuition get free education at this school.
In addition to the aforementioned schools, the foundation has also established local radio outlets and internet cafés aimed at increasing the knowledge level of the people. As an example, we can mention Radio Azram in Samangan province, and an internet café in Mazar-e-Sharif.
The foundation has also worked and still does to support higher education. One of the important initiatives in this regard is sending students for higher education through scholarship programs provided to the Foundation by other countries. So far, the foundation has managed to provide such facilities to tens of students from different provinces and of different ethnicities by sending them to India, Turkey, and Russia.
Massoud Foundation has always provided humanitarian assistance, both in the form of cash and commodities, to the victims of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and avalanches. These include but not limited to assistance provided to the victims of flood in Tagab, Wardooj, and Baharak districts of Badakhshan, and Rakha district of Panjshir provinces. The Foundation has also provided food packages on different occasions to poor families across different provinces. Besides other social activities, capacity building seminars for teachers and training of braille writing have been also part of the services.
The Foundation has been also working in providing sports opportunities for the youth in different provinces. Some of the initiatives in this regard are facilitation of tournaments and sending sports teams for competitions within the country and abroad.
Besides other sections, the Foundation’s construction work and services also began from the initial years of its establishment. The main project implemented is the construction of a cultural and touristic site in the burial place of Martyr Ahmad Shah Massoud. The project, which was launched in 2008, has completed recently.
The aforementioned site includes the tomb, a conference hall, accommodation for visitors, Jihad museum, a library, a mosque, and a parking lot.
The total budget spent was approximately 8 million US dollars supported by the foundation, and during the past two years, some of the country fellows too contributed financially. The implementing partner of the project is the Green Climate Expansion Company (Eqlimi Tawsa-e-Sabz).
Lack of students’ access to resources and appropriate place for study in different provinces of Afghanistan, especially in Baghlan and Takhar provinces, attracted the attention of the Foundation, and as the result, the Foundation, with the support of Paderborn (German) Organization, constructed two libraries in the capital cities of aforementioned provinces. These two-story libraries were equipped with study rooms, bookshelves, internet cafés, and administrative offices, and were completed in…
In addition, the foundation has also contributed in the construction of Chinki High School building in the Sayedkhail district of Parwan province, and construction of Martyr Ahmad Shah Massoud Mechanic School in Panjshir province. The Chinki High School building had been damaged eighty percent during the three decades of war, but with the support of Massoud Foundation, the building is well-equipped now, and hold more than 1200 students in two shifts. Also, Martyr Ahmad Shah Masoud Mechanic school was constructed by the Foundation within a period of one year and can hold 800 students at a time.
Other construction work by the Foundation include construction of road and drains in Dura district of Panjshi province, construction of Parendeh road of Panjshir province, construction and renovation of bridges, renovation of more than 15 mosques, solving access to water issues of the people of Shohada district of Pansjshir province, construction of Estiqlal girls’ school in Balkh, construction of Parwan kindergarten, construction of five lavatories at Hindokosh kindergarten in Charikar city, with the cooperation of Solidarity for Afghanistan construction of 10 lavatories for Estiqlal girls’ school in Mazar-e-Sharif, and more.