(c) Bob Nickelsberg
copyright Robert Nickelsberg
ACKU: Premier Research and Resource Facility

Not only is the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU) the leading international resource center for information about Afghanistan but it has also become the premier facility in Kabul for conferences and exhibits about Afghanistan. 

In 2015, ACKU significantly expanded its offerings of training courses and workshops to provide students with research and critical thinking skills that they otherwise would not have received. As you will read below, the academic community in Kabul is a richer place, thanks to the ongoing robust activities at ACKU.
ACKU's impact in areas throughout Afghanistan's 34 provinces also runs deep. ACKU's Library Box Extension (ABLE) project has brought more than 230 box libraries to high schools and rural areas around the country. With more than 315 titles in Dari and Pashto, ABLE publishes books with a broad audience in mind, covering topics such as farming, folktales and history. They are a lifeline for those who would otherwise have no access to books.

As international troops pull out of Afghanistan, many funding agencies have followed suit, making it increasingly difficult for ACKU to raise the funds it needs to run programs. 

With your support, ACKU will be able to continue its role as the premier research and resource facility in Afghanistan and beyond. 

Please consider a gift today to support ACKU! 

Thank you for your commitment to rebuilding Afghanistan, one book at a time.
ACKU at a Glance in 2015

visitors to the ACKU Reading Room
books sold to ABLE partners
books distributed by ACKU to ABLE libraries
ABLE libraries in 34 provinces being maintained
individuals conducted research onsite at ACKU and online
events held
research courses taught

Photojournalist Robert Nickelsberg
Exhibit from Afghanistan: A Distant War

On September 2, ACKU hosted the opening of Robert Nickelsberg's photographic exhibition of 52 images from his book, Afghanistan: A Distant War. The exhibit also commemorated the new Dari translation of the book.

A former Time magazine contract photographer, Mr. Nickelsberg spoke about his journeys to Afghanistan while he was posted in New Delhi from 1988 - 2000; he expressed his hope that the new generations could find an objective perspective about the past from his images. 

The opening was attended by more than 170 participants -- mostly students from Kabul University and other institutes in Kabul as well as a significant number of representatives from national and international organizations. The exhibit was widely covered through ACKU's social media as well as the BBC and Tolo TV.

Reading and Critical Thinking
Workshops and Reading Groups

In addition to offering courses to improve research skills, ACKU hosts reading discussion groups and workshops to enhance essential critical skills including summarizing, analyzing, synthesizing and critically evaluating.


Brave Men Stand for Women 
HeforShe Gender Equality Campaign

UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to the rights of women and girls, held the launch of its HeForShe gender equality campaign in Afghanistan at ACKU on December 6, 2015. Using the slogan "Brave Men Stand for Women," HeForShe is an international solidarity movement that encourages men to stand up for women's rights.


Books to Expand Horizons
ACKU's ABLE Project 

ACKU's Box Library Extension (ABLE) project added 5 new libraries in 2015 and published 5 new titles in Dari and Pashto. For the first time, ABLE published a book entitled The Earth and Sky written especially for young children. 

Author Ms. Parvin Pazwak compiled scientific information and beautiful illustrations to create this simple and an eye-catching book about nature for children and new literates. This engaging publication includes a section at the end with puzzles and quizzes that children are sure to enjoy.

Human Rights Day 2015
ACKU Hosts Talks and Exhibits
UN Development Programme-Afghanistan and ACKU celebrated human rights day on Wednesday, December 9. Participants included Minister of Justice Dr. Abdul Basir Anwar and UNDP Afghanistan Country Director Douglas Keh as well as civil society representatives, Kabul University professors and many students from Kabul University and other private institutes.  

The program concluded with a performance by students of Fine Arts from Kabul University; participants were then led to the book exhibition prepared by various Afghan publications. 

Reconstructing Afghanistan
Launch of new book edited by William Maley and Susanne Schmeidl

On November 24, ACKU hosted the official launch of Reconstructing Afghanistan: Civil-Military Experiences in Comparative Perspective, edited by William Maley and Susanne Schmeidl. 

In addition to Professor Maley, who is Director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at Australian National University, speakers included researcher Nematullah Ibrahimi and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasir Ahmad Andisha, both of whom are Ph.D. candidates at Australian National University.

The event was widely attended by students from Kabul University and other private institutes in Kabul, research scholars, and diplomats including Australian Ambassador Matt Anderson and Diplomatic Representative of Agha Khan Noorjahan Mawani. 

Professor Maley said: "This book is written in order to compare the experiences of different countries that had deployed Provincial Reconstruction Teams in various parts of Afghanistan... Lessons from experiences from Afghanistan can help to develop more effective forms of civil military cooperation in other countries as well."


ACKU Corners Bamiyan
Another Research Station Opens

In collaboration with the Group for the Environment Renewable Energy and Solidarity (GERES), ACKU established a new research station in Bamiyan University.

The ACKU-Bamiyan station provides students with full access to ACKU online resources, which contain more than 100,000 documents and research articles about Afghanistan. ACKU Library Manager Abdul Rahim Qaderdan and IT Manager Ali Madad demonstrated how to use and search the catalog, and highlighted some of the collections that would be of particular interest to university students.


A female poultry farmer in Bamyan writes: "In the beginning...the yield from my farm was very poor. Hens were affected by common poultry diseases. I did not know why or how to treat them. Many were dying. Now that I have access to the ABLE book Aviculture,... I am aware of how to prevent and treat the diseases ... and how to feed them properly. ... Many others are now keeping poultry after witnessing the increased yields of my farm."
A farmer from Maidan Wardak south of Kabul writes: "When I read A Guide to Gardening .... I improved my knowledge of tree planting and transplantation. ... Those trees I have now transplanted grow more successfully and give me high quality fruits. Many people now ask me to go to their gardens to help them."
A high school student in Herat writes: "...My family is illiterate but they are eager to know about many things... They encourage me to read loudly to them at home. Now my family has so much more information on many different things ....and they share this information with others. Everyone feels more confident." 

Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation for the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University


Nancy Hatch Dupree    



Andrew H. Brimmer, Chair | Sarah O'Hagan, SecretaryRobert J. Breen | Sandra Cook | 

Peter B. de Neufville | Ashraf Ghani | M. Ashraf Haidari| Sheila M. Platt | David Rohde |

J. Alexander Thier | Mary Anne Schwalbe, Chair Emerita (deceased)



Theodore L. Eliot, Jr., Convener | George Biddle | Lakhdar Brahimi| John A. Gastright, Jr. | Said T. Jawad | 

Tony Kushner | Spozhmai Maiwandi | Ronald E. Neumann | Nicholas Platt | Mary Anne Weaver | 

Catherine W. Wilkinson


Laura J. Marks, Executive Director