New Beginning: Goethe-Institut Kabul Reopened
The Goethe-Institut Kabul was reopened on September 22nd, 2003 – after a 12 year closure due to war, civil war and the Taliban regime. The newly renovated institute in the former GDR embassy is situated in Wazir Akbar Khan, an area of Kabul dominated by governmental buildings, embassies and international organisations.
The institute’s director Renate Elsaesser has been in Kabul since September 2002 and is coordinating programmes in the areas of theatre, film, music and art, financed through special funds by the Federal Republic of Germany. The institute also supports public and specialized libraries at the university.
For almost 100 years now Afghanistan and Germany have had very good relations with regards to economy, technology, culture and education. The services provided by the Goethe-Institut, such as training courses, scholarships, technical and content-related support for film productions as well as equipment for film- and music productions were received enthusiastically.
For a long time German as a foreign language has played an important role in Afghanistan. The first four German courses given by the Goethe-Institut Kabul have accepted 60 new students. Due to the high demand more course are being planned. It is mainly young Afghans who decide to learn German early in the morning and before they start work or their general studies, hoping that a knowledge of German may increase their chances for employment with one of the other German organisations in Kabul, a position as translator or for their participation in a study-abroad-programme.
As of now the Goethe-Institut Kabul is the only foreign cultural institute in Kabul. Its mission is to contribute to a permanent stabilisation and reconstruction of democracy in Afghanistan through cultural and educational cooperation. The institute’s tasks and objectives are part of Germany’s foreign cultural policy in regions
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