Mohammad Afsar Rahbin, Director of the Afghanistan National Archives, visited Ashraf Broujerdi, Director of the National Library and Archives of Iran, in Tehran on September 4, 2019.
While explaining about the status of Afghanistan National Archive, Rahbin announced about one hundred thousand historical documents and about 7000 manuscripts in the Afghanistan National Archive and said, “Only a limited number of certain manuscripts are scanned and digitalized and we hope to launch the digital department of Afghanistan National Archive under trainings and cooperation offered by Iran.”
Pointing to the fact that national library and archive center in Afghanistan are two separated organizations, he said, “Afghanistan’s archive center and public library of the country have been established more than 50 and 70 years, respectively. And except the National Archive building, national and historical documents are kept in other places such as Arg Archive in which there are more than 100,000 documents.”
Explaining about how these documents are kept in Afghanistan, Rahbin said, “Currently, the national archive of Afghanistan is located in a palace with over 150 years of history, which enjoys proper condition for maintaining historical documents in terms of various standards.” He also said, “Unfortunately, the National Museum of Afghanistan was plundered during civil wars of Kabul and there are problems for conducting works and related affairs and they won’t be solved as far as the war is concerned and the country suffers from the insecurity.”
Later in this meeting, Broujerdi said, “Along with holding a joint exhibition of Iranian and Afghan manuscripts, NLAI is ready to provide the Afghan experts with necessary trainings about repairing, maintaining and digitalizing the manuscripts and documents.”
On the sidelines of this meeting, both Rahbin and Broujerdi emphasized the necessity of inscription of Rumi’s Masnavi (which has been translated into 70 languages so far) to on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In this regard, Broujerdi said, “We have made negotiations with Turkey to inscribe this work as a common heritage of three countries (Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan) on the UNESCO World Heritage List and after that we would conduct similar activities about certain works such as Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi.”