The power gained from reading is priceless. Reading expands your knowledge and awareness and also stimulates the creative imagination. In fact, reading has such a powerful influence it can change your emotional state.
Afghanistan has had a long tradition of scholarly and intellectual pursuits. After decades of conflict that tradition is now making a comeback.
Parwan’s public library is a living example of this resurgence. This is a change that is especially evident among young people, who now rub shoulders with older intellectuals between the library’s stack of books, eager to learn and improve their future.
All over the world libraries are revered as being a free source of academic material and learning. Parwan’s library manager, Abdulkhaleq Neiaazi, explained that the number of daily visitors has grown exponentially over the past couple of years.
“Ten years ago we had maybe two or three people per week coming to the library, now it is a minimum of twenty people per day,” he said. “Now, our main challenge is to replace the old books and expand the book selection we’re offering,” he added.
Mr. Nezaamudin Rahimi, Administrative Deputy of the Parwan Department of Education, explained that the thirst for knowledge among young people is creating a huge demand for knowledge.
“Now even the school books are not enough for them. They come to the library to improve their learning and expand their knowledge,” Rahimi said. For this reason the education department has announced that it will purchase new books for the library, as well as it will increase the number of computer classes available in the centre so students can use the internet.
Abdulwahid, a young resident from Parwan who recently returned from earning a bachelor degree in China, regularly visits the library. “Books are one of mankind’s best friends. They play a key role in our lives. Young people should study to better themselves and improve our society,” he said.
“The best way to treasure and maintain the culture of learning is to create libraries and increase the quality of education in schools and universities. Societies that do this always prosper,” explained Mohammad Kaamran, one of Parwan’s most respected intellectuals. “We need to protect and promote the culture of learning,” he concluded.