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    NATO Groundbreaking honors 'Grandmother of Afghanistan'

    In a groundbreaking ceremony, Amb. John R. Bass, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, historians and friends of Dupree honored her accomplishments after five decades in Afghanistan.

    “In a few moments we will break ground here and begin this renovation of this garden to honor and celebrate Nancy Hatch Dupree, a women who loved Afghanistan and in turn was loved by the Afghan people,” said Nicholson. “Nancy dedicated her life to the country of Afghanistan, not only to its future but to preserving and protecting its vibrant past.”

    Known as the “Grandmother of Afghanistan,” Dupree spent most of her life in Afghanistan or with Afghans.

    Her greatest legacy, which she worked on until her death at the age of 89 last year, was the founding of the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University. The center houses over 60,000 original documents that she personally saved.

    It is the first center dedicated to the study of Afghanistan’s history.
    “She fearlessly protected history and artifacts during the time of the Soviet invasion, the civil war, and even from the Taliban,” said Nicholson.

    The center holds hundreds of thousands of primary and secondary source documents, many of which were collected and preserved by Dupree. She escaped the country when the Taliban took control with over 35,000 documents wrapped in fertilizer bags. Years later she returned with the documents, which became the basis for the Afghanistan Centre archive.

    Dupree once said, “A nation stays alive if it’s culture stays alive.”

    A quote whose statement was echoed by others in attendance.

    “I’m looking forward to the day we can take the garden outside the compound,” said Hassina Sherjan, Aid Afghanistan Education founder and director. “And extend Nancy’s vision so we can have libraries and recorders at each garden outside of the compound where anyone can come read, share information and share stories. I know that we are all working in our own capacity to get there and we will be there soon.”

    Dupree arrived in Kabul in 1962 at the age of 34 and married Louis Dupree, an archaeologist known for his groundbreaking discoveries of Paleolithic Afghan tools and artifacts.

    For the next 15 years, they traveled across Afghanistan and excavated prehistoric sites. For the remainder of her life, she worked tirelessly to protect and safeguard Afghanistan’s heritage.

    Dupree established the Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation, which promotes research and raises awareness of the history and culture of Afghanistan. The foundation promotes Afghan cultural heritage and ensures the sustainability of the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University.

    Established in 2015, Resolute Support is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan’s security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.

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    Date Taken: 04.23.2018
    Date Posted: 04.27.2018 05:04
    Story ID: 274555
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 100
    Downloads: 0