A message from Khalilullah Baha, Bamyan Branch instructor
The inauguration of Star’s Bamyan Branch took place Thursday July 20th in the elegant hall of Bamyan’s Gholghola Hotel. Mr. Ali Reza Yasa, Star’s founder and chairman, traveled from Kabul to Bamyan to celebrate the branch’s opening with a formal inauguration. Among many other distinguished guests was, Mohammad Sharif Saeedi, one of Afghanistan’s greatest poets and a dear friend of Ali Reza Yasa.
Issa Omid, the Executive Director Star’s new branch in Bamyan, delivered a speech on Star’s background and achievements. He addressed the nearly 300 guests by saying, “First of all, I warmly welcome Bamyan’s governor, poets, university professors, and university students. I am proud to have a part in helping Bamyanis to learn the international language of English. Star has offered services in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is a pride for us that Star students work in NGOs and governmental offices. In addition, Star publishes the first educational weekly, named Interstellar Bulletin, in Afghanistan.
Bamyan has attracted thousands of students in recent years. However, only a few of them have been able to get decent jobs. Bamyani students were suffering from severe economic problems. They were financially supported by selling Qorut, yellow oil and so on. This inspired us to open a branch of Star in Bamyan. Yasa’s management and hard work has helped Star shine like a star. Star has helped 111 students to become Fulbrighters. We are proud of such finalists. Also, Star has created a significant difference in the country and people’s lives.”
The program continued with a song by Zia Rostamy playing Dambura which was highly appreciated by the audience.
Then Tahir Zuhair, Bamyan’s Governor, made a speech and said, “I wish everyone a happy afternoon and I welcome everyone to the program. I thank Yasa for his cultural activities in the society. I myself studied at Star for two years, but I couldn’t learn English as well as I had to since I didn’t work hard enough. Unlike me, my classmates at Star are now very good at English. I very much thank Yasa for accepting our offer to open a branch of Star in Bamyan. As you all know, Bamyan has a long historical background, so we thought there was a need to have an English center like Star here in Bamyan. The more languages you can speak, the more countries you can live in.”
Then Sharif Saeedi, a great Afghan poet was interviewed by Mr. Shafaq, a professor at Bamyan University. In the interview, Saeedi said, “Such a coincidence! I have come back to Bamyan after 19 years and it has also been 19 years since Star was opened in Afghanistan. Anyway, I thank Ali Reza Yasa for conducting such a gathering. I would like to share some points related to learning language. Learning languages, I think, is extremely important nowadays. The difference between human beings and animals is the language. I know a woman from India who knows 22 languages. I think learning English in Afghanistan is absolutely necessary because we have two big problems in Afghanistan. First, language and second, relations. You know, in Europe learning Chinese is really important because the people think that after a decade or two China may expand its trading even more and may become the most powerful country in the world. What I want to say is that try to learn as many languages as you can – not only English. Finally, to continue our lives we need to learn language.”
Afterwards, Mr. Ali Reza Yasa, Star’s founder, delivered a speech. He said, “Since we don’t have much time, I will just share a few things with you dears. Star was established in 1998 in Quetta, Pakistan. In 2003, we expanded Star by opening it in Kabul, Afghanistan. When opening Star in Kabul, we faced many problems and obstacles, but we never gave up. Right now, our main goal is to try to open new branches in deprived provinces of Afghanistan. Star’s branches include Daikundi branch, Ghazni branch, Bamyan branch, and five branches in Kabul.
Additionally, Star students get Fulbright scholarships every year, and it is a big pride and success not only for them but also for us. So far, we have helped 111 students to become Fulbrighters. Therefore, I want to tell you that wherever you are, just try to learn English.”
Among the nearly 300 guests were Bamyan’s governor, Education directorate representatives, NGO representatives, civil society members, poets, and professors, instructors and students from universities, schools and learning centers. The Bamyan authorities and people warmly welcomed Star Bamyan Branch and the applauded Star’s achievement of helping many people in Afghanistan to work in the top positions and study their higher education abroad.