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Distressing Update from Kabul

December 12, 2014

Hi Everyone,

I returned home to Columbus safely Thursday morning. I am now in Boston for the weekend.

There is upsetting recent news from Kabul.

On Thursday afternoon a suicide bomber entered the rear of an auditorium at which a number of students from the music school were performing and detonated a bomb. One person is reported as having been killed, a German citizen who was presumably not directly associated with the music school. A number of others were injured.

Among the injured was Dr. Sarmast, founder of the music school. My understanding is that he will be fine, but he has been admitted to the hospital for treatment. This article provides some details and quotes Dr. Sarmast commenting on the incident. There is also a picture of him in his hospital bed. Dr. Sarmast had received an award from the Center just prior to the performance, as I understand it.

The venue was the French Cultural Center, which has a fine auditorium. The students of ANIM perform there frequently. I had spent much of the previous day there with the students, as the Chamber Orchestra performed in that hall Wednesday afternoon. My flight left at just about the time their concert began, so I only heard the rehearsal.

I have direct word from the school that no students or staff other than Dr. Sarmast were injured. The students are all physically well. I am sure everyone is deeply shaken. They are doing noble work, important and useful in ways that are unique to Afghan society.

By virtue of the simple fact of being born in that country, these children are at significant risk. But to cede to outrageous brutality would lead to even greater risk. I feel sure the school will bolster their security procedures and physical plant, and continue to bring their special brand of light into a world that desperately needs it.

We offer our thoughts, prayers, and wishes of infinite goodwill to the entire community of ANIM tonight.

Chris

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