The Afghan Institute of Strategic Studies (AISS) on Monday granted the Aviceena Peace Award to American historian and professor Michael A. Barry who has done various researches on Afghanistan’s history and culture.
The award – under the theme of Intercultural Cooperation for Peace – was granted to Mr. Barry to honor his activities for Afghanistan’s culture, the AISS officials said.
“Michael Barry’s researches on miniature of ancient Herat and on our civilization, helps us to wake up our memories on our ‘lost’ civilization,” said Rangin Dadfar Spanta, former national security advisor for former president Hamid Karzai.
“If we want peace to come to our country, we should take any step for achieving it,” said Davood Moradian, chairman of the Afghan Institute of Strategic Studies.
Other participants of the event said they support any initiative which brings cultures together. However, they questioned the cultural cooperation between Afghanistan and other countries in the world.
“Intellectuals have been sidelined in this world, culture has been made commercial,” said Rahnaward Zaryab, a well-known Afghan novelist.
Born in 1948 in New York, Michael Barry has started his researches on Afghanistan’s culture since 1970s.
“The world should be aware that how civilizations have existed in Afghanistan so that the world would pay respect to Afghanistan considering those civilizations,” said Barry.
Initiated by the Afghan Institute of Strategic Studies, the Aviceena Peace Award will be granted to those who have worked for collaboration of cultures and coexistence.
The institute says the peace award will be granted every year on this day.
Michael Barry is a Princeton University professor and historian of the greater Middle East and Islamic world. He has written extensively in both French and English, Barry's works include a standard French-language history of Afghanistan (Le Royaume de l'insolence), a biography of the late commander of the Afghan Northern Alliance, Ahmad Shah Massoud (Massoud: de l’islamisme à la liberté), which won France's Prix Femina in 2002, and an interpretive history of medieval Islamic figurative painting from the 15th to the 16th centuries.
His most recent work is Kabul's Long Shadows, published in 2011 by Princeton University's Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination (LISD).