An exhibition of the photography of Zalmaï Ahad, titled “Return, Afghanistan,” will be on display in the Gruss Center of Visual Arts at the Lawrenceville School, 2500 Main Street, Lawrenceville, from September 12 through October 26.
Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Mr. Ahad left his home country in 1980, after the Soviet invasion. Settling in Switzerland, he pursued combined studies at the School of Photography of Lausanne and at the Professional Photography Training Center of Yverdon. In 1989, he began to work as a freelance photographer, traveling around the world from Indonesia to Egypt, from Cuba to the Central African Republic, and eventually returned to Afghanistan, where he continues documenting the ongoing war and plight of the Afghan people.
His work has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Le Temps, Newsweek, La Repubblica, and elsewhere and he has worked for a number of international and non-governmental organizations. His award-winning work has been exhibited around the world at museums, galleries, universities, and cultural centers.
”Return, Afghanistan,” coincides with this year’s annual retreat of the Afghan Girls Financial Assistance Fund (AGFAF), held this year at the Lawrenceville School. AGFAF student, Noorjahan Akbar, a senior at Dickinson College, will address the Lawrenceville School community on Friday, September 20.
Established in 2008 to aid young Afghan women who seek a college or secondary education in the USA, AGFAF identifies promising young women, matches them with participating educational institutions and American host families, and provides financial support for expenses not covered by either these institutions or host families.
The women selected by AGFAF are not only well qualified, highly motivated and in need of financial assistance, but also are committed to bring social change to their country and sharing the benefit of their education to improve conditions in Afghanistan. They share this benefit while back home during the summers and will continue to do so once they return home having completed their USA based education. AGFAF provides round trip transportation home each summer to allow recipients time with their families, to maintain their cultural ties, and to engage in worthwhile projects.
“Return, Afghanistan,” will be on display from September 12 through October 26 with an opening reception, Saturday, September 21 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. When school is in session, the gallery is open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4:30 p.m.; and on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is free.
For more information, call (609) 620-6030, or visit: www.lawrencevilleschool.org. For more on AGFAF, visit: www.agfaf.org.