Last week, a group of us had the opportunity to visit the Imam Bukhari Orphan Education Center in Kabul, Afghanistan. The 4-story center was completed just four years ago serving over 300 boys and girls. Imam Bukhari provides the children with exceptional teachers, a library filled with a variety of books, a computer lab, different kind of classes - Science, Mathematics, Recitation of Holy Quran, Islamic Education, Farsi, and English. They prepare the students for higher education and the possibility of future internship opportunities. Other than education, the children are provided with food, clothing, resources, guidance, and most importantly the feeling of empowerment. The Imam Bukhari Orphan Center gives them the opportunity to enjoy their childhood while also preparing them for a future. It gives them the opportunity to overcome their obstacles and become the best version of themselves. They have built an environment for these orphans to prosper and the orphan center is creating a bond between the kids that will last a lifetime.
Visiting the Imam Bukhari Orphan Center was an experience like no other. We were not ready for this emotional rollercoaster of being surrounded by 300 orphans. All with a heartbreaking story. Upon our arrival to the Zam Zam Blue building, which brings color and life to the surrounding areas, we were welcomed with so much gratitude and love; not only from all the children, but from the staff, especially Dr. Suliman Nessary, the Executive Director. Once we walked into those blue doors, the children were lined up greeting us with flowers. It was an absolute joy to see the smiles on the kids’ faces. Our broken Farsi was the joke of the hour, but it was worth seeing their smiles. Faisal, one of the boys, welcomed us with a beautiful poem he had written. His voice was so powerful and moving, every verse he read came from the heart. Walking through the halls, you can see the showcases of students that placed “awal numra”- top students of the class. The showcase represents a sense of accomplishment and reward for their hard work and dedication.
After leaving the orphan center we had a sense of hope. These kids are the future generation of Afghanistan and they will soon be the change the country has been waiting to see. We have never been in the presence of such disciplined and respectful kids. Every single soul was kind, respectful and welcoming. Regardless of everything that they have experienced, they continued to have a smile on their face. The professors have been raising these kids to be strong and smart individuals so that one day they can follow their dreams and aspirations. These children are the future. Each one is a beacon of hope.
Today’s Imam Bukhari orphans are being prepared to be tomorrow’s leaders. Being labeled as an orphan does not define their (in)capabilities for success. They will be the ones to end the cycle of violence seen in Afghanistan, because they are survivors. They will overcome their struggles thanks to the worldwide love, support, and guidance they have received. We all made a promise that we will continue to help the Imam Bukhari Orphan Center, as well as visit every year, and will always be a supporter of Zam Zam. What they do and what they stand for is very inspiring and we wish them all the success. May God bless these children and all their supporters!
“We want our kids to grow up and further their education in hopes of them being successful and one day returning to help the future students of Imam Bukhari.” - Dr. Suliman Nessary
- Nadia Ramin, Munjia Ramin, Omar Ramin, and Bejan Ramin