Press Release On the Unveiling Ceremony of

Afghanistan’s Gift to the United Nations

Marketing & Reporting

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New York, NY – 28 June 2021 – The Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Ambassador Adela Raz, presented Afghanistan’s official gift to H.E Antonio Guterres, Secretary – General of the United Nations. The artwork is displayed at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The Painting – “the unseen Afghanistan” is the first gift presented by Afghanistan the United Nations since 1963 and is the only one on display.

The Government of Afghanistan chose to ask ArtLords, to create the artwork because these young men and women represent the country’s new spirit. IT depicts the New Afghanistan and the shared journey take by the people and Government of Afghanistan with out international partners, particularly the United Nations. It celebrates Afghanistan’ recent gains and present a positive side of the unseen Afghanistan, often hidden from public view. It commemorates the country’s empathy, love, and rich cultural heritage and reflects Afghanistan’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals. On of the central themes of the artwork is the value of and right education for all. The importance of partnerships and peace is another major them.

At the unveiling ceremony, H.E. Amabassador Adela Raz said that “It has been a long-term goal of the Government of Afghanistan to donate a symbolic and original artwork to the United Nations – an organization that has been instrumental in building the New Afghanistan”

She added that: “the painting we have decided to gift to the United Nations is a celebration the resilience and beauty of Afghanistan. It shows out country and its people in all their glory and aspirations – a side of Afghanistan often forgotten or unseen. It tells the story of our girls and their relentless thirst for education – their persistence in the face of adversity to gain knowledge and dream big.”

The Ambassador concluded that: “Together we will make the depiction of Afghanistan shown in this painting a reality for all Afghans. Together we will make the unseen, seen.”

H.E the Secretary – General commended the beauty of the painting and its reflection of the courage, the diversity and commitment of the people of Afghanistan.

The Secretary-General further said that: “This painting, of course, is very important for the UN, IT represents a partnership of 75 years. A very solid partnership, which Ambassador Raz have been boosting that partnership in an extraordinary way.”

On the role of the UN he said: “I want to reassure you of our strong commitment to support Afghanistan. Our strong commitment to the people of Afghanistan. And to make sure that these trying times will lead to a new era, peace, prosperity and human rights for the people of Afghanistan that are so dear to my heart.”

One of the founders of ArtLords, Omaid Sharifi, discussed how the painting was made and its symbolism. He explained that: “To make the painting, our team started by travelling all over Afghanistan to gain inspiration from across our diverse regions and to collect soil from all 34 provinces. That soil from all over the country makes up the ground of this canvas.” Reflecting on the imagery of the artwork, he told the story of a child who lost one of his legs but learned to run and the Buddha’s of Bamiyan, which today represents “our rich history and our losses.”