April 19, 2016
On March 12, 2016 the Herat University Faculty of Journalism held an official opening for their new Media Operations Center (MOC). The MOC contains classrooms for Journalism classes as well as television, radio, and print studios. These facilities allow the faculty to offer courses and hands-on training in the modern techniques of print, TV, and radio production. The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul funded construction of the MOC and donated equipment for the studios. The Faculty of Journalism, under the leadership of Dean Nematullah Sarwary, organized the event to acknowledge the support of the U.S. Government and to showcase this modern facility to the rest of Afghanistan.
Distinguished guests present at the ceremony included: the Governor of Herat, Mohammad Asif Rahimi, and the Acting Chancellor of Herat University, Dr. Hassan Farid. Also present were the deans of the Faculties of Journalism from the universities of Kabul, Prof. Abdul Wahid Gharwal, Balkh, Prof. Maria Raheen, and Kandahar, Prof. Abdul Qader Jalali. These deans were invited because the U.S. embassy Kabul also built and equipped the MOCs in Kandahar and Herat, equipped the MOC for Balkh, and now fund a grant to the Educational Support Organization to operate and maintain all four MOCs. Acting Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy, Michael Raynor and Counsellor for Public Affairs Terry Davidson conveyed recorded greetings and remarks.
Classes were first held in the Herat University Faculty of Journalism building in March 2012, and workshops and training in the studios began in September 2014. The official opening was to be held when the MOC first opened, but was postponed due to the bombing at the U.S. Consulate in Herat in 2013.
As part of the official opening, Dean Sarwary invited the deans of the visiting journalism schools to participate in a panel discussion to address key issues in journalism education. The deans also discussed strategies for successfully operating the MOCs, and making the MOCs sustainable at the conclusion of United States Government funding.