Stealing Afghanistan’s ancient treasure

An Afghan warlord is making a fast buck at the expense of his country.
Continue reading Stealing Afghanistan’s ancient treasure

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Afghanistan: A tree with a bitter seed

The people of Afghanistan have suffered endless war and insecurity and there is no end in sight. When will the country come to its senses? Continue reading Afghanistan: A tree with a bitter seed

“I met a traveller from an antique land”: Freya Stark in Afghanistan

Firuzkuh, or Turquoise Mountain, is the lost capital of the Ghorid dynasty of Afghanistan. It was reputedly one of the greatest cities of its age, but was destroyed by the son of Genghis Khan in the early 13th century. Continue reading “I met a traveller from an antique land”: Freya Stark in Afghanistan

The Minaret of Jam becomes the Leaning Tower of Ghor

The minaret of Jam, one of Afghanistan’s cultural marvels, is in danger of collapse. Centuries of neglect and frequent floods have weakened this fabled 800-year-old structure in the remote province of Ghor. Continue reading The Minaret of Jam becomes the Leaning Tower of Ghor

The Buddhas of Bamyan: Afghanistan’s stony-faced palimpsests

An article in The Art Newspaper (February 2014) reports that a team of archaeologists has been reconstructing the feet and legs of the smaller of the two Bamyan Buddhas, the monumental Afghan sculptures blown up by the Taliban in 2001. Continue reading The Buddhas of Bamyan: Afghanistan’s stony-faced palimpsests

Band-e Amir – lapis lazuli lakes in central Afghanistan

Afghanistan has had a bad press. The country and its people have been maligned as a result of continued political disruption and many of its images are of backwardness and desolation. In fact, Afghan society and culture are remarkable and its geography stunning, especially the six lakes known as Band-e Amir. Continue reading Band-e Amir – lapis lazuli lakes in central Afghanistan

Afghanistan: Where the past is no longer the past

Afghanistan’s education ministry has endorsed a new school curriculum repressing large swathes of the country’s recent history. Tragically, the saying that, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” may prove true. Continue reading Afghanistan: Where the past is no longer the past