Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: Bamian


Bamyan, First Ever Cultural Capital of South Asia: A big party, but what else?

Qayoom Suroush

Five months late and almost half-way through its crucial year, Bamyan has finally been inaugurated as the 2015 South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) cultural capital, the organisation’s first ever. Second Vice President Sarwar Danesh, Second Deputy Chief Executive Muhammad Mohaqeq and Minister of Information and Culture Bari Jahani were among the guests who […]

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“An attempt to wipe out history”: The destruction of the Bamian Buddha colossi in 2001

Kate Clark Thomas Ruttig

On 26 February 2001, the leader of the Afghan Taleban movement, Mullah Muhammad Omar, ordered from his headquarters in Kandahar that “all statues and non-Islamic shrines in the different areas of the Islamic Emirate must be broken” because they were worshipped by people of non-Islamic religious beliefs and were therefore ‘idols.’ This kind of worship, […]

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How one girl’s killing has put Afghan justice on trial


The Guardian, 8 October 2013 A good reminder by Emma Graham-Harrison that there are other things then an election campaign going on in Afghanistan, too: The story of "the impoverished relatives of a murdered 16-year-old girl are fighting the wealthy family of an MP [from Bamian province] in Afghan courts in a case that is testing the […]

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Arts in a War Zone: Afghanistan at the Documenta

Martin Gerner

The Documenta in the German city of Kassel is said to be the world biggest exhibition on contemporary art. Taking place every five years, it is curated each time by a single foreign curator and his team of international agents and aides. This year, for its 13th edition, for the first time Afghanistan is a […]

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Thomas Ruttig

The BBC has just been reporting that NATO has handed over the security responsibility for Bamian province to the Afghan government. It has bee a big secret – no one has told us in advance. In what was a highly classified operation, NATO/ISAF has handed over the security responsibility for the Central Afghan province of […]

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The Enteqal Seven (1): A Nowruz chakar to Bamian

Fabrizio Foschini

Spring is here again. With the first warmth, AAN staff starts its occasional migration to higher pastures, Bamian in this case. The Nowruz holidays offer a much appreciated opportunity (and the announcement of Bamian as one of the first seven areas where Afghan security forces will take over from July onwards) to do so without […]

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Guest Blog: Why the Buddhas of Bamian were destroyed

Michael Semple

It would have been possible to save the Bamian Buddhas from destruction. But it was not an important enough issue for the western powers to intervene over. And the outsiders who did consider the Buddhas important were not prepared to contemplate the kind of intervention that might have worked. The Buddhas were abandoned, argues our […]

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The Destruction of the Bamian Buddhas (2)

Thomas Ruttig

28 February 2000: The Taleban want to destroy all non-Islamic images of human beings in Afghanistan as ‘idols’. With this decision, they threaten the rich cultural heritage of their country. International experts react with horror. A contemporary article by Thomas Ruttig. The Quran bans all displays of human images because Allah – as the God […]

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The Destruction of the Bamian Buddhas (1)

Thomas Ruttig

Together with the systematic exclusion of women from almost all spheres of social life, public executions in stadiums and massacres of minority groups that had resisted their takeover of certain parts of the country, it was the iconoclastic destruction of the two ancient Buddhist statues in early March 2001 which shaped the world’s image of […]

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