This post comes to you from the heart of
Asia, roof of the world, and, sadly, a used-to-be treasure trove of Buddhist relics, Bamian. Yes, I’m writing to you from an internet café located under the majesty of the remains of the giant Buddha statues destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban.
I am here to work on a book which is about the culture and history of the Hazara people of Afghanistan. It will contain stories for children about the struggles of daily life in this cold but historic province. The book aims at introducing these people to the children of the
United States whose country is spreading “freedom” and “democracy” in that region. The Hazaras are one of the three largest ethnic groups in Afghanistan and are of Turco-Mongolic ancestry (I am a Hazara myself, if you’re curious).
I will be staying here for a few more days. During my stay, I’m going to take lots of pictures and do many interviews of the people to get to know more about their troubles and travails.
I will also visit the picturesque Band-e-Amir, a group of lakes situated outside the Bamian city. I will hear from the locals the many folk stories associated with this lake.
From my first impressions of Bamian, I am humbled by the magnificence of what remains of the two Buddha statues, and saddened by the barbarity that went into destroying them. I am also enchanted by the beauty of this valley and the warmth of its people.
Bamian is the safest of all provinces in Afghanistan. And if all goes well, I will hopefully be back home in after a week. Then, I will blog and post some of the pictures I take. The internet situation here is shaky due to which I am not be able to post from Bamian.
See you all on the other side of the border. Till then, stay safe and good wherever you are.