Bamyan Forges Future for Afghanistan
Bamyan province is what officials said they hope the rest of Afghanistan can become. Local businesses are open, men and women stroll around town and children play in the streets. It is as if someone forgot to tell the residents of Bamyan that Afghanistan is statistically one of the most dangerous places in the world.
Despite Bamyan’s beautiful natural setting and current state of security, the area has been no stranger to brutality in the past.
Bamyan City sits in the stately shadows of the once magnificent Bamyan Buddhas. The Taliban regime destroyed both Buddhas, but the enormous niches from which they loomed over Bamyan City still remain. Efforts are ongoing to restore one of the Buddhas to its former glory.
The smaller of the two is covered in scaffolding and being rebuilt through a grant from the government of Japan and the Afghan Ministry of Culture.
There are also hundreds of caves in the cliffs that run parallel to the city. The caves were once used by Buddhist monks. Today, many of the caves are used by local residents as additions to their homes or stables for their animals.
Genghis Khan was also an unwelcome visitor to the province. The ruins of the city he destroyed, known by locals as the “screaming city,” are still here and open to visitors.
“The city got its name when Genghis Khan killed every living thing within its walls,” said Afghan National Police officer, Col. Ahmed Hussien Ibrahimi.
But despite the violence of its past, residents claim Bamyan is now the most secure province in Afghanistan.
To read the rest of this story on the ISAF in Afghanistan website, click HERE, or on the image above.