UNESCO Director General and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah celebrate the role of Cultural heritage for the future of Afghanistan.
Kabul, Afghanistan. Friday, 27 May 2016.
“Keeping History Alive” a UNESCO publication on safeguarding cultural heritage in post-conflict Afghanistan was launched in Kabul’s Babur Garden by H.E. Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.
The Babur Gardens, one of the world’s most famous Islamic gardens which have been restored after historic efforts held since 2002 by H[is] H[ighness] the Aga Khan. The garden subscribes layers of meaning rooted in religious symbolism which set them apart from their European counterparts, despite the fact that conceptual, social and political aspects maybe shared.
H.E. Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, highlighted the wealth of the cultural heritage in Afghanistan, and its role in building a sense of common purpose, especially in turbulent times. While UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, underscored the important role of culture as a driver for social cohesion and self confidence.
“Safeguarding heritage and diversity is more than a cultural issue.
It is an issue of citizenship, bringing people together around shared values.
To build peace tomorrow, we need to safeguard today Afghanistan’s heritage today.”
– Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General
“Some have tried to turn our diversity into a liability – but it is clearly an asset and we should be proud of it.
Wherever you go in Afghanistan, in Bamiyan or in Herat, in Balkh or in Kandahar, you see how rich this country really is, at the crossroads of civilizations, home to creative traditions like carpet making, wood carving, music … It gives hope and confidence to be a part of this heritage.”
– Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, H.E. Chief Executive of Afghanistan
The publication looks back at the efforts of UNESCO, [AKDN-AKTC] and other individual and institutional actors to safeguard Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage since 2002 and also a view to the future and the important work that lies ahead. It highlights the diversity of this heritage and the need for continued engagement to protect and preserve the country’s valuable cultural treasures.
The Babur Gardens also hosts the photo exhibition, “The Afghanistan we are proud of,” open to the public and organized under UNESCO’s global movement, Unite4Heritage, which aims to celebrate and safeguard unique tangible and intangible cultural heritage around the world.
“In the past, books were poorly printed, without illustrations and it is no wonder that students were not interested in their own history.
This book can be a turning point, if it helps people not only to understand history, but also help them realize this is something they should be proud of.
The work is not finished, now we need a translation of this book into Dari and Pashto, to make it accessible to all in Afghanistan.”
– Nancy Dupree, Director of the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University
Discover, Explore and Learn more via:
- Keeping History Alive – UNESCO publication
- UNESCO Media Services | UNESCO Director General and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah celebrate the role of Cultural heritage for the future of Afghanistan
- World Heritage Convention | UNESCO Director General and Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah celebrate the role of Cultural heritage for the future of Afghanistan
- US/ICOMOS | World Heritage Centre News
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali