Trowel Tales: The AIA Blog

by C. Brian Rose
April 2, 2011
I've combined my last two days in Afghanistan into a single entry. Yesterday morning, Friday, we left Ghazni by helicopter for Kabul, which again included a breathtaking view of the Hindu Kush mountains. In the evening I delivered another lecture on cultural heritage protection in Iraq and Afghanistan to the staff of the US Embassy in Kabul, followed by a dinner organized by Ambassador and Mrs. Eikenberry, which included the Minister and Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, Dr. Sayed Raheen and Omar Sultan, respectively; the former Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Yousef Pashtun; and the governor and mayor of Ghazni, among others. I sat next to a woman who was a member of Parliament as well as a law student at... Read More
by C. Brian Rose
April 1, 2011
Thursday's events fell into three groups. In the morning we attended the opening of a girls' school in Ghazni that had been funded by the U.S. Embassy and implemented by the Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in conjunction with the Ghazi Department of Women's Affairs. There were opening speeches by the governor along with an array of teachers, both male and female. The same message was repeated over and over again: 1) the Koran emphasizes that education should be equal for boys and girls, and is necessary for both; 2) learning English and computer skills (two of the principal subjects taught at the school) are essential to Afghanistan's future; 3) a woman needs education so that she can teach her family. Last... Read More
by C. Brian Rose
March 31, 2011
Today was devoted exclusively to a tour of the ancient monuments of Ghazni, which stretch from perhaps as early as the Achaemenid or Persian period to the Timurid period in the early 16th century. This trip required us to travel to all sides of the city. Although we advised at the beginning of the day that there was a chance of sniper fire, improvised explosive devices, and suicide bombers, we were extraordinarily well-guarded and kept out of harm's way. I was not prepared for the intricate decorative brickwork that covered many of these monuments, especially the two minarets of early 12th century date. Much of the architecture is mudbrick and has deteriorated badly over the years—particularly the citadel, which may have... Read More
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