The Kabul Times.
Editorial

Afghanistan’s mind-blowing jam minaret need urgent protection

The recent floods have destroyed the protection walls around Minaret of Jam in Ghor province and have faced the endangered monument with the possibility of collapse. The minaret is located in Ghor, around 200 kilometers east of Herat, at the confluence of the Harirud and Jam Rud rivers.
The minaret is believed to have been built between 1163 and 1203 during the reign of the Ghurid sovereign Ghyias-ud-Din. The minaret has been on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Properties in Danger since 2002.
Ministry of Information and Culture said that at least 200 workers have been sent to the area to change the water direction and prevent further damage to the minaret. According to the ministry, the UNESCO, Ministry of National Defense and local people and officials have been asked to do more to prevent collapse of the minaret.
Afghanistan is one of the countries that is blessed with mineral resources and historical monuments. However, it has not been able to benefit much from both of them. The historical and cultural sites and monuments have not been preserved well and there are serious concerns about them as the insecurity, instability as well as natural disasters threatening them.
It must be reiterated that Afghans once had a rich culture and civilization and they had times in their history that knew nothing of violence and terrorism and a relatively peaceful and rich civilization flourished on their land.
Moreover, this should be insisted that they have to preserve the traces and remains of their rich history that should help the new generations realize the worth of their history and tradition. Unfortunately, such insistence is very rare to see in the society where most of the discussions are centered on clashes and terrorism.
Meanwhile protection of the historical monuments and cultural sites are not only the responsibility of the government, but the local people too. The residents should do more to protect their cultural heritages, as they are the real identity of the country and people. Moreover, the people should help their government in prevention of the illegal excavations and trafficking of the historical relics.
It is unfortunate to note that Taliban, during their rule in the country, played a negative role regarding the preservation of the rich Afghan tradition. The destruction of the Buddha of Bamyan in this regard was clear indication that Taliban had not respect for the historical wealth and they considered them to be the remains of the non-Islamic civilization. However, they forgot the fact that they depicted the truth about the history of Afghanistan and they also depicted a more peaceful and tranquil era.
Therefore, to avoid repeating of history and to once again see demolishing of another world heritage site in Afghanistan, the organs concerned, local people and the international organizations, including UNESCO should do more and take practical steps for protection of the Jam minaret in Ghor province.
It is a must for all Afghans to protect their cultural heritages and historical monuments for their coming generations that would be able to make them feel their culture and their basis and those things that were dear to their forefathers and that made them distinct in the world and earned glory and honor for them in the past.

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The Kabul Times.