By: Monitoring Desk
KABUL: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has accepted a request by the Afghan government to include the western city of Herat among world cultural heritage sites.
UNESCO also provided $30,000 to the Afghan government to use in gathering data about the history of the city.
Meanwhile, the Afghan government said it will gather all necessary information about the cultural sites in the city of Herat within the next several months and share it with UNESCO.
According to government numbers, the city of Herat in western Afghanistan has a total of 830 cultural sites and is recognized as one of the historic cities in the region. The Afghan government sent a letter to UNESCO last year requesting that Herat city be put on the world cultural heritage list.
The city of Herat, with many historical sites and heritages, especially from the Islamic period, has always been one of the main destinations for foreign tourists in Afghanistan.
Over the past two decades, renovation work has been done on a series of sites in Herat with the help of the Aga Khan Foundation. There are several prominent sites in the city, including the shrine of saint Khawja Abdullah Ansari, also known as Qal’ah-i Ikhtiyaruddin fort.
“We will profile all of the cultural heritage in Herat city, we hope to share this information with UNESCO in the next three to four months,” said Tahir Zaheer, acting minister of information and culture.
“We are very happy that the activities that were carried out by the Aga Khan Foundation in recent years paved the way for Herat to be registered among the world heritage list,” said Arash Bostani, the head of Aga Khan cultural foundation.
The recognition of Herat city by UNESCO will further add to the cultural importance of the city.