Afghanistan: Rebuilding the Bamiyam Buddhas

A Video  for Arab Countries in Troubled Times.


Meanwhile, continuing our look at troubled mid-eastern country, Afghanistan continues its confusing struggle between anti-Western and more modern thinking people, between pro and anti Taliban. A struggle includes the question of rebuilding the Bamiyam Buddhas.

I want to thank Pack a Book, a terrific web site for readers who travel, for bringing to my attention, this video by Al Jazeera – English about the attempts to rebuild the Bamiyam Buddhas. [UPDATE: the Al Jazeera videos are no longer available. I have substituted another video I found on You Tube. This one is by UNESCO, the U.N. organization trying to save Afghans heritage sites.]

Because of your interest in the Freya Stark travel book,The Minaret of Djam, I thought you might want to see this story of the Bamiyam Buddhas.

In this video, you will see what the Bamiyam valley that she visited looks like today.

If you have trouble loading the video, please try reloading the page.


Do you have an opinion about whether the Bamiyam Buddhas should be rebuilt? If you had several million dollars to spend in Afghanistan, where would you spend it?

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

8 thoughts on “Afghanistan: Rebuilding the Bamiyam Buddhas

  1. I’m an avid traveler & reader who discovered your blog recently when I was considering setting up something similar of my own. For me one of the great joys of traveling is to read “in-situ” – whether it be Peter Hopkirk’s “The Great Game” while traversing Central Asia or Freya Stark’s “Ionia” while wandering the ruins of Turkey’s coast.

    My reaction to hearing the Bamiyan Buddha’s are being reconstructed is mixed. It’s promising to think that the country is at a stage where such a thing can even be considered let alone attempted. Whether it’s a wise use of limited funds at this time is a judgement I’d prefer to leave to someone better informed than I.

    I was surprised to hear no one jumped on the chance for a copy of Freya Stark’s book. I can’t think of a better way to travel than accompanied by the wit and insight of such an incredible adventurer.

    1. Hi Vicky: Thatnks so much for your comment and for suggesting Peter Hopkirk’s The Great Game. That’s a new one to me. Although I did talk about Freya Stark’s Ionia here not long ago. Some of Frey Stark is heavy going, I think–including Ionia because of her in depth knowledge of the ancient history. But the Minaret of Djam was a more approachable book.

  2. I would use a large portion of the money to fund educational programs throughout the country as well help encourage educated Afghanis living abroad to return home to help rebuild their nation.

    1. What wonderful ideas. I think we should send Anil and Mark to help direct spending in Afghanistan, because they are going to be sensitive to the desires of the Afghanis. I was amazed to learn how much is being done with the statues, and have to admit my first inclination was to do something that would help restore tourism to that area of Afghanistan.

  3. It is difficult to say whether I’d rebuild the Bamayan Buddhas (one of the worst recent cases of state-sponsored cultural vandalism). It really depends on whether it is a truly important cultural symbol to Afghanis and brings them strength and bonding. If not, I suspect that the money would be better used to build schools, healthcare facilities and improve the basic necessities of life (access to clean water etc).

  4. It definitely looks good …and Freya Stark was such an interesting person/story.. I think she lived to be about 100 years old!

  5. I am a relatively new subscriber – found you while looking for some “on the road books” a couple of weeks ago and have enjoyed your posts since then as well as wandering back through older ones. I thought this book sounded very interesting and decided today would be a good opportunity to shift from being just a lurker and enter the drawing. Thanks, Deb

    1. Deb: So glad you’re having fun wandering in the traveler’s library. Now that you’ve de-lurked, come back often and share your opinions.

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