28.05.2014 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Shahr-e-Gholgolah unveiled as historical site during evening of music celebrating Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage

24 May, 2014. This evening, at the historical city of Shahr-e Gholgholah in Bamiyan, an evening of traditional Afghan music took place, giving back to the population the previously ruined site.

Organized by UNESCO, HELP International and the Afghanistan Ministry of Information and Culture, the evening at Shahr-e-Gholgholah was lit by paraffin lamps and candles and attended by over 130 people from Bamiyan and further afield. The attendees included the Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, Ms Simin Ghazal Hasanzada, and Bamiyan’s Governor, General Gholam Ali Wahdat, as well as the Deputy Governor. Governor Wahdat was impressed by the setting, and enthusiastic about staging similar cultural events in Bamiyan to highlight the province’s rich cultural and musical heritage.

Under a UNESCO project and the generous support of the Italian Government, each day, some 40 Afghan and foreign conservation workers go on preserving and restoring the remnants from a lesser-known era of the history of Bamiyan that stretches from the 5th to the 13th centuries – the historic hillside fortress of Shahr-e-Gholgholah (‘City of Screams’).

The setting, a medieval fort that had been sacked by the Mongol hordes under Genghis Khan in 1221 AD, provided a dramatic backdrop for this celebration of Afghan culture and music.

Bamiyan’s recent appointment as the 2015 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Capital of Culture indicates the huge progress being made by Bamiyan as a cultural centre, and increasingly as a hub for Afghan and potentially international tourism. 

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