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 GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Old Ghazni City lies at the bottom of an overhanging cliff face, which offers onlookers a chance to see the artifacts of a country filled with a rich history. Visiting officials from Kabul, including the Ministry of Urban Development, came to Ghazni, also World Heritage Day, to discuss the progress of projects with Ghazni council members about the 2013 Center for Islamic Culture celebration, April 18. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. J.T. May III, Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Preparation plans were shared at a meeting at the governor’s compound in Ghazni city, which will be the future site of the 2013 Center for Islamic Culture, April 18.

 The Ghazni Provincial 2013 Committee, a voluntary committee comprised of a mixture of Ghazni Provincial Council members and local businessmen, spoke fervently about preparing the path to reconstruction of historical sites in Ghazni Province. Others in attendance were Wasai Rahim, head of the Directorate of Preserving Urban Heritages, and Abdul Ahad Abassi, the Director General of Historic monuments. 

April 18, internationally known as World Heritage Day, was a good day for the Ministry of Urban Development, the Ministry of Information and Culture from Kabul to meet with local Ghazni business leaders and the Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team for a round-table discussion.

“Today is a celebration around the world for World Heritage Day,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Jeremy van Frank, Ghazni PRT executive officer from San Diego, Calif. “The PRT is here to assist with the efforts of both the government of Kabul and the government of Ghazni to work together for the 2013 Islamic Culture celebration.”

World Heritage Day encourages public awareness of the world’s diversity of cultural heritage. Ghazni city has a rich past and is peppered with historical sites. Ghazni city was selected as the Asian capital of Islamic civilization for 2013 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at a conference in Tripoli, Libya, in 2007. 

The Ghazni Provincial Governor, Usman Usmani, expressed his concerns at the lack of progress toward the event. With 30 months left to prepare, he urged committee members to take action on the strategic plan.

“We have a short time left, and we need to start working on the projects for the 2013 event,” said Usmani. “We know about the budget and the day it starts, but it will take two more months to find out how to start the projects. We need to start working hard to finish before 2013.”

The Afghanistan government has currently budgeted $10 million towards the event. The Chief of Staff of Administration for Ghazni province, Alhaj Mohammed Sahg, mentioned that the proposed project list was estimated at $200 million.

“We want to send a message to all other Islamic countries, asking them to provide donations for the event,” he said.

At the provincial level, there are 13 projects that have been recognized to highlight the cultural significance of Ghazni. Of those 13 projects, the group plans to create an informational website for the event and a newspaper that publishes poetry by Ghazni writers. 

Another big project on the list is to reopen the Ghazni Museum, which has been closed for 20 years. The museum will house many artifacts that have been kept in Kabul since the Soviet occupation.





Last Updated on Friday, 23 April 2010 23:14


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