Cultural Heritage

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“People without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.”
Marcus Garvey

Afghanistan is home to a number of ancient religions, languages, books, civilizations, and the rule of a number of kingdoms.

DHSA exists to preserve cultural heritage both tangible and intangible. Along with discovering and studying ancient Afghanistan, preserving the cultural diversity of Afghanistan, DHSA’s area of work includes also, rehabilitating historical sites and preserving folk games, dances, foods, customs, ways of life, stories, myths, artifacts, and handicrafts through disseminating audio-video documentaries, writing books about it, arranging exhibitions, establishing forums and making linkages. We are witnessing vanishing cultures, despite the many efforts done by

  • Rehabilitation of Historical sites
  • Rehabilitation of 19th Century Pavilion at Bagh-i-Babur Gardens
  • Rehabilitation of 17th Century Mullah Mahmood Mosque in Kabul’s old city
  • Rehabilitation of 18th Century Shrine of Shah Shahid
  • Cultural Journal “Sapeda”
  • Cultural Centre “Irfan”

Archaeologists have found evidence of human habitation in Afghanistan from as far back as 50,000 BC. The artifacts indicate that the indigenous people were small farmers and herdsmen, as they are today. Communities of the region were among the earliest in the world.

The land is a hidden treasure for archeological studies. The proper studies can reveal links in history and a lot of interesting information. The information could be about religions like Zoroastrianism, Pagan, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other small religions that had been practiced here. The information could be about civilizations and rulers as Aryans, Modes, Achaemenid, Greeks, Maurya, Bactrian, Parthian, Kushans, Sassanian, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahi and post Islamic rulers have ruled on the land.

Cultural Center “Irfan”

Irfan was established by DHSA for Afghan artists and Intellectuals fled to Pakistan during Taliban rule. The center served as a point for their interaction and platform for the expression of their artistic talents. One of Irfan’s achievements was producing music records of notable Afghan classical & folklore musicians in exile. The US Library of Congress still preserves these records. Siddiq Barmak, the center’s film production director, went on to write and direct the Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film Osama in 2004.

Cultural Journal “Sapeda”

Sepeda was first launched in 1998 with the help of Afghan intellectuals in exile. Distributed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and among the Afghan Diaspora, it soon became the most popular Afghan cultural magazine in exile. After the return of Afghan intellectuals and literary persons in 2001, Sapeda started its publication in Afghanistan. Sepeda had a team of famous faces of the world of art, literature, and intellect in Afghanistan e.g. Partaw Naderi, Hussain Mohhamadi, Muhibullah Zugham, Sadiq Barmak, Ibrahim Hotak, Ahad Zhwand, Anwar Wafa Samandar, Habibullah Rafee, and Mohib Barish.

Rehabilitation of Historical Sites

DHSA has rehabilitated historical places:

  • The Bagh-e-Babur in Kabul is the most historical location and there was a need for rehabilitation for this site. Bagh-e-Babur garden was constructed in 1528 AD by the first Mughal emperor Zahirudin Babar where the king is buried too.
  • The Mullah Muhammad Masjid is located at the heart of Kabul city; a wooden two-story structured 17th-century Masjid. The Masjid saw immense damages during the civil war.
  • The third rehabilitation project was the rehabilitation of the centuries-old Shrine of Shah Shaheed in Kabul.