Afghanistan – the Minaret of Jam & Nancy Hatch Dupree

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

2006 -  Afghanistan, Minaret of Jam 271When I visited the Yungang Caves in China recently I commented on how the great regret of my travel life was missing out on the Buddha statues at Bamiyan in Afghanistan. I didn’t get up to Bamiyan when I was in Afghanistan in 1972. When I got there in 2006 the statues were gone, destroyed by the Taliban.

My 2006 trip did take me to the amazing Minaret of Jam. I’ve just been sent a video from the Minaret of Jam Archaeological Project, a little plea to try and raise money to help preserve this wonderful site.

◄ Me at the Minaret of Jam in 2006

The Los Angeles Times has just published an article on Nancy Hatch Dupree, who arrived in Kabul in 1962 – so 51 years ago – and in 1972 published A Historical Guide to Afghanistan. It’s the classic guidebook to the country, I’ve got a well thumbed copy on my Afghanistan bookshelves. For years after everything went wrong in Afghanistan she was based in Peshawar in Pakistan. Recently, as the LA Times story recounts, she returned to the country for the opening of the Afghanistan Centre, dedicated to her husband, archaeologist Louis Dupree, at the Kabul University.