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The Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage Project 


The Nuh Gunbad of Balkh, Umayyad era. Photo by Arezou Azad.The Nuh Gunbad of Balkh, Umayyad era. Photo by Arezou Azad.By way of introducing the BACH Project to a wider audience, preliminary seminars were presented in Kabul. Robert Hoyland's Early Islamic History of Afghanistan and Central Asia Seminar Series took place on Wednesday 19th, Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of September 2012 in a classroom on the main campus of Kabul University.

There were 12 participants who were drawn from a variety of backgrounds: Abdul Basir Kamjo, Ajmal Yar and Fazul Rahman Rahmani, curators at the Kabul National Museum; Professor Hesari, head of the History department at Kabul University; Muhammad Amir Kamawal, History professor at Kabul University; Jamaluddin Shable, professor of Sociology and Archaeology at Kabul University; Farid Farahmand, professor of Sociology at Kabul University; Professor Ahmadzai from the Archaeology department at Kabul University; Reza Sharifi from UNESCO Afghanistan, Omar Sharifi, head of the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies; Eshaq Akbari, an independent scholar; and Mustafa Ahmadi, a graduate of Bristol University's MSc programme in Public Policy. The topics covered were: the Arab Conquest of Central Asia, the spread of Islam in Central Asia in the eighth century and the revolt of Harith ibn Surayj, and revolts against Arab rule in Central Asia and the role of local elites.

Banner Image: Tepe Rustam of Balkh, thought to be the old Buddhist temple site of Naw Bahar. Photo by Arezou Azad