The U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Department of State jointly hosted a book launch event for Afghanistan’s Heritage, Restoring Spirit and Stone. The event included a discussion with senior panelists who explored how preserving cultural heritage in Afghanistan not only protects the invaluable contributions and historical experiences of people in the region, but also directly supports Afghanistan’s present-day efforts toward becoming a stable and prosperous nation.

The Department of State recently commissioned renowned photojournalist Robert Nickelsberg for a photobook entitled, Afghanistan’s Heritage, Restoring Spirit and Stone, comprising photographs of heritage sites in Kabul, Herat, and Balkh as well as artifacts in the National Museum collections that received U.S. support. Panelists examined how this often challenging and painstaking work serves to strengthen national identity, bolster community cohesion, promote economic prosperity, and counter violent extremism. Join the conversation on Twitter with #AfgHeritage.

Remarks

Ambassador William Taylor, introductory remarks
Vice President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador Alice Wells, opening remarks
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Panelists

Ambassador Richard Olson
Former Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan

Robert Nickelsberg
Photojournalist

Barmak Pazhwak
Senior Program Officer, U.S Institute of Peace

Majeedullah Qarar
Cultural Attaché, Embassy of Afghanistan 

Emilia Puma
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Laura Tedesco, moderator
Cultural Heritage Program Manager, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

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