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

Related Publications

How can Afghans make peace AND protect women? Meet Ayesha Aziz.

How can Afghans make peace AND protect women? Meet Ayesha Aziz.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

By: Palwasha L. Kakar

After nearly 40 years of war, Afghanistan and the international community are urgently seeking paths for a peace process. But amid the tentative efforts—a three-day ceasefire in June, the peace march across the country by hundreds of Afghans and talks by U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad—a somber question hangs for women and human rights advocates. How can Afghanistan make peace with the Taliban while protecting democracy and women’s rights?

Gender; Religion; Peace Processes

How to Secure Afghanistan’s Future

How to Secure Afghanistan’s Future

Monday, December 10, 2018

By: William Byrd

From a diplomatic and process standpoint, Geneva Conference on Afghanistan was generally seen as a success by participants (though some countries were not represented at the minister level), and the Afghan government showcased the progress it made in implementing reforms and national priority programs over the past two years. But what did the GCA accomplish substantively, what was left undone, and what questions were left unanswered?

Democracy & Governance; Economics & Environment

Johnny Walsh on Election Season in Afghanistan

Johnny Walsh on Election Season in Afghanistan

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By: Johnny Walsh

As Afghans wait for official results from the parliamentary polls, Johnny Walsh says that the country is already entering “high political season” in preparation for the critical April 2019 presidential election. Although the Taliban continues to carry out high-profile attacks across the country, Walsh says that many Afghans are focused on the presidential polls and its implications for the peace process.

Democracy & Governance

View All Publications