The twelfth-century minaret of Djam is one of Afghanistan's most celebrated treasures, a magnificent symbol of the powerful Ghorid Empire that once stretched from Iran to India. The second talles brick minaret in the world, Djam lies in the heart of central Afghanistan's wild Ghor Province.
1 of the best writings in this field Afghanistan is a Central Asia country with an estimated population of some thirty million people. Over fifty languages are spoken in the country, which reflects the diverse cultural backgrounds of this nation’s people and history. As a result of invasion and migration over many centuries, Afghanistan has a rich and ancient heritage which includes influences from northern India, Mongolia, Greece, Iran, Arabia and China. Afghanistan, whilst today predominantly Muslim, has also historically been an important centre of world religions, including Buddhist, Zoroastrianism and Christianity. This diversity is also reflected in Afghanistan extensive archaeological heritage which include the Buddhist images of Bamiyan and the Minaret of Jam, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Over the last two centuries archaeologists have also made many important discoveries which have rewritten the history of the region. Afghanistan also has a history of civil conflict and invasion. Over the past forty years, in particular, this has had a devastating effect on the country’s heritage. “Amazing Wonders of Afghanistan” aims to celebrate a few of Afghanistan’s most important cultural heritage sites as well as a several key cultural festivals and traditions. The book provides an overview of each site or cultural icon whilst highlighting the challenges faced by war, neglect, pillaging and uncontrolled development. Dr. Jonathan Lee, the author of this book, is a well-known historian with extensive experience of living and travelling in Afghanistan. He is the author of numerous works on Afghanistan’s history, culture heritage and archaeology. This book provides an excellent introduction to Afghanistan’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. Each of the twenty articles is well illustrated and includes a short bibliography at the end of each entry to encourage further reading.
This volume is an inter-disciplinary endeavour which brings together recent research on aspects of urban life and structure by architectural and textual historians and archaeologists, engendering exciting new perspectives on urban life in the pre-modern Islamic world. Its objective is to move beyond the long-standing debate on whether an ‘Islamic city’ existed in the pre-modern era and focus instead upon the ways in which religion may (or may not) have influenced the physical structure of cities and the daily lives of their inhabitants. It approaches this topic from three different but inter-related perspectives: the genesis of ‘Islamic cities’ in fact and fiction; the impact of Muslim rulers upon urban planning and development; and the degree to which a religious ethos affected the provision of public services. Chronologically and geographically wide-ranging, the volume examines thought-provoking case studies from seventh-century Syria to seventeenth-century Mughal India by established and new scholars in the field, in addition to chapters on urban sites in Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Central Asia. Cities in the Pre-Modern Islamic World will be of considerable interest to academics and students working on the archaeology, history and urbanism of the Middle East as well as those with more general interests in urban archaeology and urbanism.
The Sultan's Turret: Studies in Persian and Turkish Culture
Author: Carole Hillenbrand
Publisher: Brill Academic Pub
This collection of studies on Persian and Turkish themes ranges over several disciplines - religion, literature, history, art and music - but focusses particularly on the eastern Iranian world, Ottoman studies and problems of nationalism in early modern Iran and Turkey.
Few westerners will ever be able to understand Muslim or Afghan society unless they are part of a Muslim family. Twenty years old and in love, Phyllis Chesler, a Jewish-American girl from Brooklyn, embarked on an adventure that has lasted for more than a half-century. In 1961, when she arrived in Kabul with her Afghan bridegroom, authorities took away her American passport. Chesler was now the property of her husband's family and had no rights of citizenship. Back in Afghanistan, her husband, a wealthy, westernized foreign college student with dreams of reforming his country, reverted to traditional and tribal customs. Chesler found herself unexpectedly trapped in a posh polygamous family, with no chance of escape. She fought against her seclusion and lack of freedom, her Afghan family's attempts to convert her from Judaism to Islam, and her husband's wish to permanently tie her to the country through childbirth. Drawing upon her personal diaries, Chesler recounts her ordeal, the nature of gender apartheid—and her longing to explore this beautiful, ancient, and exotic country and culture. Chesler nearly died there but she managed to get out, returned to her studies in America, and became an author and an ardent activist for women's rights throughout the world. An American Bride in Kabul is the story of how a naïve American girl learned to see the world through eastern as well as western eyes and came to appreciate Enlightenment values. This dramatic tale re-creates a time gone by, a place that is no more, and shares the way in which Chesler turned adversity into a passion for world-wide social, educational, and political reform.