The Buddhas of Aynak:
The Afghan Cultural Site That the World Does Not Care About

Let's SAVE Mes Aynak in 2013!
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For update by Prof Brent Huffman

Jan 6, 2013 - Happy new year everyone!

I have some positive news.

Due to the success of our international campaign that reached out to the US including the Smithsonian and State Department, Thailand and other Asian countries, South American, Canada, Europe, etc., the Ministry of Mines in Afghanistan is FINALLY recognizing the importance of the ancient Buddhist site and is paying attention.

Archaeologists, who have been doing INCREDIBLE work at Mes Aynak, now have 6-9 more months to continue rescue excavation.  During this time they can save movable relics and artifacts.

The bad news is that Mes Aynak will STILL BE DESTROYED in 2014.  So we still have our work cut out for us.  The documentary should be complete in late March/April, so it should have maximum impact to help save the site when it airs.

Here is an updated list of news stories about the film:

http://www.germancamera.com/news/

I will be making a donation of 10% of the Kickstarter money to Afghan archeologists sometime during this month as soon as I receive the funds.  This money will be used to buy necessary equipment like cameras and computers.

Also, check out the new poster design by Wendy Tay attached.
 
To keep in the loop on current developments in this project, please like our Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/buddhasofaynak

Thanks again for all the continued support!

 Let's save Mes Aynak in 2013!!!

Best,

-Brent Huffman



Ancient site needs saving not destroying

PETITION TO UNESCO

Save our Past-Ask UNESCO to include Mess Aynak on the list of endangered sites


PETITION TO PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI

President Hamid Karzai:
Prevent destruction of ancient site of Mes Aynak & the environmental damage

PETITION OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

We petition Obama administration act swiftly to work with Chinese & Afghan governments to preserve Buddhas of Aynak


VISIT ALSO

*** THE BUDDHAS OF MES AYNAK ***


Donation 5.000 $ needed
contact Professor Brent Huffman
. => email

photo
The Buddhas of Aynak The Afghan Cultural Site
That the World Does Not Care About
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One of Afghanistan's biggest archaeological treasures may soon be turned to dust as a Chinese mining company which has bought the site turns it into a sprawling, billion-dollar copper mine. link

The Buddhas of Aynak, situated in a desert region 20 minutes southwest of Kabul, is an archaeological site containing ancient Buddhist artifacts dated over 2,500 years old. It also holds rich mineral deposits, especially copper. Formerly an ancient Buddhist monastery complex, the historical center has more than 150 Buddha statues. It is of immense worldwide importance and is one of Afghanistan's richest historical sites.
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The site also has a violent and troubled history. A common rumor is that Al-Qaeda planned the 2001 September 11 attack from a camp in Aynak. The area is also a major transit route for insurgents coming from Pakistan into Afghanistan.
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Archaeologists have found a number of artifacts dating backing over a millennium on the site, even unearthing manuscripts that may provide evidence regarding the presence of Alexander the Great's troops in the area. link

The Buddhist ruins are scheduled to be destroyed at the end of December 2012. In November 2007, a 30-year lease was granted for the copper mine to the China Metallurgical Group (MCC) for $3 billion, making it the biggest foreign investment and private business venture in Afghanistan’s history.
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The Afghan Mining Ministry estimates that the mine holds some six million tons of copper. The mine is expected to be worth tens of billions of dollars, and to generate jobs and economic activity for the country but all of this critically threatens the site's archaeological remains, which are now being hurriedly excavated by private organizations.
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Brent Huffman, a volunteer working to preserve this archaeological site, has produced a documentary about the Buddhas of Aynak, and is busy collecting donations to boost the excavation work. In an interview with Huffman, I asked about the history and the status of the excavation of the Aynak.
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Malik Achakzai: Could you discuss the historical importance of the Buddhas of Aynak? link

Brent Huffman: Mes Aynak, or "little copper well" is a vast ancient Buddhist city 400,000 square meters in size. There are over 400 hundred life-size or larger Buddha statues, a circular monastic complex and dozens of temple (stupa) structures. 
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More is being discovered daily, including hundreds of ancient manuscripts hidden inside many of the stupas. 
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Archaeologists are only beginning to find remnants of an older 5,000-year-old Bronze Age site beneath the Buddhist level including an ancient copper smelter.
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Note: please visit the page yourself and make this known

http://www.policymic.com/articles/20188/the-buddhas-of-aynak-the-afghan-cultural-site-that-the-world-does-not-care-about
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