20 Years Later: The Destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas

  • Tuesday, March 2
  • 3 to 4 p.m.
  • Online
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In March 2001, the Taliban ordered and directed the demolition of two treasured symbols of Afghanistan’s pre-Islamic heritage: the Bamiyan Buddhas. The objective was to erase any cultural heritage inconsistent with their narrow vision of Islam. Twenty years later, Dr. Morwari Zafar, an anthropologist with experience in international development and national security, and currently an adjunct lecturer at George Washington University’s Center for Security Studies, reflects on the relationship between al-Qaeda and the Taliban during this time and discusses the significance of cultural heritage in defining a country’s national identity.


This program is part of a series exploring the history of al-Qaeda and is presented to contextualize the Museum's digital exhibition Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden, based on the special exhibition of the same name. Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden was made possible with support of presenting sponsors Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. and Palantir Technologies, as well as Lockheed Martin.



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