'They can destroy our buildings and monuments but not our minds, our past, our history lives on in them...'
The people I spoke to - ranging from academics and museum curators to villagers and cave-dwellers at Bamiyan - were highly sophisticated in their response to the devastation of their culture. All were aware of the cultural richness of their country, and appalled at its spoliation; all felt that their national identity had been attacked and undermined. I asked a man in Chakari village if he thought money should be made available for the reconstruction of the Manir-I-Chakari. He replied: 'It was such a cruel way to treat any historic object. They can destroy our buildings and monuments but not our minds, our past, our history lives on in them - yes it must be rebuilt.'