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When the Taliban blew the face off a towering, 1,500-year-old rock carving of Buddha in northwest Pakistan almost five years ago, it fell to an intrepid Italian archaeologist to come to the rescue.
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#1 Jul 7, 2012
There's an interview in the May 2002 issue of American Libraries, "Darkest Days", with Latif Pedram. As director of the Hakim Nasser Khosrow Balkhi Cultural Center, he watched from hiding as Taliban fired rocket propelled grenades and machine guns into the stacks filled with carefully preserved rare manuscripts, ultimately destroying the library's entire collection.(It was in Persian and they were Pashtun.) Fundamentalist savages bitterly hate libraries, artifacts- in fact, any hint there are voices besides those which echo inside their own skulls. May it never happen here.
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