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Restoration work of Rumi’s Balkh birthplace set to begin this week

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(Last Updated On: March 22, 2021)

Construction work to restore a teaching complex said to once be the home of 13th-century Sufi mystic and poet Rumi is due to commence this week in the northern Afghan city of Balkh, the country’s Ministry of Information and Culture has told The National.

The government has long planned to rebuild the teaching complex that includes a mosque, a monastery, and a religious school, and is thought to be Rumi’s birthplace.

“From this week onwards, restoration on the complex will start,” Murtaza Azizi, the Ministry of Culture and Information’s acting director for tourism told The National.

Balkh city is about an hour’s drive east of Mazar-e-Sharif.

“The complex was originally constructed using mud and clay and is now in a state of disrepair,” Azizi told The National.

According to him, the entire project’s budget had not yet been publicized, but that the presidential affairs department had taken on the job.

However, Matiullah Karimi, head of the Information and Culture Centre in Balkh, told The National the renovation would cost about $7 million.

Jalal al-Din Mohammad Balkhi, widely referred to as Rumi, was born in 1207, likely in the city of Balkh but fled his home as a child when Mongols captured the region, destroying entire cities in what is today’s northern Afghanistan.

His father, Bahauddin Walad, who owned the house and premises, was a prominent theologian of his time.

Rumi later traveled within the Middle East – including Iran, Iraq, and Syria – but spent most of his life in Turkey, where he died in 1273.

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Khalilzad: Afghanistan is facing ‘great challenges ahead’

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Zalmay Khalilzad said a day after his resignation as the US State Department’s special envoy for the Afghan reconciliation process that the country was facing major challenges

“US forces are out and the war for the United States is over, but this is not the final chapter,” he said in a series of tweets.

Khalilzad also said he remained committed to peace in Afghanistan and the region.

“I am committed to the possibility of peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and in the wider region. This is what Afghans have yearned for more than 40 years. The United States stands with them,” Khalilzad added.

The Afghan-American diplomat said in the tweets that the United States, the international community and Afghan leaders would stay in touch and he welcomed Thomas West’s appointment as his successor.

He also thanked the US State Department, Defense and intelligence officials “who joined me on this mission “.

Khalilzad’s resignation came two months after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) took control of Kabul.

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IEA delegation arrives in Moscow for major talks on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

An Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Mawlavi Abdul Salam Hanafi has arrived in Moscow for a key meeting in Afghanistan’s future.

The Russian embassy in Kabul said a major international meeting will be held Wednesday to focus on the situation in Afghanistan.

“Members of the Moscow format, including Afghanistan, Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India, Central Asian countries and others, have been invited to attend the meeting,” the embassy said in a statement.

The statement added that the meeting, in which the conditions, including domestic politics, necessary to ensure the reconstruction of the country after the disputes in a broad sense will be discussed.

Eleven nations in total are expected to participate.

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Grenade thrown at security forces in Kabul city

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(Last Updated On: October 20, 2021)

Interior Ministry Spokesman Qari Saeed Khosti confirmed that an explosion took place in PD3 in Kabul on Wednesday morning, adding that a grenade was hurled at security forces in the Dehmazang area.

He said two people were wounded in the explosion and that an investigation has been launched into the incident.

However eyewitnesses claim four people were wounded in the incident.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the incident.

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