posted on Marla's blog on Huffington Post
Sadly, the UN reported that on July 22, 80 people were killed and 260 wounded by ISIS suicide bombers as thousands of Hazara's marched through the streets of Kabul in protest over a new power line that bypasses their region.
This Central Mountain region is the home to the Hazara minority, who as Shia Muslims, are consistently marginalized by the government in Kabul.
According to the USA Today:
"The previous Afghan government changed the route in 2013. Protest leaders have said that the rerouting was evidence of bias against the Hazara community, which accounts for up to 15% of Afghanistan’s estimated 30 million people. They are considered the poorest of the country’s ethnic groups, and often complain of discrimination. Bamiyan is poverty-stricken, though it is largely peaceful and has potential as a tourist destination." USA Today July 23, 2016
It's been a little over ten years since I descended the scree-covered slopes of the Surb Koh Mountains on horseback. There were no roads leading into the Waras District’s secluded villages, located in southern Bamiyan Province, far away from where the Giant Buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban.
It was June 2005 and I was the first foreigner to reach this remote area, which the Russians could not infiltrate during their Communist invasion.