U.S. Embassy Press Release

May 19, 2010

Goldasta Mosque Opening

Kabul, Afghanistan, May 19, 2010 – Minister of Information and Cultural Affairs Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, Minister of Religious Affairs and Hajj Khawas Khan Niazi, and U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry celebrated the restoration and opening of the Goldasta Mosque in ceremony today.  Several Afghan officials and members of the community were present to witness the ceremony.

“The process of restoring Goldasta Mosque not only brought a new community facility back to life, but it has contributed to the revival of traditional building crafts such as joinery and plastering,” said Ambassador Eikenberry. “Dozens of skilled workers and craftsmen worked on the project; the mosque is a great example of their remarkable talents.”

The Goldasta Mosque is fine example of late 19th century religious architecture that incorporates a range of regional decorative influences. While badly damaged in the fierce fighting that raged throughout the old city of Kabul in 1993, it is testament to the quality of the builders of the Goldasta mosque that enough of the structure was still standing to allow restoration of the building to bring it back to useful life.  Thanks to the efforts of residents of the surrounding neighbourhood, the wooden columns and marble panels of the building were protected.

The U.S. Embassy partnered with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) on this project.  In addition to resorting an architecturally significant religious building, the project provided jobs to community members in Kabul’s Tandoorsazi area.

Since 2001 the U.S. government and American institutions such as the National Geographic and National Endowment for the Humanities have spent over $4 million on cultural heritage projects in Afghanistan.  Included in this is the restoration of 8 historic buildings throughout the country.

On-going project include Shish Nal Mosque in Herat, Ulya Madrassa in Kabul, Noh Gonbad Mosque in Balkh and the Qala Ikhtyaruddin citadel in Herat.  Completed projects include the Goldasta Mosque which was opened today, as well as the Khoja Rokhband Cistern in Herat and the Mullah Mahmud Mosque in Kabul.

Source: http://kabul.usembassy.gov/pressrelease-20510.html