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Badakhshan culture, tourism

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Badakhshan culture, tourism
 With their beautiful, green and magical environment, all districts of Badakhshan province own touristic attractions including Eshkasham, Zibak, Shahdar, Wakhan known as the Roof of the World, Dasht-e-Shiva, which is one of the well-known and green desserts of Badakhshan.
In an interview with The Kabul Times reporter, the head of Badakhshan provincial department of information and culture Naqibullah Saqebyar said, enjoying historical and spectacular attractions including Wakhan National Park as the second national park of the country, historical monuments, zoo life, virgin native culture, strong lakes, Badakhshan province is of special importance.
Touching the activities of provincial department of information and culture, Saqebyar added, in 1396, our districts hosted 132 foreign tourist and 11090 local tourists specially Eshkashem, Wakhan and Shohada districts. Badakhshan riches were targeted during the devastating imposed wars and conflicts but with establishment of interim administration in 1382, rehabilitation work started for rebuilding of cultural heritages. In 1393 the department of historical monuments was setup in our department and so far 21 monuments have been registered that located in eight districts as their most important include Pul-e-Kheshti on Kokcha river, Kherqa Mubarak, and tombs of Mir Yari Beg, Mir Gheyas and Hakim Naser Khesrow.
Other historical places include 57 histoircal minarets, ruins of Baharak, Eshkashem and artillery of Zebak district. Bala Hisar in Eshkashem and Qala Panja are under rehabilitation that as famous monuments, could attract tourists. But due to insecurity, the rest of minarets have not been registered and our department plans to invite a mixed delegation of MoIC to Badakhshan to identify historical monuments and register them.
He added, these monuments have been repaired with the cooperation of Agha Khan Foundation, and I.K.F. Tomb of Naser Khesrow-e-Balkhi in Yemgan district, Faiz Abad old Bath with over 150 year background and others put to utilization. With the help of Agha Khan Foundation, sidewalks, bridges and roads were reconstructed and many facilities were provided for tourists including guides, interpreters, drivers, restaurants and guesthouses.
Talking on expenditures of tourism, Saqebyar said, as the tourism industry is a commercial business in the world and a good source of income for those who are involved in supply of services.
So Badakhshan department of information and culture doesn’t receive any direct income from domestic or foreign tourists but there are registered companies who supply services and receive money from their customers and pay taxes to government. In 1396, the Afghan Tour Branch was activated in Badakhshan that collects income from private companies. several modern hotels including Kokcha Palace, Setara Palace have been built and a new one is under construction and would be completed and put at the tourists disposal.
He added, although women made certain progress in civil and education fields but no practical steps have been taken in hotel management fields for women. We hope and expect donors to support women to be involved in hotel management.
Saqebyar went on to say, we have taken a step and opened a professional course of photojournalism for 50 males and females that would receive three months training and at the end would get certificates and work permits.