Saving Mes Aynak


In late November 2014, my partner and I had the opportunity to attend and participate in the world premiere of Brent E. Huffman’s documentary film, Saving Mes AynakAbout a year and a half ago, we had screened an early version of Huffman’s film as part of a larger discussion on Buddhist manuscripts and archeological sites at our Institute for Indology and Tibetology at Ludwig-Maxilimans Universität in Munich.  Saving Mes Aynak premiered in the Amsterdam at the Dutch IDFA festival, and the film “follows the Afghan archaeologist Qadir Temori as he races against time to save a 5,000-year-old archaeological site in Afghanistan from imminent demolition. A Chinese state-owned mining company is closing in on the ancient site, eager to harvest $100 billion dollars worth of copper buried directly beneath the archaeological ruins. Only 10% of Mes Aynak has been excavated, though, and some believe future discoveries at the site have the potential to redefine the history of Afghanistan and the history of Buddhism itself” (Huffman).  Mes Aynak played a significant role on the Silk Road and current houses one of the oldest surviving Buddhist sites in Afghanistan.  The Buddhist monasteries and historical forts on Mes Aynak are threatened by a Chinese mining company which plans to dynamite and destroy Mes Aynak in Spring 2015.  Not only then is this historical site and its rare and ancient artifacts at stake, but the area surrounding Mes Aynak and the livelihoods of the villages, drinking water, and ecosystem surrounding the site threatens to be destroyed by mining at Mes Aynak.  To prevent the destruction of the ancient sites at Mes Aynak and the environmental damage the mining would cause, please sign this petition.  To help spread the word on Mes Aynak, request to screen Brent E. Huffman’s Saving Mes Aynak here. – Rita Banerjee

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