Ghazni the Capital of Islamic Civilization
The long-awaited ceremony for declaring Ghazni city as the Asian Capital of Islamic Culture and Civilization was formerly held on Saturday amid tight security. High-ranking government officials, parliamentarians and dignitaries from other countries participated in the ceremony, which is going to last for five days. The official designation of Ghazni city as the Capital of Islamic civilization comes five years after it was selected to be named as the Asian Capital of Islamic Civilization. The selection was decided at a conference held in Tripoli, Libya in 2007 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IESCO).
The designation for the Ghazni city is a national pride for Afghanistan which is entangled in decades of war and instability. It provides a chance for Ghazni city to build a new civilization and culture on the debris of the destruction of the wars. During the past centuries, Afghanistan had the capacity to be counted as a great culture in the region. The minarets, old castles, shrines and other relics of past civilizations and of the Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi era are symbols of the past’s glory. Afghanistan still has the capacity to build its prestige as the Capital of Islamic Civilization, but perhaps not in the near future.
For this, the challenges ahead are abundant. The city of Ghazni is one of the insecure and restive provinces in the country. It faces the challenges of insurgency and instability for years. The designation is conferred to Ghazni city as it is plagued with the activities of the insurgent groups who have a robust presence there. In the now Capital of Islamic Civilization, each year many schools are closed and some are burnt by the militant groups who consider the schools non-Islamic. That shows the severity of the situation for the city, who is to become the center of Islamic thoughts and a symbol of the Islamic Civilization and culture.
But the utmost challenge ahead of reconstructing Ghazni and restoring its status as the Capital of Islamic Civilization is the inability of the government in Kabul and the local administration in the city which has been unable to deliver services and offer services for preparing the city for the title. During the past seven years, the government and local officials made false promises for building the city and preparing it for the year 2013. But the pledges have not been met and the city is far back from reaching the capacity for representing the cultural heritage of the Islamic world.
Whether the government acts or lags behind the schedule, there are tasks ahead for promoting the status of Ghazni city and improving its cultural and educational capacity for representing the culture of the Islamic world. Building centers for Islamic studies, promoting capacity, management of the museums and enhancing the tourism capacity in the city is the steps needed for promoting the status of Ghazni to find its right place for representing Islamic culture.