Reputedly the birthplace of Zoroaster, Bactria was for a long time the spiritual center for the Zoroastrian religion and was said to have rivaled urban centers such as Babylon. Accounts of visitors to Balkh in ancient times include Alexander the Great, a succession of Graeco Bactrian kings, pilgrims, countles Silk Road traders and pilgrims attracted by the many Buddhist monasteries in the Balkh region during the 4th-7th centuries, Genghis Kahn who sacked the city , Marco Polo who declared Balkh a "noble city and great" in and Timur who destroyed the city again in Accounts from the 10th century AD onward indicate that Balkh was ringed with earthen walls, within which stood a fine citadel, mosque and other buildings necessary for Balkh to become an important trading center a necessary stop on the Silk Road with links to India and China and a center of education in AD the philosopher-scientist Ibn Sina was born in Balkh, as was the poet Ferdowsi. Those same earthen walls can still be seen over a length of some 10 kilometres, to the north of which lies a secondary fortified area, the Bala Hissar. See also the Minaret of Zadyan. Looting at Balkh since has been extensive.
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Rival Police Clash In North Afghan City In Spat Between President, Ex-Governor
Mazār-e Sharīf | Afghanistan | homedecorationworld.com
The Seljuq dynasty sultan Ahmed Sanjar built the first known shrine at this location. It was destroyed or hidden under earthen embankment during the invasion of Genghis Khan in around A site plan of the location made in the s shows that there had earlier been a smaller walled precinct in the mosque, which was razed to create parklands later, although the portals to this precinct still remain as gateways for the shrine. Tombs of varying dimensions were added for a number of Afghan political and religious leaders over the years, which has led to the development of its current irregular dimensions. According to a local legend here has been buried Ali who reportedly was brought here by a white camel in order to save his remains from the desecration by his enemies. Alternatively, the personage buried in the shrine may have predated Islam. Identifying the shrine with Ali could likely be a myth to ensure the tomb would be protected and honored by the Islamic establishment.
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Blind dates in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan
With a population of more than ,, Mazar-e Sharif is the 4th largest city in Afghanistan. It was founded in the 12th century after a local mullah dreamt of the secret site where Ali bin Talib, the Prophet's cousin and the fourth caliph of Islam, had been buried outside of Afghanistan most Muslims believe that Ali is buried in Najaf , Iraq. A shrine, which was rebuilt as the Blue Mosque, was constructed on the site and the city of Mazar grew around it. Historically this region was known as Bactria , its capital was Balkh and Mazar was a smaller town nearby. However Balkh was abandoned due to disease in the midth century and Mazar assumed the role of capital of the region - a position it has maintained ever since.
The fall of Mazar-i-Sharif or Mazar-e-Sharif in November resulted from the first major offensive of the Afghanistan War after American intervention. Army Special Forces aerial bombardment , resulted in the withdrawal of Taliban forces who had held the city since After the fall of outlying villages, and an intensive bombardment, the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces withdrew from the city. Several hundred pro-Taliban fighters, including many Pakistani volunteers, were killed.