Mr. Mustamandy, Director of Afghanistan
Archeological Excavations, holds two dead snakes
caught on site at Tapa-I-Shotor.
any old man with a cane in the cobbled streets of Rome, Zahir Shah would
appear anonymous. But this is no ordinary stroll, and no ordinary man,
for the dethroned king of Afghanistan is pondering the call by his countrymen
to help lead a nation which he lost to foreign invaders 28 years ago.
He is one of the many lost Afghan sons scattered around the world - a
link to a better past, and part of an irreplaceable education for a nation's
Hellenic sculpture of Hercules shows signs of Norse influence.
am in the passenger seat of an anonymous truck, riding across Southern
California's San Fernando Valley with Mr. Huvishka Mustamandy-Khan, co-founding
member of the international Committee for the Salvation of the Cultural
Heritage of Afghanistan. He suggests we go for some Indian food. Mustamandy
has agreed to speak to Notes from the Road about his parents' role
in the archaeological excavation of Afghanistan, and about his own childhood
was born in Afghanistan," he says, "but my dad's family is immediately
related to Genghis Kahn," he confides. "Our ancestors come from
Mongolia, whereas my mom was directly descended from the Prophet Mohammed
by blood. Both of my parents were educated up through high school in Afghanistan,
and afterwards they studied abroad."
was considered prestigious to study abroad," he continues, "so
both my parents got their masters and PHD's outside...my dad got his PHD
at the University of Terino in Italy, and my mom studied in the U.K. and
Australia and got her masters from Syracuse."
Mustamandy's, who come from higher ranking families, are insistent on
the importance of education, "It is not like the caste system in
India, but education makes a big difference."
Dr. Chaibai Mustamandy, Huvishka's father and the son of the governor
(president) of Afghanistan in the 1950s, was elected Director General
of Afghan Institute of Archaeology in the 1960's, where the family's archaeological
legacy took root.