Nancy Dupree

Nancy Hatch Dupree (October 3, 1927 – September 10, 2017) was an American historian whose work primarily focused on the history of modern Afghanistan. She was the director of the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University and author of five books that she compiled while studying the history of Afghanistan from 1962 until the late 1970s, writing about tourism and history of Kabul, Bamiyan and Balkh. She was fondly called the "grandmother of Afghanistan", having spent more of her life there or with Afghans abroad.[1]

Nancy Dupree
Nancy Dupree speaking in 2012
Dupree giving a speech during the International Architectural Ideas Competition at the National Museum of Afghanistan in September 2012 in Kabul, Afghanistan
Nancy Hatch

October 3, 1927
DiedSeptember 10, 2017 (aged 89)
Resting placeKabul, Afghanistan
Alma materBarnard College (B.A)
Columbia University (M.A)
TitleDirector of the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University
SuccessorPosition vacant
Spouse(s)Louis Dupree (1966-1989; his death)


Nancy Dupree was born as Nancy Hatch in Cooperstown, New York.[2] She spent most of her childhood in India. Her parents were working in Kerala, where her father was an adviser to the Maharaja of Travancore, Kerala. Her mother, a Broadway actress, was drawn to Indian art and theatrical dance forms and embarked on the first PhD on Kathakali by a foreign scholar.

Hatch graduated from Barnard College in 1949. She then went to Columbia University to study Chinese.[3] She did her mastery in Chinese Art at Columbia University, but her life was linked to southern Asia in an inexorable manner. First married to an American intelligence officer, Alan D. Wolfe, posted in what was then called Ceylon, she later moved with her husband to Iraq, then Pakistan, and finally Afghanistan in 1962.

Dupree first arrived in Afghanistan in 1962 as a diplomat's wife.[4] Shortly after she wrote the first guide in English to the Bamiyan Buddhas[5].[1] Several years later, she met Louis Duprée, who was a renowned archaeologist and scholar of Afghan culture and history. The two fell in love and got married after divorcing their former spouses, marrying in the Bagh-e Bala Palace[6] in 1966.[7][8]

After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Nancy was forced to leave the country, while Louis remained. Rather than return to the United States, she moved to a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan.[9] Louis was eventually arrested under suspicion of working for the Central Intelligence Agency as a spy.[10] He then joined Nancy in Peshawar. While in the refugee camp, Nancy realized the potential for the loss of unique documents about Afghanistan to be lost or destroyed forever. In order to preserve these works and to teach them to a new generation, she and Louis formed the Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR). They began to collect both government and non-government documents that related to the country's history, culture, the Soviet-Afghan War, the Mujahedeen, and the Taliban.[9] Nancy said that in the looting that began after the Soviet invasion, many priceless books were sold to be used for fuel. A large number of books were also sold by weight to be used to wrap food. According to The Economist, "her networking prowess was so notorious that she was once approached, to see if she could help with permits to dig tunnels in Kabul, by the young Osama bin Laden."[1] Louis died in North Carolina in 1989, a short time after Soviet forces completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

After the Coalition forces moved into Afghanistan in 2001, Nancy did not immediately move back. She and her colleagues were concerned for their own safety and that of ACBAR's collection, which by 1999 consisted of 7,739 titles written in Pashto, Dari (Persian), French, German, Norwegian, and Swedish.[9] In 2005, Nancy moved back to Kabul and worked with the Afghan government to find a place to house ACBAR's collection. The collection was moved to Kabul University and the name was changed to the Afghan Collection at Kabul University. A $2 million building was completed to house the collection in 2012.

Dupree divided her time between Afghanistan and her other home in North Carolina.[11]

Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation

Omar Zakhilwal greeting Nancy Dupree in 2010
Dupree with Afghan finance minister Omar Zakhilwal in 2010

In 2007, Nancy Hatch Dupree established the Louis and Nancy Hatch Dupree Foundation. It is a charitable organization that promotes research and raises awareness of the history and culture of Afghanistan. In addition, this organization also preserves Afghan cultural heritage. The organization's primary goal is to ensure the sustainability of the Afghanistan Center at Kabul University (ACKU). Programs offer Afghans from all walks of life, especially youth, incentives to acquire and employ information that will help them address the challenges of rebuilding their nation.

The organization has been able to achieve its overall goal by purchasing books and providing them to the schools in parts of Afghanistan that have never had a library. Due to regional instability, the organization has not been able to achieve all of its goals as an active NGO.


Dupree died after battling an illness in Kabul, Afghanistan, at the age of 89.[2][12] President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah offered their condolences. Ghani added that Nancy "considered Afghanistan her real home and willed to be buried in Kabul next to the tomb of her husband."[13] Former President Hamid Karzai said "Nancy Dupree, a loving daughter of Afghanistan, is no more with us. May God bless her soul." and "Afghanistan will keep her in affectionate memory." [14]


  • Dupree, Nancy Hatch; Kohzad, Ahmad Ali (1972). An Historical Guide to Kabul. Afghan Tourist Organization. ASIN B0006CCCLW.
  • Dupree, Nancy Hatch; Dupree, Motamedi (1974). The National Museum of Afghanistan : an illustrated guide. The Afghan Tourist Organization. ASIN B000YZI8FK.
  • Dupree, Nancy Hatch (1977). An Historical Guide to Afghanistan. Afghan Tourist Organization. ASIN B0006DXU30.

Further reading

  • Maley, William. (2013). Afghanistan as a cultural crossroads: Lessons from the writings of Ella Maillart, Annemarie Schwarzenbach and Nancy Dupree. Asian Affairs, 44(2), 215.
  • Moustafa, Laila Hussein. (2016). From Peshawar to Kabul: Preserving Afghanistan's cultural heritage during wartime. RBM: A Journal of Rare Book, Manuscripts, and Cultural History, 17(2), 134-147.
  • Dupree, Nancy Hatch. (2002). Cultural heritage and national identity in Afghanistan. Third World Quarterly, 23(5), 977-989.
  • Dupree, Nancy Hatch. (1996). Museum under siege. Archaeology, 49(2), 42-51.
  • Dupree, Nancy Hatch. (1988). Demographic reporting on Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Modern Asian Studies, 22, 845-865.


  1. ^ a b c "Obituary: Nancy Dupree died on September 10th". The Economist. 14 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b Mashal, Mujib (September 10, 2017). "Nancy Hatch Dupree, Scholar of Afghanistan, Is Dead at 89". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Bohlen, Celestine (July 9, 2002). "A Love Affair With Afghanistan Continues at 74; Her Guidebook Inspired a Play, And She Fights for a Nation's Soul". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Waldman, Amy (May 8, 2004). "A Chronicler of Afghan Culture, Now Its Loyal Guard". The New York Times.
  5. ^ The first guide to Bamiyan was published in French in 1934 by Joseph Hackin, director of the Délégation archéologique française en Afghanistan, translated in German in 1939 (Paris, éditions d'art et d'histoire).
  6. ^ The Best American Magazine Writing 2015 by The American Society of Magazine Editors
  7. ^ Graham-Harrison, Emma (March 26, 2013). "From Kabul love affair to Afghanistan's first centre for study of its history". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c Moustafa, Laila Hussein (Fall 2016). "From Peshawar to Kabul: Preserving Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage during Wartime". RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage. 17 (2): 134–147.
  10. ^ Verini, James (23 February 2014). "Love and Ruin". The Atavist Magazine. The Atavist. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  11. ^ "American Seeks to Preserve Storied Afghan Past". Daily Mail. Associated Press. December 15, 2014.
  12. ^ "Nancy Dupree: Renowned US historian dies in Afghanistan". Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera Media Network. 10 September 2017. Archived from the original on 10 September 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  13. ^
  14. ^

External links

2017 in Afghanistan

Events in the year 2017 in Afghanistan.

2017 in the United States

Events in the year 2017 in the United States.

Afghanistan–India relations

Bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of India have traditionally been strong and friendly.The Republic of India was the only South Asian country to recognize the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s, its relations were diminished during the 1990s Afghan civil war and the Taliban government. India aided the overthrow of the Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan. Indians are working in various construction projects, as part of India's rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan. Pakistan alleges the Indian intelligence agency RAW is working in cover to malign Pakistan and train and support insurgents, a claim rejected strongly by India and the United States, the latter historically being a strong ally of Pakistan.

A cousin of then-President Hamid Karzai said in 2007 that India is the "most cherished partner of Afghanistan." Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Afghanistan's ambassador to India, in April 2017 pointed out that India "is the biggest regional donor to Afghanistan and fifth largest donor globally with over $3 billion in assistance. India has built over 200 public and private schools, sponsors over 1,000 scholarships, hosts over 16,000 Afghan students." In the aftermath of the 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul, the Afghan Foreign Ministry quoted India as a "brother country" and the relationship between the two as one which "no enemy can hamper". Relations between Afghanistan and India received a major boost in 2011 with the signing of a strategic partnership agreement, Afghanistan's first since the Soviet invasion of 1979.According to a 2010 Gallup poll, which interviewed 1,000 adults, 50% Afghans approved of the job performance of India's leadership and 44% disapproved with 6% refusing to answer. It was the highest approval rating of India by another country in Asia. According to the survey, Afghan adults are more likely to approve of India's leadership than Chinese or U.S. leadership.

Bacha posh

Bacha posh (Persian: بچه پوش‎, literally "dressed up as a boy") is a cultural practice in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, in which some families without sons will pick a daughter to live and behave as a boy. This enables the child to behave more freely: attending school, escorting her sisters in public, and working. Bacha posh also allows the family to avoid the social stigma associated of not having any male children.

Culture of Afghanistan

The culture of Afghanistan has been around for over three millennia, tracing record to at least the time of the Achaemenid Empire in 500 BCE. Afghanistan translates to "Land of the Afghans" or "Place of Afghans" in the nation's official languages, Pashto and Dari. It is mostly a tribal society with different regions of the country having its own subculture. Nearly all Afghans follow Islamic traditions, celebrate the same holidays, dress the same, consume the same food, listen to the same music and are multi-lingual to a certain extent.

In the southern and eastern region, as well as western Pakistan which was historically part of Afghanistan, the Pashtuns live according to the Pashtun culture by following Pashtunwali (meaning "the way of the Pashtuns"). The western, northern, and central regions of Afghanistan are influenced by neighboring Central Asian and Persian cultures. Some of the non-Pashtuns who live in close proximity with Pashtuns have adopted Pashtunwali in a process called Pashtunization (or Afghanization) while some Pashtuns and others become Persianized.

Deaths in September 2017

The following is a list of notable deaths in September 2017.

Entries for each day are listed alphabetically by surname. A typical entry lists information in the following sequence:

Name, age, country of citizenship at birth, subsequent country of citizenship (if applicable), what subject was noted for, cause of death (if known), and reference.

Herat Citadel

The Citadel of Herat (Persian: ارگ هرات‎, Pashto سکندرۍ کلا), also known as the Citadel of Alexander, and locally known as Qala Iktyaruddin (Persian: قلعه اختیارالدین‎), is located in the center of Herat in Afghanistan. It dates back to 330 BC, when Alexander the Great and his army arrived to what is now Afghanistan after the Battle of Gaugamela. Many empires have used it as a headquarters in the last 2,000 years, and was destroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries.

This historic citadel was saved from demolition in the 1950s, and was excavated and restored by UNESCO between 1976 and 1979. From decades of wars and neglect, the citadel began to crumble but in recent years several international organizations decided to completely rebuild it. The National Museum of Herat is also housed inside the citadel, while the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture is the caretaker of the whole premises.

Hindu and Buddhist heritage of Afghanistan

Before the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan communities of various religious and ethnic background lived in the land. South of the Hindu Kush was ruled by the Zunbil and Kabul Shahi rulers. When the Chinese travellers (Faxian, Song Yun, Xuanzang, Wang-hiuon-tso, Huan-Tchao, and Wou-Kong) visited Afghanistan between 399 and 751 AD, they mentioned that Buddhism was practiced in different areas between the Amu Darya (Oxus River) in the north and the Indus River in the south. The land was ruled by the Kushans followed by the Hephthalites during these visits. It is reported that the Hephthalites were fervent followers of the god Surya.

The invading Muslim Arabs introduced Islam to a Zunbil king of Zamindawar (Helmand Province) in 653-4 AD, then they took the same message to Kabul before returning to their already Islamized city of Zaranj in the west. It is unknown how many accepted the new religion but the Shahi rulers remained non-Muslim until they lost Kabul in 870 AD to the Saffarid Muslims of Zaranj. Later, the Samanids from Bukhara in the north extended their Islamic influence into the area. It is reported that Muslims and non-Muslims still lived side by side in Kabul before the arrival of Ghaznavids from Ghazni."Kábul has a castle celebrated for its strength, accessible only by one road. In it there are Musulmáns, and it has a town, in which are infidels from Hind."

The first mention of a Hindu in Afghanistan appears in the 982 AD Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam, where it speaks of a king in "Ninhar" (Nangarhar), who shows a public display of conversion to Islam, even though he had over 30 wives, which are described as "Muslim, Afghan, and Hindu" wives. These names were often used as geographical terms by the Arabs. For example, Hindu (or Hindustani) has been historically used as a geographical term to describe someone who was native from the region known as India, and Afghan as someone who was native from a region called Bactria.

Iranian studies

Iranian studies (Persian: ايران‌شناسی‎ Īrānšenāsī), also referred to as Iranology and Iranistics, is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the study of the history, literature, art and culture of Iranian peoples. It is a part of the wider field of Oriental studies.

Iranian studies is broader than and distinct from Persian studies, which is the study of the modern Persian language (known as Farsi or Parsi to Iranians) and literature specifically. The discipline of Iranian Studies focuses on broad trends in culture, history, language and other aspects of not only Persians, but also a variety of other contemporary and historical Iranian peoples, such as Azeris, Kurds, Lurs, Gilakis, Talysh, Tajiks, Pashtuns, Ossetians, Baluchis, Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Parthians, Sogdians, Bactrians, Mazandaranis, etc.

Kabul University

Kabul University (KU) (Pashto دکابل پوهنتون Da Kābul Pohantūn / Dari پوهنتون کابل Pohantūn-e Kābul) is located in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It was founded in 1931 during the government of Mohammed Nadir Shah and then Prime Minister Mohammad Hashim Khan

Kabul University is attended by approximately 25,000 students, of which around 40% are women. The main building was renovated about 500 metres from the old one, which has almost the same design.

The mission of Kabul University is to mature and prosper as an internationally recognised institution of learning and research, a community of stakeholders committed to shared governance, and a centre of innovative thought and practice.


Karukh (Persian/Pashto: كرخ) is a town and the center of Karukh District, Herat Province, Afghanistan. The population is more than 18,800 people. The town is located at 34.49°N 62.59°E / 34.49; 62.59 at 1320 m altitude, 50 km northeast of Herat.Karukh’s busy bazaar is continuously mentioned in travelogues down through the centuries. The shrine of Hazrat Alla Berdi, Sufi ul-Islam, stands there (see the photo here).

List of Americans in Pakistan

This is a list of Americans in Pakistan. It includes American immigrants or expatriates who have lived in Pakistan, as well as Pakistani people who are of American descent. The list is sorted alphabetically by the individuals' professions or fields of activity to which they have notably made contributions, such as academia and education, the arts, crime, diplomacy, literature and journalism, military or intelligence, music, politics, religion, science and technology, and social work.

To be included in this list, the person must have a Wikipedia article or references implying notability, as well as showing that they are American and have resided in Pakistan.

List of women anthropologists

This is a list of women anthropologists.

National Museum of Afghanistan

The National Museum of Afghanistan (Persian: موزیم ملی افغانستان, Mūzīyam-e mellī-ye Afghānestān; Pashto: د افغانستان ملی موزیم‎, Də Afghānistān Millī Mūzīyəm), also known as the Kabul Museum, is a two-story building located 9 km southwest of the center of Kabul in Afghanistan. As of 2014, the museum is under major expansion according to international standards, with a larger size adjoining garden for visitors to relax and walk around. The museum was once considered to be one of the world's finest.The museum's collection had earlier been one of the most important in Central Asia, with over 100,000 items dating back several millennia. With the start of the civil war in 1992, the museum was looted numerous times resulting in a loss of 70% of the 100,000 objects on display. Since 2007, a number of international organizations have helped to recover over 8,000 artifacts, the most recent being a limestone sculpture from Germany. Approximately 843 artifacts were returned by the United Kingdom in 2012, including the famous 1st Century Bagram Ivories.

Omar Zakhilwal

Omar Zakhilwal (Pashto: ډاکتر عمر زاخيلوال‎ ; born 1968) is a politician in Afghanistan, is the current Afghanistan ambassador to Pakistan and served as the Finance Minister and Chief Economic Advisor to the President Hamid Karzai. He is also the president of the Afghanistan Cricket Board.

Saffarid dynasty

The Saffarid dynasty (Persian: سلسله صفاریان‎) was a Muslim Persianate dynasty from Sistan that ruled over parts of eastern Iran, with its capital at Zaranj (a city now in southwestern Afghanistan). Khorasan, Afghanistan and Sistan from 861 to 1003. The dynasty, of Persian origin, was founded by Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar, born in 840 in a small town called Karnin (Qarnin), which was located east of Zaranj and west of Bost, in what is now Afghanistan - a native of Sistan and a local ayyar, who worked as a coppersmith (ṣaffār) before becoming a warlord. He seized control of the Sistan region and began conquering most of Iran and Afghanistan, as well as parts of Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The Saffarids used their capital Zaranj as a base for an aggressive expansion eastward and westward. They first invaded the areas south of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan and then overthrew the Persian Tahirid dynasty, annexing Khorasan in 873. By the time of Ya'qub's death, he had conquered the Kabul Valley, Sindh, Tocharistan, Makran (Balochistan), Kerman, Fars, Khorasan, and nearly reached Baghdad but then suffered a defeat by the Abbasids.The Saffarid empire did not last long after Ya'qub's death. His brother and successor, Amr bin Laith, was defeated at the Battle of Balkh against Ismail Samani in 900. Amr bin Laith was forced to surrender most of his territories to the new rulers. The Saffarids were subsequently confined to their heartland of Sistan, with their role reduced to that of vassals of the Samanids and their successors.

The Diplomat (2015 film)

The Diplomat is a biographical documentary film released in 2015 about former U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, whose five-decade career began as a Foreign Service Officer in Vietnam during the war. At the time of his death in December 2010, he was the Obama administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The documentary's perspective is from Holbrooke's son, David.

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