“The time to act is now. My fear is that we’ll all gasp in horror when the Mes Aynak site is destroyed but won’t do much when there was actually time to save it.” – Brent Huffman, Director, Saving Mes Aynak
Join us in saving the site by watching the film on Global #SaveMesAynak Day – July 1 2015!
Through social media, we plan to use #SaveMesAynak Day to spark worldwide protest, conversation, and action. We will mount an ambitious outreach effort through our film to reach as many people as we can: the more awareness we can raise, the larger the pressure we can put on the Afghan government to stop the demolition of Mes Aynak. This way, we can ensure Mes Aynak’s safety for future generations.
Why We Must Save Mes Aynak
Mes Aynak (“little copper well” in Pashto) is a mountainous site in the Taliban-controlled Logar Province, Afghanistan, 25 miles southeast of Kabul near the Pakistan border. Mes Aynak contains the ancient remains of a 2,000-year-old Buddhist city, on top of a 5,000-year-old Bronze Age site. Massive, at nearly 500,000 sq. meters, this historic Buddhist city contains dozens of unique and never-before-seen stupas and temples, thousands of artifacts, and around 600 large Buddha statues – similar to those destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 at Bamiyan. Although only 10% of the site has been excavated, the discoveries are already rewriting the history of Buddhism, Afghanistan, and us – who we are as human beings. Just imagine what is still there, waiting to be re-discovered and shared with the world.
Mes Aynak, however, sits on the second largest copper deposit in the world.
In 2007, the Afghan government sold Mes Aynak to a Chinese State-owned mining company, eager to harvest an estimated $100 billion dollars worth of copper buried directly beneath the archaeological ruins. To get to this copper, however, would mean blowing up Mes Aynak and reducing it – and an entire mountain range – to rubble. It would mean the forced evacuation and relocation of countless native Afghans from the area, who will never be able to return to their homes due to toxicity from the mining. It would mean erasing from the face of the Earth all of the culture and history that Mes Aynak contains.