Several years ago, I was invited for a visit to northern Afghanistan. Because I was writing my book on Alexander, it would indeed have been useful to go there and see ancient Aria and Bactria, but instead, I spent my savings in Pakistan, which was just as useful; I blogged about it recently. But I’ve never been in towns like Herat (Alexandria in Aria), Farah (Prophthasia, the site of the Philotas Affair), Kandahar (Alexandria in Arachosia), Begram (Alexandria in the Caucasus), or Mazar-e Sharif (Bactra). It’s still my wish to go there, but for obvious reasons, this will probably remain a wish until the country is fully liberated.
For this reason, I was very happy when I received some photos of “Alexander’s Castle” in Herat, taken by a U.S. officer, Colonel John Bessler, the current deputy director of PKSOI. In its present form, the fortress is from the Timurid age, but it was founded by Alexander.
I have never met COL Bessler, or LTC Rich Holden, who forwarded the pictures, but I am very grateful; the least I could do in return is to put a banner onsite for an organization devoted to helping the brave people who risk their lives for the future of Aghanistan.
The photos are here.