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"The Development of Afghan Art in the Course of History" by Hamid Nawid


Review by Pohand Wassey Latifi

In the series of book reviews that I have written, numbering more than 120 oeuvres (books) of Afghan writers, including from the Diaspora, the most recent is a short recognition and review that I have dedicated to the newly published book of Professor Hamid Nawid, under the title "The Development of Afghan Art in the Course of History."  To shorten my speech, I would like to focus only on two important subjects of this excellent book. 


I would like to first talk about the description and analysis by Nawid of one of the most ancient statues discovered in Hada, Jalalabad, in Afghanistan in the 2nd century AD, named "Diwata".


The statue reflects an expressive human, shaped from a block of stone, laughing to the viewer.


In my article, which has been published in the Omaid journal, and on the writer Maria Daro's website, I made a comparison between the laughing of the prominent painting, Mona Lisa, by Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci, placed in the Loeuvre Museum of Paris, and the artistic expression of laughing of "Diwata", analyzed by Mr. Nawid.  Both works of art represent the meaningful expression of inner sentiments of a human being and the artistic thinking style of the creators of these works. 


The second most dramatic subject of Mr. Nawid's book is the tragic event of the destruction of the Buddha statues in Bamiyan by the Taliban.


Professor Nawid has given a detailed, historical description of the famous statue.  And at the same time, I mentioned in my article the famous poem of Ustad Khalilullah Khalili about the statue when it was still in its original place in Bamiyan.

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