Residents of the Bamwam Valley in Afghanistan, once a well known tourist area in the country, are hopeful that this weekend’s election could spell the rebirth of the industry.
Visitors used to flock to the region to see the Buddhas of Bamiyan before their destruction. War weary locals fear a return to violence could dash their hopes for the future.
“It could be a very bad situation. Investors will leave Afghanistan. The young generation will also leave. The insurgence will come again to Afghanistan and there will be fighting again,” explained local resident Abas Khawary.
The two statues, dating back to the sixth century, were dynamited over several weeks, an act heavily criticised across the globe.
Since 2002 there has been a commitment by several international organisations to rebuild the 53 and 35 metres Buddhas.