The Wakhan Corridor and Eco-friendly Tourism AM000000100000000531 7, 2008Posted by Mыsofer in wakhan.
Aunohita Mojumdar is a freelance journalist who has reported from the South Asian region for 16 years. He blogs on the beauty and nature of Wakhan Corridor which is a narrow strip of land in eastern Afghanistan bordered by Tajikistan in the north and Pakistan. Some excerpts below, visit the site for complete reading.
Down in the village wheat is being harvested. Unlike most other parts of Afghanistan where women cover their faces in public, men and women work side by side in the fields, turning their curious gaze on the outsiders. The Shia Ismaeli’s gentle observance of religion belies the rigidities of much of Afghanistan, where a strong conservative culture keeps outsiders at bay. Ethnically, too, the inhabitants of the Wakhan Corridor are very different, comprising the Wakhi in lower Wakhan and the Kyrghyz in the higher areas with their distinct languages. Overtures meet with first a cautious and then increasingly friendly response.
In the village where we stay the guesthouse is the first of its kind for travellers. Encouraging this are the combined efforts by the Norwegian Action Committee and the Aga Khan Foundation to introduce eco-friendly tourism that will help the local economy. With financing from the NAC and expertise from the AKF, a series of guesthouses have been set up along the corridor up to the last motorable point of Sarhad-e-Broghil, from where the way forward is on yaks, donkeys, horses or camels. Trekking routes and itineraries have been identified by the AKF.