Nowabad (‘New Town’) is located in Shash Pul (‘Six Bridges’) in the east of Bamyan Central City approximately 12 km away from the center of Bamyan. The village is right on the paved road of Kabul-Bamyan, opposite of Zahak historical city. Four old men were sitting under the shadow in front of the shop in rather hot weather when we joined them. Mohammad Taqqi, one of the Nowabad tribal elders, who recently returned from Pakistan said about the village: “Nowabad was founded in 2013, and approximately 200 families are now living here. Most of them have returned from Pakistan, only a few families have come from Iran. At first we were all sent here by the government and spent one year in the cold weather of winter and the hot of summer in tents. We didn’t have access to health services, clean water, transportation, schools, and other facilities. But we stood on our feet and with strong determination to do something for ourselves, to make our life better. Gradually we built houses. With government support we build shelters, paved streets, a school, a clinic and all other facilities. This was all possible through the direct and strong support of the government, welfare and charity organizations.”
“Now we are very happy and satisfied with our life which we have in our own country. In Pakistan and Iran we never dared to do so, because they weren’t our own countries, we were refugees and there wasn’t any support or help for us. We had no access to civil and governmental services, we just passed days and nights as refugees there. We were not treated well by the police, our children weren’t able to study at schools, we felt that we couldn’t move freely because we were treated like strangers. Finally, we decided to return back to our own homeland.”
Currently, Nawabad village has cemented and paved streets, a school, a clinic, and a rehabilitation council. According to the residents of this area, the people of this village take part in all the governmental and nongovernmental programs effectively. As there aren’t permanent job opportunities for the people of this village, they took part in rehabilitation programs, building roads, producing sand and stones and at the same time weaving rugs.
Mohammad Taqi proudly told us: “Recently, our village was named ‘GOLDEN VILLAGE’ by the governmental authorities because we have collaborated well with the government and NGOs, because we do not have drug addicts but we have clean streets, enough food, we do not force children into marriage and we have had polio vaccinations. A problem we still face however is a lack of job opportunities. Therefore, people have made a deposit in the bank and the government has added some money for those who want to start a work or small business”.