Nancy Hatch Dupree, an archeologist, historian, expert in Afghanistan’s ancient and historic relics and the most important, a very good, loyal and honest friend for the people of Afghanistan passed away on September 10 in Kabul at the age of 90.
As an American historian, Mrs. Dupree dedicated almost all of her life to serve in Afghanistan through making researches in the history of modern Afghanistan. She came to the country in 1962 along with her husband who was always a historian.
Dupree remained in Afghanistan until 1978 and moved to Pakistan’s Peshawar city after the then Soviet troops’ invasion of the country. She continued working in Pakistan as well and helped Afghan refugees there in the sector of education besides doing her main job as a historian.
Late Dupree made great services in the maintaining and returning of the cultural heritages and ancient relics that were looted and smuggled to abroad mostly from the national museum during the 1990s civil war.
She was working in close cooperation with the Afghan museums and the ministry of culture and did not hesitate even during the Taliban government when women were banned from working. The national museum was reopened after a long delay with her efforts and the relics were set in display.
Dupree also wrote several books and articles that could be helpful for the tourists and can help researchers as sources. Her other achievement was the Afghanistan Center of Kabul University, an institution providing information about the history and culture of Afghanistan that was established in 2004.
At a time when the enemies of Afghanistan and its culture (both domestic and foreign) were making efforts to loot our rich culture, Dupree was working to maintain the heritages and return the smuggled ones.
The people of Afghanistan appreciate late Nancy for her tireless efforts in protecting their culture and call her as one of the most honest friends who was serving in their country without any political, military or economic wishes.
Afghans wish late Nancy’s soul rest in peace and will never forget her.
Afghanistan Times, September 15, 2017