BY ANADOLU AGENCY
The Taliban administration in Afghanistan approved the restoration of a historic synagogue in the western Herat province, even though the last Jewish person living in the country left a month after their takeover last year.
Restoration of the Yu Aw Synagogue will start in two months and will take nearly 18 months, Zalmay Safa, the director of Herat’s department for the safeguarding of historic monuments, told Anadolu Agency.
According to Safa, there are currently four synagogues, a Turkish bath, and a cemetery in Herat, but only the Yu Aw Synagogue has so far gotten protected status, while one synagogue was converted into a mosque, another into a school, and a third was heavily damaged due to conflicts.
Yu Av has been closed to visitors for the last two years to avoid any damage.
The restoration of the historic synagogue will be funded by a local nongovernmental organization with foreign funding, Safa said.
Telling how Herat was once home to many Jews that lived in the city in peace, Safa said: “These historic buildings reflect the lines of Herat’s history, so the restoration decision is a sign of goodwill toward other religions.”