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Afghan oasis: Band-e-Amir National Park in photos

By Atia Abawi
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BAND-E-AMIR NATIONAL PARK, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Efforts to make Band-e-Amir a national park began in the 1970s but were put on hold through the decades of war that ravaged the country. The U.S. and Afghan governments, along with the Wildlife Conservation Society, began working with local communities in 2006 to revive that vision.


The lakes cover 59,000 hectares of rock and desert land. Surrounded by red limestone cliffs, the water comes from the ground and is so clean you can drink it.

The serenity, beauty and the security of the Band-e-Amir National Park -- the country's first national park -- is a taste of Afghanistan's past and what hopes to be its future.

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