Are the Hazaras East Asian

The Hazara

With a practiced hand, men pull the sugar mass into long strands from which candies are formed. They process 450 kilos a day in this factory in Kabul.

Seven years after the fall of the Taliban, scars have remained in the Hazara homeland, but there is a spirit of optimism that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. Today the region is one of the safest in Afghanistan. There are hardly any poppy fields here, as can be found in other areas. A new political order has arrived in Kabul, the seat of the central government of President Hamid Karzai. Lately, Hazara have had access to universities, public service positions, and other advancement opportunities that have long been denied them. One of the country's vice presidents is Hazara. The country's first and only female governor, too.

Khaled Hosseini's bestseller "The Kite Runner" features a fictional Hazara character. And a Hazara won the first season of "Afghan Star", a program of the type "Deutschland sucht den Superstar".

After decades of civil war, the country is working hard to rebuild. Many believe that the Hazarajat region could be a model for the future of all Afghans. But this optimism is all too often dampened by the setbacks of the present: roads are not being built, the Taliban are regaining strength, and extremism is increasing among the Sunnis. An international project team is currently collecting and sorting thousands of fragments to reconstruct the Buddhas. The Hazara are also in the process of building a future for themselves from the fragments of their past, which has been shaped by displacement and persecution.