The number of tourists coming to Badakhshan is increasing,” says Odinamamadova Khinzobeg, a teacher in an Ishkashim; she speaks of this particular stop along the Pamir Highway in the Wakhan Valley in Tajikistan. Just over the raging Panj River is Afghanistan. “We hope that the quality of life will get better. It is better than last year.”

This teacher sits in the Wakhan Valley. Bounded by the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountains, the people here are known as the Wakhi. Found at a conjunction of Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and China, the history of the Wakhi people and the Wakhan Corridor is complex. The journey across the Pamir Highway long. It can be unpredictable, barren, and cold. In the faces of the Wakhi people, there is warmth.

6 mins reading time
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