Restored art and architecture revitalize a Kabul neighborhood devastated by war

The restoration of art and architecture is helping to revitalize a community ravaged by decades of war.

In the 90s this serai was a storage area, and a workshops making shoes out of old tires.

The Turquoise Mountain program is regenerating the Murad Khani district of Kabul, Afghanistan by restoring buildings and training artisans. In the time of the Taliban, many artisans were forced to flee the country or give up their craft.

Until recently the Old City of Kabul was buried under two metres of garbage. In places the garbage was so high that families were only able to live on the second floor of buildings. As they dug down, beautiful houses started to emerge from underneath.

The neighborhood had no running water, drainage or electricity, and its houses and historic buildings were in ruins and under threat from developers.

That serai is now the Turquoise Mountain Institute Ceramics school and incubator for startup graduate craft businesses.

Turquoise Mountain has transformed Murad Khani from slum conditions into a vibrant cultural, educational and economic hub. They have restored historic buildings, cleared rubbish and installed utilities throughout the entire community.

A primary school and health clinic have also been established to ensure residents have access to health and education services.

An internationally accredited vocational institute is now training a new generation of Afghan artisans in woodwork, calligraphy and miniature painting, ceramics, jewellery and gem-cutting.

The area was named on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of the world’s most endangered sites.

See full 10News article and video by Danielle Dieterich.

See Turquoise Mountain website.

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