I think I found the right guys for making my baking shovel now.
In the old town of Kabul, there is an area that stands out from the other. The houses are beautiful and well maintained. Very little rubbish on the street. You see that someone with a good eye has been doing the renovation of this area as everything is made in detail. No new windows. Or wait, some of them are new, but simply made completely traditional. Hand carved door openings and pillars. Amazing wall drawings on some of the walls, like the most beautiful calligraphy graffiti.
In this area of town, a non profit organization called Turquoise Mountain has build their center. The area was not really destroyed during the war, it was simply in a terrible condition due to bad maintenance. Houses were falling apart. Of the old towns 105 houses, they have renovated 65 in traditional methods, with help from local crafts men. Over 450 workers has been involved. The houses were renovated from the top and down and they have tried to keep as much of the original parts as possible.
During the renovation TM has build a primary school, clinic, installed water, electricity and sanitation throughout the whole historic traditional craft neighbourhood of Murad Khane. Since they started the renovation in 2006 Turquoise Mountain has cleared 30,000 cubic meters of rubbish from these streets.
Turquoise Mountain is a non-profit, non-governmental organization specializing in urban regeneration, business development, and education in traditional arts and architecture. After the renovation of the area they build up a school that teaches afghan students – men and women- in traditional arts, handcrafts and architecture. They are training the next generation of craftsmen and women in woodwork, jewellery and gem cutting, calligraphy and miniature painting, and ceramics.
By now they have sold over 2,000,000 USD in traditional crafts internationally to support the craft industry. A great way of supporting the Afghan traditions indeed.
By the way, the movie I wrote about a couple of days ago, Buzkashi Boys, was recorded partly in the Murad Khane Neighborhood.
I was connected to the Turquoise Mountain through he Bread Exchange. Karen, an LA woman living in Berlin connected me with Gahl, a woman in Washington, who put me in contact with Shoshana, CEO of TM. Thank You all for helping me find them!
The intro picture of the old wood carved door was my reference for the Baking shovel. I can’t wait to see what they have made for me!