About Turquoise Mountain
Turquoise Mountain was established in 2006, under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales and the President of Afghanistan, to revive traditional Afghan arts, crafts and architecture. The organization founded an Institute of Traditional Afghan Arts and Architecture with four craft schools – calligraphy and miniature painting, woodwork, jewelry, and ceramics – and has undertaken a major urban regeneration project in Murad Khane, the center of the old city of Kabul. In a conflict-ridden society with a debilitated economy, Turquoise Mountain provides education and employment for over 400 students, teachers, engineers, architects, and construction workers. The organization also ensures the livelihoods of its students by connecting their work to international markets.
The Afghan arts and crafts industry, once a source of great pride and a respected way of earning a living, has been severely endangered by decades of conflict and displacement. Skills, once handed down through families, have been lost, materials are scarce and of poor quality, and artisans lack access to local or international markets. Turquoise Mountain is training a new generation of artisans, and reviving all but forgotten craft techniques and designs.
In 2007, Turquoise Mountain Arts was established and has since been promoting the production and distribution of hand-made Afghan craft and design worldwide including traditional Afghan woodwork, ceramics, calligraphy, jewelry, and textiles. Over this period, nearly 1.5 million dollars worth of traditional Afghan crafts have been sold, helping to revive and maintain Afghanistan’s traditional arts and crafts industry and provide a sense of pride, vocation and income for hundreds of families. Any income made goes directly back into supporting the artisans and students of Turquoise Mountain Arts and the Institute for Afghan Arts & Architecture.