Artisan: Abdul Hedi - Jali Screens from Afghanistan
Jali screens
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Revitalizing the jali (lattice) screen-making tradition, and ensuring that the legacy of his craftsmanship lives on.
Master Jali Maker Abdul Hedi, 75, is largely responsible for the survival of Afghanistan’s tradition of jali woodwork. In the 1960s he was employed by the former King Zahir Shah to make new jali screens for the famous shrine of Hazrat Ali in Mazar-i-Sharif, a city in Northern Afghanistan. This is the most important pilgrimage site in the whole country. However, during the years of civil war and then the period of Taliban rule, Abdul could not find work as a jali maker and was forced to become a fruit seller. His renown, however, meant that he was sought after when Turquoise Mountain Institute for Art and Architecture was established. Today he is teaching a new generation of both male and female jali makers.
The next generation. “I used to make jali screens for King Zahir Shah and now I teach young people how to make them.

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