Once a center of world civilizations, often at the crossroads of flourishing international trade routes, Afghanistan is now one of the poorest nations in the world. After thirty years of conflict, its people endure one of the world’s lowest per capita income levels (less than $900 per annum) despite a quadrupling since the fall of the Taliban regime. The devastation of war has not yet been erased by reconstruction.  Private sector investment remains limited and exports few. Heavy reliance on the narcotics trade has spawned corruption and worsened the insurgency.

For over two thousand years, Afghanistan played a pivotal role on the Silk Road, connecting India and China with the Mediterranean and Russia. The continuing conflict had almost destroyed its unique traditions of Islamic art and architecture.

But Afghanistan's great cultural tradition perseveres in the bustling bazaars and workshops of Kabul, Ghazni, Mazar-i-Sharif and Maimana. The famed school of miniature painting from Herat was collected throughout the Mughal Empire, Europe and the Ottoman Empire. The Buddhist sculptures of Bamiyan were famous in China. Exquisite gold jewelry of the Scythian period and the sculpture of the Gandharan period were the luxuries of their time.

Intricate tilework, calligraphy, embroidery, and virtuoso woodwork, once patronized by royal courts, are now endangered art forms. Of the historic structures that have survived, many are now under threat from unregulated development. So too are the incomes which support Afghanistan’s hundreds of thousands of craftspeople. Finding international markets for their high-quality, sophisticated art works, made with skills passed down through the centuries, is essential to ensure the survival of Afghanistan’s ancient and rich cultural heritage.

The Wakhan Corridor, North East Afghanistan
The Wakhan Corridor, North East Afghanistan. Photo courtesy of Aly Mawji.

 

Kabul, AfghanistanKabul, Afghanistan. Photo courtesy of Turquoise Mountain.

 

 

 

Products in this Country

Stories Choker - Afghanistan
Stories Choker - Afghanistan $120.00
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Stories Choker - Afghanistan
Stories Choker - Afghanistan $120.00
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Together We Stand Collar - Afghanistan
Together We Stand Collar - Afghanistan $265.00
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Together We Stand Collar - Afghanistan
Together We Stand Collar - Afghanistan $265.00
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Horizon Pendant - Afghanistan
Horizon Pendant - Afghanistan $165.00
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Stories Cuff - Afghanistan
Stories Cuff - Afghanistan $115.00
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Stories Choker - Afghanistan
Stories Choker - Afghanistan $120.00
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Small United Pendant - Afghanistan
Small United Pendant - Afghanistan $150.00
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Small United Pendant - Afghanistan
Small United Pendant - Afghanistan $150.00
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Stories Choker - Afghanistan
Stories Choker - Afghanistan $120.00
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Stories Choker - Afghanistan
Stories Choker - Afghanistan $120.00
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Longevity Cuff - Afghanistan
Longevity Cuff - Afghanistan $95.00
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Large United Pendant - Afghanistan
Large United Pendant - Afghanistan $225.00
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The Bittern - Afghanistan
The Bittern - Afghanistan $100.00
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Star - Afghanistan
Star - Afghanistan $150.00
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Life's Turmoil - Afghanistan
Life's Turmoil - Afghanistan $150.00
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Stories Cuff - Afghanistan
Stories Cuff - Afghanistan $115.00
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Longevity Cuff - Afghanistan
Longevity Cuff - Afghanistan $95.00
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Large United Pendant - Afghanistan
Large United Pendant - Afghanistan $225.00
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United Earrings - Afghanistan
United Earrings - Afghanistan $175.00
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United Earrings - Afghanistan
United Earrings - Afghanistan $175.00
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Longevity Earrings - Afghanistan
Longevity Earrings - Afghanistan $125.00
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Longevity Earrings - Afghanistan
Longevity Earrings - Afghanistan $125.00
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Stories Choker - Afghanistan
Stories Choker - Afghanistan $120.00
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Longevity Pendant - Afghanistan
Longevity Pendant - Afghanistan $95.00
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Longevity Pendant - Afghanistan
Longevity Pendant - Afghanistan $95.00
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Lariat Necklace - Afghanistan
Lariat Necklace - Afghanistan $195.00
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Lariat Necklace - Afghanistan
Lariat Necklace - Afghanistan $195.00
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