Afghan Art and Education Revival

ArteZan Designs gives women literacy and industry skills while creating beautiful scarves

Christina Leadlay
Published: Wednesday, 10/12/2005 12:00 am EDT

The outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, are very poor. Open sewers run along the streets and there's an overwhelming smell of garbage. Through one particular doorway lies a courtyard, shared by a handful of families who call this home, where children play on the dusty ground. Huge, concrete steps lead up to a large room used as a workshop. There, Afghan women and their families work long hours spinning raw Afghan silk into thread, and then weaving it into splendid, colourful silk scarves. At lunchtime, the huge looms are quiet as the women, some of their husbands, children and the occasional grandparent sit and drink tea while a teacher instructs them how to read and write.

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