Turquoise Mountain was formed in 2006 with the goal of regenerating Afghanistan’s traditional craft sector and restoring Murad Khane, a district in Kabul’s Old City. After 30 years of conflict and violence, with Afghan’s leading artists and craftsmen seeking refuge in other countries, Turquoise Mountain established the Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture to train a new generation of crafts men and women as an essential part of Afghanistan’s cultural identity and economy. Overall the project aims to provide vocational training, conserve national heritage, improve standards of traditional crafts and design and foster the export market for Afghan arts. In the beginning there were only three schools: calligraphy and miniature painting, woodworking and ceramics. In light of the rich gem mines within Afghanistan, a fourth program in jewelry making and gem cutting was added in 2007.
““In life you must do the things you want. I do not see myself as just a jeweller... I am also an artist.”
— Storai Stanizain