Spring in Kabul

Detail of bronze tray with niello decoration, Kabul Museum. Kabul, Afghanistan.

Here I was thinking that it was high time that I sat down and got myself organised to put up more posts and photos of my two months last autumn at Turquoise Mountain in Kabul but this post is actually announcing my return to Turquoise Mountain in less than a month!

In one of my earlier posts I spoke about Turquoise Mountain’s comprehensive regeneration programme in Murad Khane in collaboration with the local community and the Ministry of Education, to create an educational complex of international standing for Afghanistan. The heart of this complex is the three courtyards of the Great Serai, once home to Afghanistan’s first school. Well you will be happy to hear that the Institute moved into its new facility in Murad Khane at the end of January! Very exciting!! Apparently back in December when the students were shown the new premises that they would return and move into in January they shrieked with delight!  I don’t blame them from what I saw when I toured the building site back in September I would be pretty excited to be studying there to. The official opening is in April; I have been invited to return for that and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I will also be going a bit beforehand to assist with preparations for the event.

My last few weeks in Kabul were very fast paced trying to pack everything in but I still managed to get out and about; for example to the Kabul Museum, to Chicken Street a long time tourist destination for handcrafts and carpets and to an authentic Afghan restaurant for lunch. Unfortunately this blog, sadly as I really enjoyed doing it, got neglected but I’m afraid my work at the Institute and experiencing as much as I could of Kabul took precedence over sitting in my room typing away. It has also been pretty hectic catching up with my work here in London after a two month absence (a little longer in fact as I was quite ill when I first returned to London although a couple of courses of medication later and I’m fighting fit once again!) and getting involved in some follow up projects from my residency; like bringing a student or recent graduate from Turquoise Mountain here to the UK and trying to get an exhibition of contemporary Afghan jewellery together here in London.

However, I’m intending to finally get going on updating this blog and of course documenting my upcoming trip back to Turquoise Mountain. So watch this space for some follow up posts about my experiences of Kabul and for my Afghan Arts Adventure, part II this spring in Kabul.

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