In pursuit of reviving war-ravaged crafts of Afghanistan

With the aim to strengthen the cultural and trade link between Afghanistan-India, a ten day food and craft festival was organised by the consulate General of Afghanistan in Hyderabad.  

Being at the “crossroads of cultures” where the civilizations of Persia, Near East, Central Asia, South Asia, and China converged over the millennia, Afghanistan has long been an important trading and craft center, however decades of war have constantly threatened the  crafts, trade and cultural heritage owing to the  migration, imperial formations, emulation,  and periodic conflicts.

‘Paris of the East’ is what Kabul of 1962 was often described once due to its cosmopolitan ethos and craftsmanship. Conflicts have already driven away foreign tourists who used to be drawn to Herat, a city steeped in history as a trading hub on the ancient Silk Road and now covid pandemic has created a double whammy for tourism and trade as people tend to spend only on essential and cheaper goods.
Asserting the importance of the fest, Muhammad Suleman Kakar, Consul General of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Hyderabad said, ” We aim to strengthen cultural and trade ties between India and Afghanistan. To promote mutual interest of both nations, we’ve arranged traders’ meet and workshops.”
“Buyers and sellers come together to have a look at the traders who have come from Afghanistan to display their products. And the following day we will be having a world interactive workshop which will be conducted for the development of import and exports between Afghanistan and India, thus promoting the mutual interests of both the countries,” added Kakkar. 
After the food festival which is an integral part of the cultural exchange programme, there are  more such exchange programs including sports, music, arts and crafts, capacity building trainings, infrastructural development between both countries are in pipeline which have currently been stalled  by the pandemic.
Cover image by The University of Iowa

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