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How Art Is Revitalizing This Kabul Neighborhood After Decades Of War

Experts in ceramics, calligraphy, carpentry, jewelry making and miniature painting are all working together.
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How Art Is Revitalizing This Kabul Neighborhood After Decades Of War

Art can help rebuild a community ravaged by decades of war.

The Turquoise Mountain project revitalizes the Murad Khani district of Kabul by restoring buildings and training artisans.

The violence Afghanistan since the 1970s has devastated the artistic community. Conflict has driven out some of the nation's best artisans, put others out of work and left many without students to pass on their craft.

When the Turquoise Mountain project began in 2006, workers had to dig out 6 feet of garbage in some areas.

Now, newly renovated buildings house the Turquoise Mountain Institute, where students learn ceramics, calligraphy, carpentry, jewelry making and miniature painting.

Some of their work is featured in a Smithsonian exhibit.

The project also funds a public education center in Kabul — where more than 130 kids learn math, reading and the arts — as well as a family health center that treats 20,000 patients a year.