A trade school in Afghanistan founded by a Scotsman and dedicated to reviving long lost arts and skills of the Afgan traditions has taken on an ambitious scheme: to rehabilitate an eight-hectare central Kabul slum to its original beauty. Inside are 15 once-elegant buildings being renovated to historical precision, shaded courtyards, splendid edifices that were on the verge of collapse – only 65 out of 100 buildings that were here in 1980 survive – and a pretty mosque in the center.
The $25 million project has employed 500 local Afghans. They’re bringing in electricity, a sewage treatment facility, water pipes connecting to municipal drains. “They told us it couldn’t be done,” says Shoshana Coburn, managing director of Turquoise Mountain. “We showed them it could.”