AN EVENING CELEBRATION AND SHOWCASING AFGHAN CRAFT AND DESIGN
ISHKAR and Turquoise Mountain have been working closely together in Afghanistan for many years and we were thrilled to co-host an evening in conversation at ISHKAR's West London studio. From carpet weaving to glassblowing, silversmithing to wood carving, we discussed the incredible variety and exceptional quality of craft techniques that can be found across the country. We explored the way in which traditional skills and techniques can be used to make contemporary designs.
ISHKAR was founded in 2016 with the aim of creating a craft brand that would redefine the way the world saw countries that had been affected by conflict. ISHKAR's work has since expanded to include hosting informative events and organising pioneering trips to destinations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Turquoise Mountain was founded in 2006 by His Majesty King Charles III to revive historic areas and traditional crafts, providing jobs, skills, and a renewed sense of pride. Turquoise Mountain now works in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Edmund Le Brun
ISHKAR Co-Founder Edmund is a Forbes 30 under 30 entrepreneur and business development leader, with years of experience building businesses and brokering investments across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. Edmund is formerly the Head of Business Development with Turquoise Mountain in Afghanistan.
Dr. Thalia Kennedy
Thalia is the Creative Director at Turquoise Mountain. She joined in 2007, and was the founding director of the Turquoise Mountain Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture. She has a PhD in Islamic Art History and was a visiting scholar at the Getty Conservation Institute and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. In 2011 she was appointed Deputy Director at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. She rejoined Turquoise Mountain in 2015 as Country Director for Saudi Arabia and became international Creative Director in 2017.
Toby joined Turquoise Mountain as Development Director in Kabul in 2018 and became Commercial Director in 2020. After completing a Master’s Degree in International Relations at Oxford University, he worked in media and retail before moving into the non-profit sector in 2014, managing the country operations of large humanitarian INGOs operating in the Middle East and Asia.
Maryam Omar is the Design Center Manager in Kabul, Afghanistan and joined Turquoise Mountain in 2015 after graduating from University of the Arts London. Maryam develops and leads all design education projects and activities for Afghan artisans in Kabul. During her tenure with Turquoise Mountain, Maryam has worked with international and local designers, retailers, and the Turquoise Mountain creative team to design carpet and textile and other product lines.
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