This kilim was exclusively designed for ISHKAR by Lapis Communications. Milli Surood is the name of the Afghan national anthem. The anthem has been translated into this kilim as a symbol of unity in Afghanistan at a time when the country faces increasing division.
Part of what makes Afghanistan’s kilims so special is the wool they are made from. Each strand of wool is individually spun by hand, giving the kilims great character. With its unusually long strands Ghazni wool is also famously hardwearing, meaning Afghan carpets can survive for centuries.
Photo by Lorenzo Tugnoli
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) employed 20 people who had been forced to flee to camps in Herat and Qala-e-Naw because of severe drought in their villages. Although there is a rich tradition of kilim weaving in Badghis, the women were specifically trained to weave these modern designs.
The income provided from the kilims has two main aims: to provide weavers with money to return home and to help to diversify their income away from agricultural livelihoods which are becoming increasingly at risk due to climate insecurity.
This piece is produced by master artisans in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban took over in August 2021, we have removed all identifying references of our partners for security reasons. Some of our partners were able to leave Afghanistan. For those who remain, their craft is critical to sustain their livelihoods at a time when the country is in financial collapse and in the grip of a humanitarian disaster. Every order we are able to make with our partners is more important now than ever before.