afghan girls

The Ongoing Crisis in Afghanistan 

Since the 1700’s, Afghanistan has not invaded anyone. Beginning in 1980, however, Afghan citizens have suffered wave after wave of crisis, imposed and financed from the outside. Fortunately, there are not enough Taliban to harass Afghans everywhere, and some of our weavers reside in peaceful villages, far from crises featured in the daily news. Such settings are poor but stable. 

In the North, however, where many of our weavers are Turkmen, the news is not good.  A close contact there writes of Taliban “roaming the countryside with weapons, restricting women and children.” This concerns and saddens me but does not dampen my resolve to work in precisely these villages. No public media has dug out crucial information we now can share: the Taliban are not targeting carpet-making or weavers. Weaving families remain free to work. They are safe in their homes, close to their children.

My project cannot solve complex political or military problems but, helped by consumers in the West, can address an important need: to keep village-dwelling families working at home and not out in poppy fields, or among crowds of refugees. 

Our weavers do not depend on their nation’s meager charitable resources but engage in bits of charity themselves. This is true because Afghanistan remains a traditional Islamic society, in the best sense of the term. Charity at this level of Islam is standard human behavior.

My project treats hundreds of Afghans as Afghans have always treated me. I will work to inform widening circles in the West that Afghans have never hurt us, that they need us, not for charity, but as parties to a beautiful exchange.

 These rugs are wonderful and I hope you will consider buying one. 

James Opie   (jim@jamesopie.com



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