Development News from Afghanistan

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Afghanistan’s fruitful presence at IITF

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The Times of India / November 22, 2007

NEW DELHI: Afghanistan may not conjure up great images in the mind, but at IITF, the country is putting its best foot forward. The result is impressive as its stall in Hall No. 8 is being supported by United States Agency for International Development.

From exotic Afghani melons and pomegranates to jewellery studded with the blue lapis lazuli stone, authentic Afghanistan is on display here.

One of the most striking sights in the Afghanistan pavilion are the large bright melons. These musk melons, the traders promise, are the sweetest someone can ever find. At Rs 40 per kg, they are precious, but the trader assures that the fruit is so wholesome that an entire family will have a hard time finishing the melon.

Hand woven Afghani wool carpets have a certain earthiness which makes them different from the exquisite Persian ones. However, they are not less expensive. “Some of the carpets are made from German wool, while others are indigenous. The good ones cost Rs 10,000 and more. They take at least a month to be completed,” said an Afghani carpet exhibitor.

With the lapis lazuli jewellery, a little patience while looking can suddenly reveal excellent craftsmanship. Hard bargain here is also easy since most Afghanis understand English as well as Hindi.

Adjoining the Afghanistan pavilion are the khadi and herbal stalls. Khadi here is not what is used to be. Its expensive and exquisite, and blended with silk. Many khadi garments are painted with natural pigments that are the result of work put in by the Forest Research Institute. Handmade paper, pottery, herbal shampoos and soaps, all these stalls had eager buyers leaving with large shopping bags.

Written by afghandevnews

November 23, 2007 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Economy, Trade

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