Dating back to the late 18th century, the old city community of Murad Khani was once one of Kabul’s most prosperous commercial and cultural centres, home to wealthy merchants, prosperous literati, emirs and emissaries.
During the Afghan civil war in the 1990s, much of the quarter's cultural heritage, including many of its historic buildings, was lost through demolition, forced clearance and bombardment. By 2006 Murad Khani had become one of the poorest slums in Kabul, buried under nearly two metres of rubbish, the community was left without water, drainage or electricity.
Over the last eight years Turquoise Mountain
has transformed Murad Khani into a vibrant cultural, educational and economic hub. A UNESCO award winning project has restored historic buildings, rubbish has been cleared from the streets and full water supply, electricity, sanitation and paving have been installed throughout the entire community. A primary school and family health clinic have been set up, and life has returned to the ancient bazaar, bustling with jewelers and blacksmiths, popcorn sellers and fortune-tellers.