Building Livelihoods and Trade by Turquoise Mountain Trust (TMT)


The objectives of TMT are to provide ongoing education and training, economic opportunities, and livelihoods.  The project aims to 1) build economic and trade opportunities for Afghans through the economic, social, and cultural regeneration of Murad Khane, a traditional commercial and craft neighborhood in the center of Kabul’s Old City; 2) provide traditional craft education through the Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture, and 3) develop the market of Afghan crafts domestically and abroad through business-development activities.


  • Education: Teach traditional Afghan crafts to a new generation of artisans in the Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture through hands-on training in their craft and training in relevant business skills through supplementary classes. Supported by USAID from November 2008 – present.
  • Urban regeneration: Restore and rebuild Murad Khane, including repairing residential and commercial buildings, developing infrastructure, and constructing the Institute of Afghan Arts and Architecture. Supported by USAID from November 2008 - June 2011.
  • Community development: Develop community, health, and education programs. Supported by USAID from November 2008 – December 2010.
  • Business development: Increase production of high-quality Afghan arts and crafts as a means to generate incomes and develop the international market for traditional Afghan crafts. Supported by USAID from November 2008 – July 2011.


  • Currently educates 126 students in the schools of Woodwork, Ceramics, Calligraphy & Miniature Painting and Jewelry & Gem Cutting.
  • Graduated four classes of 116 students; 61% of them are involved in their related craft, 23% are pursuing advanced studies and the rest are involved with their family occupations.
  • Turquoise Mountain Institute for Afghan Arts & Architecture is registered with the Ministry of Economy, as is now an independent entity with its own Board of Directors. 
  • Rebuilt 112 buildings in Murad Khane, including 47 in the Bazaar, five in the Institute and 59 residential buildings in the community. Twenty-one buildings have been newly built and 42 toilets have been improved.
  • Cleared a total of 33,438 m3 of rubbish from the streets of Murad Khane
  • Provided full services, including city power and water, to all the homes in the Murad Khane community.  

Last updated: December 31, 2014

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