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Afghanistan Pavilion arrives at Dubai Expo in turmoil

Dubai – When the Afghan president was murdered in a Communist coup in 1978 and the country was in turmoil, Mohammed Omerlahimy fled to Vienna with his family’s treasures.

More than 40 years later, in an even more violent turmoil in his home country, Rahimie realized he was desperately loading the same artifacts onto a cotton-filled box plane. This is the first World’s Fair in the Middle East.

For the 62-year-old Rahimy, it was a crazy rush to the Dubai Expo. He barely slept. But Rahimy paid attention. He chose from the finest bronze, jade, calligraphy and pottery from the vast collection of Afghan antiques collected in Austria over the decades that arrived at the fair earlier this week.

“It is important for the world to know that our history is rich despite the war and we are poor. Our culture is rich,” Rahimy said.

He felt the stakes were high. A historic trade fair was held, but a few weeks after the Taliban hijacked the country at lightning speed, Afghanistan was not found anywhere at the trade fair. Images of the Afghan National Pavilion, closed at the Dubai Expo, are unplanned office spaces that have been unplanned for days, scattered throughout the Internet, implying the turmoil that has shown the Taliban’s return to power. increase.

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“It was very painful to see the exhibition close. I begged the exposition … please let me do something good for my people,” Rahimy said.

The former administration of Afghanistan organized an exhibition months before Kabul’s fall and the exiled President Ashraf Ghani fled to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Most of the flights to and from Afghanistan were still stopped, and the country was paying attention to the abyss of the economy, so Rahimmy would have left the pavilion ghostly empty if he didn’t step in. I told you to do it.

Rahimy, an independent antique dealer who has long supported the supply of expo showcases in Afghanistan, said he had now paid for the shipment of family heirloom and other artwork from Vienna to Dubai. The collection includes rusty oil lamps carved in 16th-century Islamic calligraphy, a dazzling lapis lazuli necklace mined from the northern part of the country, and a giant hand-woven he said that the scent of his mother still remains. Carpet is included.

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“People in Afghanistan don’t have water or bread. It’s time to feel that this kind of exhibition is really needed,” he said.

Rahimy can speak for hours at a Quranic book stall made from the history of jade and Afghan perfume trading. But when asked about his myriad relatives remaining in Kabul under the new Taliban ruler, he becomes quiet. Only his niece managed to escape and flew to Philadelphia on the last day of the US-led evacuation.

“They are the same as everyone else,” he said of his remaining relatives in Afghanistan.

Rahimy argues that the comprehensive purpose of the Afghan pavilion is to set aside the turmoil that plagues the country. But like elsewhere in Dubai’s exposition, modern politics can still infiltrate it. Pavilion staff will stamp a visitor’s mock passport with the national emblem of the Afghan government, which was established after the 2001 US-led invasion. It is not the Quran version used by the Taliban during previous reign.

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A traditional Afghan folk instrument, the Labab hangs from one wall. According to Rahimy, the player is too afraid to play as the Taliban are currently facing an uncertain future with signs of a move to ban non-religious music. ..

At the end of America’s longest war, a broader context is not lost to pavilion visitors after a scene of anguish and anxiety overturns much of the world.

“The scene of people at the airport in Kabul is more eloquent than anything else,” said 36-year-old Chamari Smith, who lives in St Helens, England. But when she scanned the shelves of Afghan saffron and stones, she added:

Rahimy is proud that Afghanistan has finally opened at the exposition. He hopes that the temporary six-month exhibition can provide a more lasting picture of what his country was and what it was.

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“The regime goes back and forth. People die old, but the land remains. The mountains stay,” he said. “People wear amulets, play musical instruments, and wash their hands in bowls for good luck.”

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Afghanistan Pavilion arrives at Dubai Expo in turmoil

Source link Afghanistan Pavilion arrives at Dubai Expo in turmoil

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