Chapter

Mending Afghanistan Stitch by Stitch

Rachel Lehr

in Land of the Unconquerable

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520261853
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948990 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520261853.003.0017
Mending Afghanistan Stitch by Stitch

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This chapter discusses the history of Rubia, a grassroots embroidery project whose model of sustainability was founded on competitive market awareness and economic returns. All the work produced in the Lahore slum district, Khanjurwal, was to be sold in the United States, and the proceeds returned to pay for more materials and more embroidery. Rubia's recruitment of women took advantage of the social networks, and was designed to fit into the lives of rural Afghan women without adding to their burdens. The literacy component in its original conception was intended to link education with economic opportunity. Rubia also began to incorporate very basic health practices into the embroidery program. Its commitment to reviving traditional textile techniques extends to using historical dyes. Additionally, Rubia's model is embedded in a threefold commitment: working at the grassroots level, working in the Afghan family context, and preserving cultural heritage.

Keywords: Rubia; Khanjurwal; education; textile techniques; Afghan family; cultural heritage; Afghan women; embroidery

Chapter.  5559 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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