Iain’s doing what he can with museum staff requiring First Aid, and will train some of them in basic procedures – it’s sobering to hear some of their stories from the war years.
We’ve finalised the bi-lingual educational booklets, and the British Council has offered to pay for 2000 copies, on top of the 500 we were going to print anyway. This support is a great fillip, and we may translate the booklets into Pashto, as well as Dari, so as to reach the maximum Afghan audience.
On Wednesday, Alison and I had a tour of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation with its founder / CEO Rory Stewart, who walked through Afghanistan in 2001/2 and was one of the first people to publicise the extent of the looting at Jam. TMF’s work, revitalising traditional craft industries and renovating Murad Khane, a largely 19th century district of Kabul, is inspirational.
Thursday saw us unexpectedly ushered in to a meeting with the Min. of Culture, to discuss our work at Jam (or rather lack of work there). We think that we now know why we’ve been blocked even going there to collect the remaining sherds for study… well, not so much why, but who has blocked us. I expect that if we can arrange a meeting with those involved this week, it will result in a “frank exchange of views”, to use diplomatic parlance! What else the forthcoming week holds is anyone’s guess.