Engraving challenges in the north

The handicraft of engraving is not only a skill and occupation for a number of families in the north but its an art by which the support their children. These households get acquaintance since childhood with the art of engraving and leave this world with this nice art.
The children of these families are well acquainted to use semi-precious stones and make priceless and ornamental objects like bracelet, necklace, ring, rosary etc.
Samina who has learned this art from her father since childhood makes ornamental and nice objects from precious stones. Now she is 19 and has been changed to one of the professional engravers and planners in the north.
The products of handicrafts of this talented and skilled artist have been supplied and sold in several continents.
In the outset she learnt this occupation beside her father during migration in Pakistan. Since one year her family repatriated from Pakistan and settled in their original village in Balkh and resumed this art.
Abdul Qader, her father tooks extremely happy and cheerful that has returned after 30 years to their native dwelling in the north. But sometimes certain problems disturb him there that became repentant of his return.
Talking on his craft, Abdul Qader said, transferring of ornamental and engraved products to out of the country is a very hard work and pavement of air transportation is very expensive. While from Pakistan in the past he had exported his products to European and American countries with reasonable prices.
He clarified that his ornamental handicrafts were exported to US, Germany, Russia, China, Thailand, India Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Iran. Now he has to export his products first to Pakistan and then export them to other territories in the name and mark of Pakistan to his customers. He had exported his products from Pakistan to the world countries US $ 10-20 per kilogram while the same deal will be taking place from Afghanistan US $ 70-100 per kilogram.
Beside this challenge, another problem that disturbs him, is purchasing of semi-precious stones in local markets as he usually purchases these stones in Badakhshan, Nangarhar, Samangan and Faryab provinces.
According to him, although he purchases these precious stones legally, but during transportation along highways, police forces disturb him.
He added, he can purchase similar stones in Pakistan with the prices and has no problem for imports of stones to Afghanistan. I purchase semi-precious stones US $ 5-10 per kilogram from domestic and Pakistani markets.
Spokesman of the MoMP Abdul Qadeer Mustafa said, those companies who have official permit of MoMP have no problem for transportation of precious and semi-precious stones and security forces dont disturb them. But smugglers of precious stones will be arrested.
The head of Balkh provincial department of commerce and industries, Sher Ahmad Sepahizadah said, 30 handicrafts companies including 12 registered and permitted and the rest unregistered are operating in Balkh province.
Five companies supply the northern handicrafts products to domestic and foreign markets. So far the handicrafts businessmen have been invited and attended several foreign exhibitions for marketing and supply of their products to global markets. The north handicraft products have good marketing in Kabul, Herat, Bamyan and Kandahar provinces and often receive plenty of offers from shopkeepers in the above provinces. Engraving handicraft products are usually produced by Uzbek and Turkmen families.
The Kabul Times

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