By: Suraya Raiszada
KABUL: Established by Amir Abdul Rahman Khan and developed during the era of Amir Shir Ali Khan, Machin Khana or Machine House has sustained heavy damage during the decades of civil war in Afghanistan.
The government has recently wanted to rehabilitate this factory, which has been called as one of the country’s important historical sites, with the related officials promising to inaugurate it within the next two years.
Various weapons including 2500 Hennery Martine type, 140 propelling cannons, gunpowder and other military supplies had been produced in the weapon workshop, during the era of Amir Shir Ali Khan who did his best to refurbish agriculture and industry in the country.
The Machin Khana was initially organized to produce weapons and military supplies, while its relating workshops were producing rifles, cannons, ammunition, and boots for the soldiers.
Amir Abdurrahaman Khan, then renovated the machine khana in cooperation with a French engineer in 1886 and bought a separete machine and took to Kabul, and named as Machine Khan-e-Harbi or military machine house.
“Unfortunately, this area demolished during civil war, all its machineries annihilated and the entire workers unemployed,” said Mohammad Hanif 60, who has worked for long as one of the workers of the weapon house.
He said war had taken everything from the workshop. “Tens of people were involved in work in the weapon workshop equipped with enough machineries producing various of military supplies including soldiers’ boots, but civil war took everything from us.”
During his visit to the area, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said: “I give the people of Afghanistan a good news that one of the country’s most important historical sites—Machine Khana—will soon be rehabilitated, by preserving its historical engineering and importance.”
The president said the initial name of this area was Bagh-e-Elm-e-Ganj, which was one of the great recreational sites in Kabul and expected to be rehabilitated by the Agha Khan Foundation.
The country’s president thanked German government and the Agha Khan Foundation for their cooperation to rehabilitate the historical site and said that the Kabul citizens would be witnessing that Kabul would again return into a recreational site within less than two years.
“Parts of this site would turn into cultural activities, libraries, theater activities, as well as markets and nonstop showplaces to display women handicrafts and part of it would turn into a revenue area,” the president promised.