Turquoise Mountain Foundation

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Turquoise Mountain Foundation is a non-governmental organization legally established in Scotland. It takes its name from Turquoise Mountain and initially focused on the enhancement of the Afghanistan craft industry.[1] The organization subsequently expanded its work to Jordan,[2] Saudi Arabia,[3] and Myanmar (Burma).[4]

History and activities

Turquoise Mountain was founded in 2006 by King Charles III (then the Prince of Wales) in partnership with President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai,[5] and British writer, academic and former politician Rory Stewart, a former Conservative member of Parliament.[1] Stewart was chief executive of the foundation from 2005 to 2008;[6] the current chief executive is his wife Shoshana Stewart.[7]

Among the charity's projects was the Turquoise Mountain Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture, a school for the study of traditional Afghan calligraphy, ceramics, woodworking and jewelry-making.[1] Many of the Institute's graduates are Afghan women.[1] Turquoise Mountain also largely funded a major restoration project in Murad Khane, the old town of Kabul, encompassing the restoration of over 150 buildings in the neighborhood.[8][9]

The group describes its mission as "to preserve and regenerate historic areas and communities with a rich cultural heritage and to revive traditional crafts, to create jobs, skills and a renewed sense of pride."[10] Funding has been provided by a number of public and private donors from both the West and Middle East,[8] including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Government of Afghanistan, the Government of India, the Blue Moon Fund, Reach Out To Asia, the Kathy Evans Afghan Education Trust, The Bonita Trust, The Prince's Charities, The Kingdom of Bahrain, the Amir of Kuwait, the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation (Saudi Arabia) and the British Council.[11]

The infamous scene in British film-maker Adam Curtis's 2015 documentary Bitter Lake (film) of an English art teacher enthusiastically extolling the meaning of Marcel Duchamp’s conceptual artwork, Fountain (Duchamp), an inverted male urinal, to a group of recently liberated and incredulous Afghan women, is held to have occurred under the auspices of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation. [12]

In 2019 the Turquoise Mountain Foundation took over the activities of Arzu - Studios of Hope in Afghanistan. Arzu received a Skoll Award in 2008.[13]

In 2023, it was announced that Princess Dana Firas of Jordan was joining as a Trustee.[14]



  1. ^ a b c d Felicia Craddock, In Afghanistan, Creating Jewelry in the Midst of Conflict, New York Times (September 11, 2014).
  2. ^ Jordan, Turquoise Mountain.
  3. ^ Saudi Arabia, Turquoise Mountain.
  4. ^ Myanmar, Turquoise Mountain.
  5. ^ "The Turquoise Mountain Foundation becomes The Prince's 18th charity". Prince of Wales website. 25 March 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-07-01.
  6. ^ Erwin James, Rory Stewart: 'I'll resign if prison violence doesn't improve', The Guardian (January 23, 2019).
  7. ^ Edward Malnick, Rory Stewart reveals the secret to his success: his wife who has quietly been running his campaign to become Tory leader, The Telegraph (June 16, 2019).
  8. ^ a b Alisa Tang, Kabul's old city gets a new look, New York Times (February 1, 2008).
  9. ^ Stefanie Glinski, 'There is less fear': restoration of Kabul repairs the ravages of war, The Guardian (May 13, 2019).
  10. ^ About, Turquoise Mountain.
  11. ^ Turquoise Mountain Brochure (PDF), Turquoise Mountain Foundation, 2009, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-01
  12. ^ [1]"The Register"
  13. ^ Turquoise Mountain took over the weaving centres of ARZU Studio Hope. [2]
  14. ^ "UK charity appoints Middle Eastern princess as a trustee". Third Sector. Retrieved 13 July 2023.

External links