Last night’s sand storm is over. Even the TV news talked about it. Today, a beautiful sun is warming up town and marks the beginning of this new Afghan day. We decide to go together to a carpet factory set in the outskirts of the town within a former Hazara headquarter during the Civil war (one can still see the bullet holes on the building).
The meticulous, patient and extremely precise work through which the threads are woven on different size weaving looms, is performed by women of all ages, but only by women. They restlessly work taking 6/8 hours turns, and earn an average salary ranging from 100 to 150 euros according to the complexity of the pattern to be reproduced. The subsequent steps regard the several washings of the rugs, cutting unnecessary threads, drying and final polishing.
The quality of Afghan carpets is well-known throughout the world. It is not only because of their weaving mastery, but also, and primarily, to the solely use of natural materials, including coloring ink, and the absence of chemical agents.
We interview Zinnat Rugs, the owner of the factory who tells us how, after spending twelve years of his own life to his personal production of carpets (each one of them is like a child of his own), he decided to try the entrepreneurship path. Nowadays, he exports rugs to all Europe (including Italy) and America quite successfully!
He shows us one of his most recent creations: an embossed representation of the Canadian Prime Minister! A $ 6,000 gift that he will personally reserve to Justin Trudeau on his next business trip. It is such a precise portrait and careful in the smallest details that looks like a photograph!
By lunch time we are back to the hotel: another day, another picnic! It looks like the guards too follow our habits! They are having lunch under the shadow of two pine trees: they invite Stefania who, attracted by the laden table, sits with them among the general hilarity. However, she cannot abandon her colleagues whom she goes back to under the shadow of the well positioned shelters of our two California’s.
We must have a quick lunch: the wind is starting to blow before usual time, and clouds are very close! We better avoid having pasta tasting like earth and mixed with rain!
So, we go back to our bedrooms and the afternoon goes on between work emails, scheduling of episodes, downloading of video images, diary of our journey, reading books, thoughts…..