Pavilion had remained closed for the first week of the fair
After remaining closed for the first week of Expo 2020, the Afghanistan pavilion has opened for visitors.
A private collector, Omar Rahemi, who lives in Vienna, Austria, is exhibiting parts of his rare collection at the pavilion. With no flag representing the country, the Afghan-born Rahemi insists the pavilion is very much a “people’s pavilion.”
“This pavilion is the people’s pavilion. The regimes will come and go. But Afghanistan remains Afghanistan. The land is the same. So, is its people,” said the businessman who said he is the fourth generation of antique and artefacts sellers.
Some of the rare pieces exhibited include a huge 15th-century neckpiece with gold and silver decorations and a Holy Quran encased in a large locket; a bridal crown with green and blue enamel work; a Dashtshui, an ornate brass water basin and water jug with turquoise, corals and lapis lazuli stones.
The pavilion, located at the Sustainability district, also has a colourful display of traditional Afghan costumes from all regions, handmade carpets, precious stones and Saffron.
The previous Afghan government managed the pavilion, but after the Taliban takeover, the fate of the pavilion was uncertain.
Rahemi said he approached Expo authorities and got permission to exhibit his collection.
“I have participated in so many world fairs. Wherever there is a big exhibition, I have always gone and showcased the best of Afghanistan. I did not want to miss this Expo too,” he told Khaleej Times.
Anjana Sankar is a UAE-based journalist chasing global stories of conflict, migration and human rights. She has reported from the frontlines of the wars in Yemen and Syria and has extensively written on the refugee crisis in Bangladesh, Iraq and Europe. From interviewing Daesh militants to embedding with the UAE army in Yemen, and covering earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks and elections, she has come out scathe-free from the most dangerous conflict zones of the world. Riding on over 14 years of experience, Anjana currently is an Assistant Editor with Khaleej Times and leads the reporting team. She often speaks about women empowerment on her Facebook page that has 40,000 plus followers.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by WC Times staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)