Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan

Nasser Mansouri

Nasser MansouriMaster woodworker

Not a nail in sight . . .

I live in Kabul, where I run a woodworking business. I’m Afghan by birth, but I grew up as a refugee in Iran. Beyond that, I’m not sure what I am: an artist, a woodworker, a carver, a teacher, a businessman? Some combination of these, I suppose.

I first learned woodworking in Iran. I was just a kid, hard to control. I found such peace in woodworking. I still do.

I started working on the restoration of historic buildings in Murad Khani in 2006. I learned so much by studying those buildings: the beautiful cedar wood carving on window frames; the latticework known as jali above doorways; the subtle method by which joints were put together without a nail in sight. The buildings became my teachers.

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