By: Masouda Qarizada
Glass manufacturing industry is an old and ancient art in the world and since long times it has been common in Herat. In the past extensive attention was paid to this industry but at present according to Herat cultural officials, it has been fading.
Herat cultural professionals attribute the history of Glass-manufacturing to the era of Temorids which was used in constructions. According to them in past times, mixture of glass was seen in glazed-tiles. During the monarch of late king Mohammad Zaher Shah, samples of this industry was seen in the combination of shrine of Mohammad’s cloak.
Herat cultural authorities claim that in the past times, glass manufacturers had produced colored glasses for rooms’ windows that reflected color into rooms and produced pleasant and desirable environment.
General Director of Herat Historical Monuments Repairing Preservation Directorate Zalmay Safa said that Glass manufacturing industry has a background of over 150 years in Herat and at present two glass production factories are operating here while prior to this, several factories were operating.
Safa added, products of these factories are restricted to antique equipments and decorating items including flowerpot, pen-case, sugar blow, Jug etc which are supplied in Herat, Kabul and other provinces. Prior to this, in these factories. Beside that, clear glasses were also produced for homes’ windows. Safa added that some times before, three glass-manufacturing experts led by director of Herat provincial directorate of information and culture Arya Raoofyan travelled to Kenya to learn new, modern and more practical methods exploiting new equipments and instruments on this craft.
Despite calling current situation of glass manufacturing satisfactory Safa said that there are some concerns in future of this industry.
Talking on this industry, Mohammad Ibrahim a resident of Herat city said, this industry has been gradually fading due to imports of foreign products with cheaper prices and desirable designs particularly chines products.
Najia Qayoomi a student of Herat university believes that carelessness of relevant government authorities to native and local industries including glass manufacturing, engraving on wood or Glaze-tilt and carpet industry causes falling of ancient industries and they are replaced by artificial industries. The Afghan government should take practical step to prevent its fall.
Safa went on to say, at present there are only five or six experts of glass-manufacturing in Herat and in case of a problem, this industry would be facing with serious problem.