In the early 1950’s, Afghanistan was a neutral nation and a fantastic tourist destination for many travelers. The nation approached modernity with open arms and began constructing the latest architectural designs amidst its 3,500 year old heritage sites and antiquity. The enticing combination of tradition and new ideas paved way for new era in Afghanistan, which resulted in a paradise of learning, culture,historical grandeur and peace.

"Two Afghan medicine students are examining a plaster cast of a human body part with their professor at the Faculty of Medicine in Kabul, 1962."

"The new Finance Ministry building in Kabul included a public western-style cafeteria and an outdoor restaurant with a fountain which brilliantly lit up in the nights. June 9, 1966, AP Photo"

"The former and last King Mohammad Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, in an outing with his limousine on Kabul's central road Idga Wat. He spent more than 30 years living in exile in Rome and returned to his homeland after the after the removal of the Taliban. He was laid to rest in Kabul in 2007, at the age of 92. 1968, AP Photo/Handout, The Family of the King of Afghanistan"

The progress of the early 21st century came to halt as political unrest and warfare entered and destroyed Afghanistan’s social moral and history without mercy. As a consequence of more than three decades of warfare and economic demise, Afghanistan’s vital and social statistics are at an all time low. The average lifespan for an Afghan is one of the lowest in the world, barely reaching over the age of 50. Afghan children under the age of five, face the third highest mortality rate in the world, 257 deaths per 1000 live births, only exceeding the rates of Angola and Sierra Leone. In addition to vitals, Afghans face outstanding unemployment, illiteracy and lack resources such as drinking water, sanitation and electricity.

With the desire and compassion to change the stark realities of Afghanistan’s women and children, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed teamed up with Tanweer Investments to make a permanent and sustainable difference. The Fatima Bint Mohammed Bin Zayed Initiative, FBMI, was thus created and launched in June 2010 to empower Afghan women and provide additional forums such as education, workshops, social development, medical care, clean water, and various economic reforms. The successful result of the ongoing social programs was only accomplished by encouraging capacity building and organization methods involving the local communities in Afghanistan with the production of hand-woven carpets being the catapult for the success of FBMI.

A Holistic Vision

Carpet weaving is the heart of Afghanistan’s intangible heritage, a craft passed down for generations, mother to daughter, century after century. FBMI provides women with employment in the traditional carpet production process, as well as other finely handcrafted items such as home décor and clothing. Due to the success of FBMI, the Initiative has hired over 3,000 Afghan artisans, 70% are women, and 35% of these women are widows, making them the sole bread winner of their families. FBMI’s impact has made a true ripple effect of Afghanistan’s economy, benefiting not only FBMI employees, but the children and relatives of FBMI artisans, as well as farmers and other blue collar workers. The success and exciting future of FBMI is a testament to the vision and commitment of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed and to Afghanistan’s women’s relentless desire to improve their lives and reignite the light which has been dim for so many decades.

WEAVING FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE

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Employees

At FBMI, employees are encouraged to increase their
skills with vocational training. From basic skills such as spinning wool to more advanced weaving techniques,
the Initiative gives women a chance to preserve their
dignity by providing an opportunity to grow and help their families in an honorable and meaningful way,
empowering women for a fruitful and
sustainable future.

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Environment

As part of FBMI’s commitment to environmental
awareness, we use environmentally friendly
chemical-free vegetable dye. In addition, the waste water from the carpet weaving process is stored in septic tanks and disposed of correctly, preventing polluted waters
from entering the Kabul River

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Customers

At FBMI, employees are encouraged to increase their
skills with vocational training. From basic skills such as spinning wool to more advanced weaving techniques,
the Initiative gives women a chance to preserve their
dignity by providing an opportunity to grow and help their families in an honorable and meaningful way,
empowering women for a fruitful and
sustainable future.

FBMI Quality

WOOL Premium live sheep wool from the plains and mountains of Afghanistan. Free-range and hormone-free, sheared by local nomadic shepherds. Hand spun with love and dyed at our center in Kabul. Purchasing local Afghan wool encourages the nomadic lifestyle combats against urbanization.

COTTON Fine handspun cotton used as the base for the majority of FBMI carpets. Sourced in the northern Afghan regions of Takhar, Badghis, Herat and Helmand provinces.

DYE Vegan dyes harvested throughout Afghanistan resulting in a broad color spectrum. Walnut rind, isparak and khatme flower, zamch, hena, sena leaf, black and green tea, shireen boya, and many more. Demand of vegan dyes keep farmers in business.

HANDCRAFTED Carpets and other FBMI artisan items are handmade and woven using ancient methods passed down from generation to generation. All other heavy finishing is completed in the center such as shaving, stretching and washing the carpets until they reach a state of handcrafted perfection.