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Murad Khane (Dari: مراد خانی‎) is a district of the old city in Kabul, Afghanistan. It lies just north of the Kabul River and is part of the city District 2.


The origins of the city lie in its development in the 18th century by Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of the Durrani Empire. As a result of decades of conflict in Afghanistan, Murad Khane was inundated with massive amounts of garbage. As part of this development, many ornate structures were constructed to serve as housing for members of the Qizilbash tribe. The 1920s saw the construction of buildings with elaborately carved wood. Soviet modernization efforts in 1975, neglect and civil war have threatened and destroyed many buildings in the area.[1] It was where the 2011 Afghanistan Ashura bombings took place when around 70 civilians, including women and children, were killed by a suicide bomber next to the Abu Fazl Mosque.


The area has been in decline as a result of weather, war, neglect, and unsustainable development. Despite these threats, "Murad Khane retains much of its original fabric with a network of small streets connecting the bazaar, religious structures, caravanserai and houses in a layout that represents the area's unique ties to Islamic design and nearly four hundred years of Afghan history."[2]


The total cost of complete preservation and maintenance for Murad Khane is estimated at $4.9 million.[3]

In 2006, the Turquoise Mountain Foundation began restoration work within Murad Khane, headed by Rory Stewart.[4] As of 2008, the organization had already removed 10,500 cubic yards of garbage and have provided 50 damaged homes with restoration and repair work.[5] Reconstruction work has focused on traditional Afghan techniques, including training local people in the traditional styles of woodwork, calligraphy, pottery and jewelry making.[6] Turquoise Mountain's work in Murad Khane was shown in an exhibit, Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan, at Washington, DC’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.[7]


  1. ^ Sardar, Marika (July 10, 2007). "Murad Khane". Kabul Press. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  2. ^ Turquoise Mountain Foundation (July 2008). "Old City Regeneration". Nafas Art Magazine. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  3. ^ Sardar, Marika (July 10, 2007). "Murad Khane". Kabul Press. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  4. ^ Kvinta, Paul; Huey, Aaron. "Can Rory Stewart Fix Afghanistan?". National Geographic. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  5. ^ Rondeaux, Candice (July 6, 2008). "Restoring Past Glory in Old Kabul". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
  6. ^ "Education". Turquoise Mountain. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  7. ^ B.H. (21 March 2016). "Collateral damage: Traditional artistic methods were another casualty of the war in Afghanistan". The Economist. Retrieved 22 March 2016.

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