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The teeth makers of Kandahar

Hear to this memoir:

Kandahar, Afghanistan – In a tiny store off a bustling street in the centre of Kandahar city, Haji Muhammad Sultan is busy at work.

It is a ways an early morning in March and the important possibilities of the day are flooding into the bazaar originate air. All over the store, the cushy chip of Sultan’s chisel in opposition to soft plaster interior a brass, palm-sized mildew is barely audible. Sultan cradles the mildew gently in his wrinkled hands, chipping away at what lies interior: a brand contemporary set up of teeth.

As soon as the plaster has been eliminated, Sultan peers down at his work, turning the dentures over slowly between his fingers. “They wants to be best,” he says with a tiny smile.

Sultan’s household’s denture industrial used to be established 80 years ago by his grandfather, Haji Gul Muhammad, in Afghanistan’s second-largest city. Sultan claims it used to be the important of its form in the nation, the best store making handmade dentures, one thing that is disturbing to envision although residents of Kandahar will bid you as noteworthy.

An old photo of a man.
Haji Gul Muhammad began the household industrial 80 years ago after finding out how to procedure dentures in India [Courtesy of the family]

Sultan’s father, Haji Nazar Muhammad, took over from his father whose craft he realized from a young age. A 1998 photo of Sultan’s father by the American photographer Steve McCurry – who photographed Afghanistan’s other folks and landscapes for 35 years – reveals the grey-white bearded teeth maker seated in his easy storefront in Kandahar. He is immersed in his cushy work, a row of teeth caressed in his hands. A dusky bicycle stands in front of a table lined with dentures.

Sultan has persisted the household legacy, taking on the industrial after his father died in 2008 and making dentures on the wood workbench featured in McCurry’s photo.

He is conscious of miniature of how broadly McCurry’s photo had been seen originate air Afghanistan, however he remembers the photographer taking the image.

With his white turban and prolonged beard, Sultan bears a striking resemblance to his father. “Most regularly other folks query me if I am Haji Nazar Muhammad because I gaze relish my father,” the 65-one year-susceptible chuckles. “When my eldest son grows susceptible, he’ll gaze correct relish me also.”


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