Turquoise Mountain is named after a fabled lost city, located in what is now central Afghanistan. The city was destroyed in the early 13th century by Ögedei Khan, son of Genghis Khan.
The charity’s name was chosen by its founder, Rory Stewart, who walked across Afghanistan in the winter of early 2002. During his walk, Rory Stewart passed the Minaret of Jam, a two hundred-foot structure built around 1190 CE, located in a remote and largely inaccessible area of Ghor province in central Afghanistan. This minaret is likely one of the last surviving elements of the city of Turquoise Mountain. Stewart decided to name the charity after this lost city as a symbol of the rebirth and revival of Afghanistan’s once-proud cultural heritage.
Read Stewart’s New York Times piece on his travels, and experience the wonders of Afghan art when Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan opens March 5.