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This young Afghan woman opens an Art gallery to create jobs, and hope, during the pandemic

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This young Afghan woman opens an Art gallery to create jobs, and hope, during the pandemic

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What happened: Marzia Panahi is a young afghan woman who has opened a small art gallery in the Afghan capital. She has employed a dozen young artists in her gallery. 

Panahi set up the Namad Gallery at the high time of the coronavirus pandemic back in September.

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Her aim was to revive the use of felt in art, to showcase her war-torn country’s creativity and to try to create jobs for young people hit hard by the pandemic and the economic crisis it has caused.

Afghanistan, where more than 60% of the population is below the age of 25, has struggled with high youth unemployment.

The pandemic has increased its economic problems, with the World Bank predicting that more than 70% of the population will slip beneath the poverty line in 2020.

In addition to generating jobs, Panahi said she wanted to find a way of reintroducing felt to traditional arts and crafts in Afghanistan. Historically it had been produced to make carpets, she said, but in recent years its use had declined.

“Because people have turned to a more modern life and are no longer buyers of felt products, we wanted to make it possible to reuse felt in a variety of ways,

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