In 1968, a one room working glass factory with a mud-brick furnace was discovered in Western Afghanistan. This factory is owned by cousins, Saifullah and Saidullah. Glassmaking has been a family tradition for over 200 years, and continues to be done in the same manner as described in seventh-century Assyrian cuneiform tablets. This method uses white quartz stones and ishgar (plant ash), which are combined in a wood-burning furnace to produce hand-blown glass. In the fall of 1977, Robert H. Brill, Frederick R. Matson, Latif Abdul Majoob, and Abdul Satar Popal led an expedition to Herat to witness the glassmaking activities.
Filmed in Herat, Afghanistan, in the fall of 1977.
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Following the film is a brief presentation by Robert Brill on the possible effects of the civil war in Afghanistan and the Soviet invasion on the city of Herat with this glassmaking factory.
Narration written by, Robert H. Brill, Research Scientist, The Corning Museum of Glass ; director of photography, Elliott Erwitt ; sound, Larry Provost ; expedition members, Robert H. Brill, Frederick R. Matson, Latif Abdul Majoob, Abdul Satar Popal.