Janine, my hostess, and I had been invited to lunch at Roshan’s, the tailor she wanted to introduce me to, and perhaps engage him for my designs. We arrived at the front of what looked like a fortress. It was majestic! Two massive, intricately carved gates slowly swung open as we walked toward the entrance. I was not prepared for the sight in front of me and was spellbound by the breathtaking presence of seven ornately dressed Kuchi Nomad women with their children, lined up to meet us. They were the tailor’s family, and he had created all their garments for my viewing. This captivating image remains a vibrant hologram etched in my memory. What a moving cultural experience it was for me that day, and an incredible “visual feast”!
As honored guests, we would be the only ones dining with Roshan, while the family, as was the custom, sat around the edges of the room watching. They would dine later. We had an amazing, savory feast—sweet and elaborate, with saffron, orange peel, pistachios, almonds and chicken, to name a few of the delicious tastes. We finished with an amazing “sheer pira” (Afghan milk fudge), with cardamom, walnuts, pistachio and rose-water desert, and the beloved Kahwah tea. My tastebuds were dancing.
After dessert it was my great honor to be granted permission to photograph Roshan’s beautiful family. It was a rare opportunity, as these private tribal women were never seen uncovered in public. Now, these exquisite women and children can be seen for the first time in my photographs, which are a precious gift of history that I want to share with the world.