Hand-stitched Pillow Covers

[Photo of Hand-stitched Pillow Covers]

Hand-stitched Pillow Covers

When I was a kid, it was common in Afghanistan for all girls to obtain an education in handcraft work. When I was in grade 4 of elementary school and around 10 years old, I made two hand-stitched pillow covers. In Afghanistan, they are traditionally placed over pillows as a decorative item. I would first draw my motif on paper, and then transfer it to the fabric, where I would re-stitch the motif using threads of different colors. It turned out that my piece was done so perfectly that it was considered the best work in the whole school, and even won me prizes. I was happy and proud of my achievement, and it encouraged me a lot later in life. When I opened my private clinic in Kabul later on, I decorated the walls with the stitching works from my childhood by framing them, which created a happy atmosphere for me. When the war started, my clinic was affected when, following a missile strike, all the windows exploded. Luckily, I was not there at the time of the bombing. I came in the day after to pick up my medical diploma from the wall, which is of major importance to me. While I took it, I saw the two stitching works next to it, which were pierced by bits of broken glass, as was the diploma. I put the diploma and handicraft works into my purse. Shortly after, I fled the war from Afghanistan just carrying my purse. At that moment, I had totally forgotten about the stitching works, which were still in my purse, and was very happy when I found them in there later on. Before coming to Canada, I lived in Pakistan for one year, and in Iran for 10 years. Now, I use the hand-stitched pillow covers on top of a pillow, instead of framed as they were in my clinic at the time, so as not to be reminded of the bombing. As they have done already in the past, they remind me of a happy moment in my life.

  • handcraft
  • sucess
  • women
  • war
Koshal Mina
Country of origin
Country of residence