The ultimate Scandinavian design

We love it. You love it. Ikea love it. Simplicity and pure lines all over. Some people accuses the Pakistanis and Afghans to have homes stuffed with furniture, pictures and other superfluous items. Not so here outside Peshawar in the North-West Frontier Province in Pakistan (now named Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but we old guys tend to stick to the colonial names). A simple Persian rug on the floor, that's all it takes to make a cosy and welcoming home.

So another stereotype has been put to rest. From now the pure and simple indoor architecture will be known to the world as the "Khyber Look".

A lot of people pay huge sums of money to very expensive indoor decorators to put their houses in order and get that feeling of - well of what? We clearly see an opportunity for Afghan refugees to impose themselves on this lucrative market in the West. This man, maybe not, but his young son who now should be around 27-28 years old, must be able to use a long self lived simple lifestyle as an inspiration to work as a consultant for confused new rich business men and women in US and Europe how to spend their dough on home decor.

We hope he is reading this and also hope he has NOT joined Taliban since this photograph was taken. The long bearded men are not really keen on working in the West (or they actually do if blowing up yourselves together with innocent bystanders can be considered work), these students of the Koran.

This was actually our first encounter with real refugees in big numbers. Not all places looked like this. The man here and his two kids had arrived recently and was clearly not integrated into the enormous camps around Peshawar. He fled his home after his wife stepped on a landmine and was killed inside Afghanistan. It's July 1988 and at this time in history a staggering 5 million people had fled the country! Most refugees were living outside this very lively city, but also Iran had a high number of Afghans.

We hope the family survived all the politics and war and are now safe back in their homeland.

previous next