Aqcha Village...A Step Back in Time...
Unspoiled by modern culture, Aqcha is a quaint village up in the northern area of Afghanistan. It is located near Mazar - here is a map.
Its name means "white well", "sweet water well" or "a holy place." In reality most wells here contain salty water.
It's a lively market town where people from all over the district bring their wares to sell. There are many small shops selling beautiful Turkmen rugs, bridal jewelry, and wedding furniture.
The main street is lined with vendors selling fruit and vegetables. In this remote village, there are more camels then cars!
Everything is white here.
White donkeys, white mud houses (yes, mud is white here and it turns into white dust when the rain stops).
White beards, white turbans...even the women prefer white burqahs to the blue ones worn predominantly in other parts of the country.
There are several ethnic groups, but the Turkmen community is what the area is famous for. Many settled this region after the Russian revolution. Even though they have been in this area almost a century, many of them still consider themselves refugees.
Numerous villages around the main settlement are very poor. They also suffer terribly because of the lack of water. All around this area is mostly desert.
The river is dry most of the time and has very little impact on the irrigation systems.
Still, these people are survivors and are very hard working people. They keep to themselves.
It is a little known fact that Turkmen brides are the most expensive in Afghanistan because they can make beautiful rugs.
There are wealthy men in town because of the carpets. Yet those who make them, don't receive much payment for their labor.
What is unique is how time seems to stop moving when you are there. It's like stepping back in time. You can be in the 13th century for all you know.
Donkeys, camels, men in flowing robes and turbans, the buzz of an ancient market town, the outside world just seems to slip away...
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