“Kabul House” built to bridge cultural gap between Iranians, Afghans  

August 31, 2021 - 18:44

TEHRAN – Iranian filmmaker Masud Kargar who directed the documentary “Kabul House” about an Afghan restaurant in Tehran has said that his film aims to bridge the cultural gap between Iranian and Afghan people.

The film borrows its title from the restaurant, which was established by an Afghan family to offer Afghan cuisine. 

“I learned about the family and I gradually found their moral characters interesting,” Kargar told the Persian service of ILNA on Monday.

Tasting Afghan food is not the sole matter to attract customers to the restaurant, he noted and added, “They want actually to meet the family.”   

“Iranian people most have met Afghans from the working class and they know little about an Afghan artist or painter or a literary Afghan family; in ‘Kabul House’ we wanted to introduce people from this class. We wanted to tell Iranian people that there are many cultural figures from Afghanistan living in our country; we wanted to teach them to co-exist with these people and learn about their culture,” Kargar said.    

Millions of Afghan people fled to Iran after the Soviet Union invaded their country in 1979. Wars are still going on in the country and it seems that there is no end to the oppression of Afghans as the Taliban seized the country again. 

“Afghans could immigrate to some other countries, but they chose to live in Iran because they felt a strong cultural affinity with Iranians; however, we do not have a good outlook on Afghans and people from the East as a whole,” Kargar lamented.

Kargar said that when he was making the documentary Talian was an isolated group and he did not have any plan to comment about the group. 

He added that Afghan migrants in Iran feel resentful about some minor Iranian officials’ positive attitude toward the Taliban, which has been greatly exaggerated by foreign media.              

“The Afghan expatriates living in Iran consider the positive attitude as Iran’s official orientation toward Taliban, while the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has not made any comment in support of the group,” Kargar stated.

He said that Afghan people do not expect Iran to support Taliban insurgents and added, “When the Iranian television airs a program produced to give a positive image of Taliban, they feel that the Iranian government has left them alone in the pursuit of national interests.”

He noted that such an attitude can waste the efforts made over the past two decades to improve cultural ties between Iranian people and Afghan migrants.

Photo: A poster for the documentary “Kabul House” by Iranian filmmaker Masud Kargar.


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