With the launch of a poignant book and an ethical e-tail site, this 26-year-old humanitarian leads a remarkable quest for peace
Photograph by Ruvan Wijesooriya | Words By Natasha Inchley
“I always wanted to share the Afghanistan that I see when I visit – the beautiful landscapes, the adorable children, the majestic culture,” says Kyleigh Kuhn, the California-born model and activist who recently launched a new book entitled, Yearbook Afghanistan. Having worked in front of the camera for the likes of photographers Patrick Demarchelier and Bruce Weber, Kuhn uses her modeling fame to raise awareness for campaigns, most recently a school she helped establish in a small village north of Kabul. Together with photographer Ruvan Wijesooriya, the pair mapped the life of its 250 students. Kuhn says, “Most people focus so much on the desperation of Afghanistan. While there is much need in the country, there is also so much beauty. It is my hope to create projects that are inspired by beauty rather than war, and present opportunities for the people I work with that allow them to be participants rather than recipients.”
The 26-year-old founder of Twenty Four Suns, has dedicated herself to working in war-torn countries since she first visited a Balkan minefield with her mother Heidi Kuhn at the age of 13. Since then, her family has worked to transform Afghan minefields into fertile farmland under the banner of Roots of Peace, a non-profit organisation. Meantime Kuhn is focused on promoting local artisans via her ethical e-tail site, Twenty Four Suns, highlighting their beautiful hand-woven rugs and a jewellery line incorporating evil eye motifs. Her passion for the cause is seemingly unstoppable. Kuhn says, “I hope Yearbook serves as a window into the life of the Afghan student and the Afghanistan that I know.” Shop the book below or for enquiries, contact email@example.com.
Postscript: In the latest in a series of attacks, Taliban militants fired on the Afghan Election Commission’s headquarters on Saturday March 29th, destroying the nonprofit offices of the Roots of Peace organisation. The attack came in the lead up to the country’s presidential elections and while it was reported that employees inside the compound took cover, miraculously with no casualties, two bystanders were killed and two warehouses were set alight. The family has released a statement reaffirming their ongoing commitment to the people of Afghanistan.