Inside look at ancient art of glass-blowing in Afghanistan where only a few are keeping it alive

PHOTO: A glassblower practices his craft in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.PlayABC News
WATCH Afghan glassblowers see little for high-priced works of art

For 200 years, Ghulam Sakhi's family has been blowing glass in the ancient Afghan city of Herat.

He creates azure, indigo and green goblets, cups and vases that have been sold in fancy stores overseas, but like so many Afghans the artisan struggles to make a living and as he tries to keep this dying art form alive.

PHOTO: A glassblower practices his craft in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.ABC News
A glassblower practices his craft in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.

Ghulam estimates there are now only three glassblowers left in the country who use traditional clay ovens stoked with wood and rely solely on the power of their lungs to shape the stunning glassware.

PHOTO: A glassblower practices his craft during an interview with ABC News Ian Pannell in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.ABC News
A glassblower practices his craft during an interview with ABC News' Ian Pannell in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.

Watching him at work is mesmerizing as he blows, twists and fashions the molten liquid into shape. The heat is intense with the oven’s core temperature rising to a blistering 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

PHOTO: A glassblower practices his craft in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.ABC News
A glassblower practices his craft in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.

Ghulam has lived through his country's occupation by the Soviet Red Army, a civil war, Taliban rule and over the last 17 years a war that is now the longest ever for the United States.

PHOTO: A glassblower gives ABC News Ian Pannell a try at blowing glass in a workshop in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.ABC News
A glassblower gives ABC News' Ian Pannell a try at blowing glass in a workshop in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.

Yet Ghulam is still firmly optimistic about the future and the prospect of seeing his beloved Afghanistan at peace once again.

PHOTO: A glassblower practices his craft in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.ABC News
A glassblower practices his craft in the western Afghanistan city of Herat.

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