Wednesday, December 23, 2009



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Friday, November 27, 2009

Lecture on 4th December 2009 at RIPPON BOSWELL in WiesbadenFriday, November 27, 2009 10:15 AM

Dear readers, dear carpet enthusiasts,

Almost at the last minute, we are pleased to announce a presentation by Dr. Georg Butterweck from Vienna, to be held at our premises on Friday, 4th December 2009, at 6 p.m., the eve of our auction on 5th December where the von Bode “Lotto” carpet will be offered for sale.

“Lotto” Designs as Symbols of the Islamic and Chinese Worldviews

Georg Butterweck, a well-known Austrian carpet scholar (“Das Standardwerk des anatolischen Knüpfteppichs – Zentralanatolien”, with Dieter Orasch, 1986), has analysed some 350 “Lotto” field designs to date. At the Volkmann meeting focusing on “Ottoman carpets in Transylvania”, held in Berlin in 2006, Butterweck spoke on a previously undiscovered secret of “Lotto” carpets: an exact design analysis has revealed that animal motifs derived from Chinese designs are concealed between the octagonal and cruciform ornaments of the field ground. Previously, Lotto designs were only analysed and interpreted in terms of the Islamic symbolism and worldview, and the designs in the field ground were neither taken into account nor identified as Chinese symbols.

Moreover, the presentation will discuss the basic concept, aesthetic structure and various styles of this famous carpet family, as well as issues relating to date. It will also establish why lot 173, the “Lotto” carpet formerly owned by art historian and Director of the Berlin Islamic Museum Wilhelm von Bode, is considered a first-rate example of its kind.

With best regards,

Detlef Maltzahn

Publicly appointed and sworn art auctioneer

Friedrichstrasse 45
D - 65185 Wiesbaden
Deutschland / Germany
Tel. 0049 611 334430
Fax 0049 611 307369


Monday, November 23, 2009

LACMA displays the Ardabil and the Coronation Carpets

LACMA Ardabil Carpet Persian rug

Coronation Carpet Lacma

A TALE OF TWO PERSIAN CARPETS: Two rare treasures, displayed together. It doesn't happen all the time, but it is happening right now at LACMA, where the Ardabil Carpet -- which was created nearly a half millennium ago -- will be displayed with the Coronation Carpet, another wondrous work. If you're mad for textiles, get to the museum, definitely before January 18th.

Coronation Carpet Lacma

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sarkis Kish Oriental Rug Moves

More small firms want to own

Some find buying more attractive than leasing

Memphis Business Journal - by Andy Ashby

Sarkis and Sarko Kish bought a building for their Oriental rug business and are leasing some of it for income.
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In the face of a tough economy, Sarkis Kish Oriental Rug has consolidated its operations by building a new facility while adding additional revenue streams.

It sells middle- to upper-end rugs, which can cost thousands of dollars, depending on size and quality.

The business, which operates in the luxury segment of retail, has faced challenges since Sept. 11, 2001, according to vice president Sarkis Kish Jr., also known as Sarko, and the company has been looking at ways of saving money to maximize profits or invest back in the business.

One way to save money was by spending money.

The business bought a property near its longtime showroom on Sanderlin for $402,000, then spent $800,000 tearing it down and building a new 8,200-square-foot facility at 5179 Wheelis.

“It’s a better investment,” Sarko says. “We’re not paying rent to somebody else; we’re paying rent to ourselves.”

The building also allowed Sarkis Kish Oriental Rug to have its showroom, rug cleaning, rug repair, rug restoration and storage facilities under one roof. The company used to lease three different spaces: one for sales, one for repair and one for cleaning.

Its showroom was in a shopping center only a block away from its current location. The shopping center had better visibility, but the company figured that into its equation for the move.

“We realized people who were shopping for a rug were making a thought-out decision to shop for one,” Sarko says. “They weren’t just going to, because they were driving by or having lunch next door, pop in and get a rug.”

Sarko’s father, Sarkis, wanted to build a facility and subsidize it by renting out bays. In addition to its operations, the company now has two 1,800-square-foot bays for other retailers.

It recently signed Harrington Brown Art Gallery to a lease.

“We got the right tenant,” Sarko says. “We can feed off each other’s businesses because we have the same clientele.”

The company is also looking for a furniture store or interior designer for the second bay.

The Shopping Center Group LLC has handled the listings for the spaces.

Carson Claybrook, a broker with the Shopping Center Group, says having the landlord and tenant in one building creates a better rapport.

“I think this gives them less of a landlord/tenant relationship feel and more of a feel that they are both trying to make this location work together,” Claybrook says.

With both land and building prices dropping due to the economy, retailers that traditionally would not consider owning real estate are now looking for opportunities, particularly when there is upside in leasing excess space to complementary businesses, according to Gary Shanks, a broker at the Shopping Center Group.

“With additional store closings and bankruptcies forthcoming, there will continue to be opportunities for retailers to relocate and/or reposition themselves in the marketplace,” Shanks says. “Retailers are taking full advantage of market conditions in knowing they have the upper hand in negotiations.”

Claybrook and Shanks have seen a rise in leases being signed in the past 90 days.

“Most of these tenants are local mom-and-pop users that have anywhere from one to three locations and are taking advantage of the lower rental rates, and the ability to lock into a good rate for an extended period of time,” Claybrook says. “We also have seen movement in bargain-based retailers such as Big Lots, Family Dollar, Dollar General, that are surviving the storm better than most retailers.”

Sarkis Kish Oriental Rug
Rug sales, cleaning and repairs
President: Sarkis Kish
Address: 5179 Wheelis Drive
Phone: (901) 818-6878
Web site: | 259-1732^2434631

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Magic Carpet exhibit, lecture, slide show

Ride The Magic Carpet as you travel from the Gods of the Himalayas to the 2500 year old Scythian Pazyryk Rug of Siberia in search of the ancient symbols that have express cultural values.

Through an exhibit, education lecture and slide show titled: Expressions Through Symbols in Oriental Rugs, the powerful images woven into hand made rugs that have spoken to man since time immortal will be explored.

This unique event is free to the public and will be held

7 p.m. Saturday, at The Magic Carpet Gallery, 408 Broad St., in Nevada City.

For information, call (530) 265-9229

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sir James Mellaart further Discredited

Sir James Mellaart a British archeologist with a dodgey reputation for playing fast and loose with the truth has been called into further question for his conclusions on the "mother goddess" hypothesis. Jeremy O’Brien who is on placement at The Irish Times as a British Science Association Media Fellow publiehed in the Times an article that casts great doubt on Mellaart's methodology and conclusions. Evidence that supported his hypothesis was retained while artifacts that refuted it were cast into the “spoil heaps”.

Mellaart based his theory on the large number of "goddess" figures but O’Brien writes:

For example Prof Lynn Meskell, also from Stanford University, has been studying the stone and clay figurines discovered at the site.
“The original project probably found less than 200 figurines. Our current project has found close to 2,000.”
“Now we have a very different picture of figurine production at the site,” she explains. “The greatest number out of that 2,000 are certainly animal figurines.
I include the O'Brien article because it shows that as we have seen in the past what Sir James Mellaart published is highly questionable to say the least:

New techniques undermine 'mother goddess' role in ancient community

JEREMY O'BRIEN in Guildford
MODERN SCIENTIFIC methods are revealing how the world’s earliest farming communities lived about 9,000 years ago.
Newly discovered human and animal figurines are also overturning some of the previous misconceptions about an archaeological site first opened in the 1960s and a supposed role played by a “mother goddess” for the ancient peoples who lived there.
The evidence is coming from an archaeological site called Çatalhöyük. “This is this amazing site in central Turkey, which is about 9,000 years old and is often talked about as one of the first large settled communities,” explains Prof Ian Hodder from Stanford University. “Çatalhöyük was excavated in the 1960s in a methodical way, but not using the full range of natural science techniques that are available to us today.”
“Sir James Mellaart who excavated the site in the 1960s came up with all sorts of ideas about the way the site was organised and how it was lived in and so on,” he said. “We’ve now started working there since the mid 1990s and come up with very different ideas about the site.”
“One of the most obvious examples of that is that Çatalhöyük is perhaps best known for the idea of the mother goddess. But our work more recently has tended to show that in fact there is very little evidence of a mother goddess and very little evidence of some sort of female-based matriarchy.
“That’s just one of the many myths that the modern scientific work is undermining.”
For example Prof Lynn Meskell, also from Stanford University, has been studying the stone and clay figurines discovered at the site.
“The original project probably found less than 200 figurines. Our current project has found close to 2,000.”
“Now we have a very different picture of figurine production at the site,” she explains. “The greatest number out of that 2,000 are certainly animal figurines.
“There’s certainly less than 5 per cent that could be considered female.” Ironically, they have found many figurines in the “spoil heaps” that the earlier researchers discarded.
Among other finds at the site is the earliest evidence of milk use in human history.
On the role of the site in supporting a mother goddess legend, Prof Simon Hillson of University College London says: “While I’ve been working there since the mid 1990s we’ve had various ‘goddess tours’ – people on bus trips going around Turkey looking for the goddess. For them Çatalhöyük is very important because it is the origin of the mother goddess.”
It seems that the reality may be quite different.
Jeremy O’Brien is on placement at The Irish Times as a British Science Association Media Fellow

Monday, August 17, 2009

William Morris and the Muslims

William Morris and the Muslims

Journalist Navid Akhtar examines the influence of Islamic design and values in the life of Victorian designer, poet, and craftsman William Morris.

The designs of William Morris are inextricably linked to the curving sinuous arabesques of traditional Islamic Art.

One of the domes of the Mir-i Arab Madrasah, Uzbekistan

He was inspired by Turkish ceramics and Persian carpets to create a new movement in British design.

For him the Muslim world had managed to preserve the art of the craftsman and avoid the ills of industrial production.

However his admiration went beyond the surface, Morris was influenced by Islamic ideas of what art should be.

His famous advice to "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful," echoes the Muslim saying in the Koran that "God is beautiful and loves beauty".

Morris's artistic ideas including his love for nature, the use of repetition and symmetry, belief in everyday beautiful objects and emphasis on craft are essential Islamic artistic ideals too.

He espoused the philosophy that art should be affordable and hand-made; this was already a reality in the Islamic world.

Not stopping at arts and crafts, he was a passionate advocate of social utopianism and believed in the rights of the worker.

Today, these ideals have profoundly influenced a new generation of British-born Muslim artists as they rediscover Morris and look to his artistic work and socialist ideas for inspiration.

Navid Akhtar examines Morris's interest in Islamic design and takes us on a journey that has come full circle from the arts and crafts movement to contemporary British Islamic Art.

This documentary was first broadcast on click Radio 4 and first aired on BBC world Service on the 10th of August 2009.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

AFGHANISTAN: Carpet Industry Crippled Without Govt Help

AFGHANISTAN: Carpet Industry Crippled Without Govt Help
By Hashim Qiam*

KABUL, Aug 13 (IPS) - Carpet weaving has long been a part of Afghanistan's history and culture.

Though it is unclear exactly when Afghans began making carpets, it is believed that long ago, women poured their emotions into the carpets they created, telling stories of hero's and prophets. Since that time, carpets have come to symbolise Afghan national dignity and stand as a testament to the creativity of her people.

Monawar Shah Haqbin, an Afghan historian, says that when kings in Afghanistan wanted to bestow precious gifts on one another, carpets were usually their first choice.

Also, when women wanted to marry, carpets were a crucial part of any dowry. Even today, when Afghan celebrities or public officials make an appearance during times of national celebration, they often do so on a red carpet, weaved by Afghan craftsmen.

Now, carpet weaving has an even more vital role as one of the few viable industries left in Afghanistan.

It is easy to set up a loom in the home and the materials for getting started are inexpensive and easily obtainable. Women can pick up the skill and make money for their families without having to leave the home and children.

While the northern part of Afghanistan has traditionally been the carpet-production epicentre of the country, since the Taliban came to power in the 1990's, the importance of Kabul to carpet production has grown. Women who could no longer go to school or work because of Taliban restrictions, could still make money by weaving carpets.

After the regime was toppled, the new government undertook many initiatives to train and monetise carpet production by Afghan women.

But still, the lack of large-scale resources to cut, wash and finish these carpets has crippled Afghanistan's ability to fully capitalise on one of its most valuable commodities. Experts say that until the government provides resources for start-to-finish production of Afghan carpets, the profit from these products will continue to go to those outside Afghanistan's borders.

Pakistan, Afghanistan's southern neighbour, has taken advantage of its proximity to the highest quality carpets in the world. The government of that country has made the carpet business easy for manufacturers and exporters.

Mohammad Esau, a former Afghan warlord who owns a carpet shop in the Pakistani town of Atak, says that Afghans in the area are currently operating hundreds of carpet factories. He adds that Pakistan's government has even offered him and other weavers citizenship, enticing them to make permanent homes on that side of the border.

A significant number of native Pakistanis are also involved in the carpet production business, but they tend to work in the finishing stages of production unavailable in Afghanistan, while the Afghans are responsible for the weaving and looming.

Pakistan's government has also made it easier for carpet producers to do business. They lend as much as 80 percent of initial investment capital to producers and give 13 percent tax credits on each shipping container full of carpets exported out of the country.

By comparison, the Afghan government's attempts to prop up the carpet industry are woefully inadequate.

In August 2007, the Afghan government held an inaugural carpet exhibition, called 'Let's Cover The World', in Kabul. Solyman Fatemi, former executive director of the Association of Promotion of Afghan Exports and Ahmad Zia Massoud, vice president of the Economic Committee in Government, pledged that "by opening a bridge of friendship between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Afghan handicrafts and carpet exports will be increased."

The officials promised help with marketing and other promotional assistance, and also land-grants for carpet producers to build factories. But like so many promises from the government, Barik Andish says, no marketing was ever done and the land grants never materialised.

Mollem Salman Taj, who exports carpets from Pakistan to the wider world, says that while Afghan carpets have a superb reputation as the finest available, three decades of war have caused a rift between international carpet dealers and Afghan producers.

Taj says that marketing is the key for Afghanistan to re-establish its dominance of the carpet market. This would both help Afghanistan as an international brand, and perhaps entice Afghan carpet weavers who have fled to Pakistan or Iran to come back home.

There are still many native Afghans who have chosen to stay here and ply their craft. Sareqi, Gul-e-Barjaste, Zaher Shahi, Mashvani, Turkmani, Khal Mohammadi, Gul-Muri are the names of just a few of the 173 traditional Afghan carpet styles that are still produced almost exclusively in this country.

But exclusively is different from entirely. While these carpets are fabricated here, they are "finished" that is, cut, washed and completed in Pakistan. After the rugs are completed, they are affixed with a 'Made in Pakistan' label and shipped to buyers in Italy, France and Germany.

Part of the reason that the entire production process can't take place in Afghanistan is due to a lack of resources. Noor Ghori, who makes carpets in Afghanistan, says that cutting and dying of the carpets takes equipment and materials that Afghan producers can't afford.

As a result, the world loses a traditional Afghan product, and Afghans lose the full profit of their hard work and craftsmanship.

(*This is the second of a two-part investigative series on Afghanistan's famed carpet industry by Killid Weekly. IPS and Killid Media, an independent Afghan group, have been partners since 2004.) (END/2009)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Renowned Rug Cleaning Company, Right in West Philly

Posted: Saturday, 01 August 2009 4:29AM

A Renowned Rug Cleaning Company, Right in West Philly

by KYW's Lauren Lipton
People from all over the country look to Philadelphia for many things. And believe it or not, rug cleaning has become one of them.
"People are sending us rugs from all over the place -- as far away as Washington State -- and many come from Florida."
That's Robert Zakian (above), owner of Zakian Bros. Oriental Rug Cleaning Specialists.
(Zakian:) "Back in the the '20s, my grandfather [far right] was going door to door. They would wash the rugs in our basement and then hang them on lines outside."
Now, through the magic of UPS and the Internet, they're going state to state as people from all over the country join people here in the Delaware Valley in sending their rugs to West Philadelphia to get them cleaned.
(Zakian:) "It's different than cleaning someone's pants or suit. People really have a love for their rugs."
And it's quite a process.
(Worker:) "It was in a flood, so it really needs to be thoroughly cleaned."
(Zakian:) "Check-in time is kind of the fun time. I pick up runs all day long, and I'll always hear on the PA system, they're paging Ali to come to the back. Ali's my head repair guy."
(Ali:) "There was water damage. It sat there for a long time. We're going to eliminate this, then re-seam it by hand."
(Zakian:) "A woman sent this in. It was her grandmother's, and it's dry-rotted badly. She really wants us to save it -- and we're going to."
This family-owned business has remained in Philadelphia all these years because they love it here. And it's a good thing, because the equipment is not going anywhere easily.
(Zakian:) "Just the rollers are probably about three tons each. And then there are steel rollers under that. You could land an aircraft carrier on top of it."
For more information, including tips on how to care for your own rugs, go to
That's Positively Philadelphia!

Related topics: Oriental Rug Cleaning Austin

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pektus of Aga John Oriental Rugs buys house

Auto Web site exec buys in Highland Park

by Ernie Larson, published Jul 03, 2009 · ShareThis
385 N. Deere Park Dr. E
385 N. Deere Park Dr. E
Mr. Pektus
Mr. Pektus

Geoffrey Petkus and Arpie Petkus bought a four-bedroom, three-bath home at 385 N. Deere Park Dr. E in Highland Park from Susan Strulowitz and Michael H. Braverman for $775,000 on May 28.

The 6,564-square-foot house in Deere Park subdivision was built in 1929.

Mr. Pektus is director for product development at, an automotive Web site providing new and used car reviews, specifications and pricing information. He also has been the director of e-mail marketing.

He received his B.F.A. in graphic design/multimedia from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Ms. Pektus is showroom sales and product developement manager at Aga John Oriental Rugs.

She previously was a design and project manager at Residential Real Estate Investment and Development. She also was a showroom manager at Tufenkian Carpets.

She received his bachelor's degree in fine and applied arts from University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

There were 276 sales in Highland Park in 2008, with a median sales price of $464,000.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kristen Rockwell: O'Bannon Oriental Carpets in Lawrenceville

Store owner weaves a life in the carpet trade
Saturday, June 13, 2009
From coloring with crayons as a child to negotiating in the twisting maze of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, it's been a magic carpet ride for Kristen Rockwell, who is celebrating her 10th anniversary as owner and proprietor of O'Bannon Oriental Carpets in Lawrenceville.
The transplanted New Englander and weaver said she has always had color and design in her life.
"I remember my sister and I coloring in our coloring books. It brought us pleasure and calmed us down when we were upset," she says.
She graduated from crayons to weaving designs in nonconformist materials. "I was using chicken wire and paper ribbon.... They were horrible, but they were the stepping stone."
Upon moving to Pittsburgh, she happened to walk into O'Bannon, then in Squirrel Hill. She was working as a weaver but needed a steady job in retail. Owner Pat Forbes, who had bought the shop from George O'Bannon, did not need any help, but the two became friends.
"I liked to hang out there whenever I could because it just made me feel better being there with the colors and patterns," Ms. Rockwell says.
A pattern became clear to Ms. Forbes, who after 12 years finally offered Ms. Rockwell a job. Three years later, she sold her the store. Several years ago, Ms. Rockwell relocated to the site of an old grocery store at 3803 Butler St., where she has more room and natural light to display her treasured inventory.
The shop features all sizes and styles of hand-loomed Orientals from tiny prayer-like rugs to contemporary, primitive and traditional designs to rare pieces best suited for wall hangings. Ms. Rockwell prefers the terms "tribal" and "classical" to primitive and traditional. Prices range from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
On her first buying trips in the United States, Ms. Rockwell began learning the difference between chemical and vegetable dyes. In the late 1970s and early '80s, a company called Woven Legends from Turkey created more awareness of traditional looming methods and "greener" vegetable dyes.
These dyes are more expensive because they take longer to make.
"Madder root, which gives you red, takes six years to mature," Ms. Rockwell says.
Handmade wool carpets -- the only kind O'Bannon sells -- are also more expensive than machine-spun wool. With a bachelor's degree in fiber art from Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Rockwell has a strong appreciation for the time and labor that go into handlooming Oriental rugs.
"It's all women who do the work, and yes, young girls do learn at their mother's side, which is different than actually making the rug," she says.
Ms. Rockwell says there has been a crackdown on child labor in the Middle East but abuses continue, which is why she is very particular about which producers she works with.
She made her first trip to Istanbul, Turkey, in 1999. Her husband, who understands some Turkish, is invaluable on such trips.
"It is a very different world to walk into as a woman and a business person," she admits.
Ms. Rockwell often finds herself in back rooms, crawling over obstacles to see the best pieces. When it comes to price, she often relies on her gut response to a carpet.
"I know a fantastic piece when I see it," she says, adding that there are many levels of fantastic and many variations on the traditional Oriental rug.
"Over the course of 12 years of doing this, I can be really fast moving through a place, picking rugs. But then there are certain families of rugs that could take me days because of the beauty and intricacy."
Gabbeh rugs from Iran are one type that has grown in popularity, she says. Considered a contemporary style, these carpets feature traditional elements that the weavers have interpreted in new ways. The women have artistic freedom.
"They are using traditional elements in a very primitive sense," Ms. Rockwell says.
One unusual piece in the store shows a camel caravan. "There is a lot of symbolism. The camels are sort of your life blood. They represent power as well. The designs represent things that are about wealth to them and things that bring them pleasure," she notes.
"There has been a growing interest in Gabbehs as people become aware of these contemporary pieces and see them in person. I'll see a wave of sales of only traditional pieces, then a wave of contemporary. Then there's the household coming in to mix it up with both styles together."
Ms. Rockwell is also intrigued by Turkish fish carpets, which are made with wool left over from other rugs.
"They collect all the different wools and can be so creative after being so restricted. I know what they are thinking when they are weaving these. They are having fun and thinking color."
The fish carpets have sold well.
"People seem to love them because they are getting a real Oriental but with an unconventional pattern," she says.
O'Bannon Oriental Carpets, 3803 Butler St., Lawrenceville, can be reached at 412-621-0700 or

Correction/Clarification: (Published June 18, 2009) This story as originally published June 13, 2009 about Kristen Rockwell and O'Bannon Oriental Carpets gave an incorrect name for a supplier, Woven Legends.

Read more:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jewish American Rug Dealer in Iran

In Iran, Entrepreneur Witnesses the Elections

June 18, 2009

Lisa Hostein
Jewish Exponent Staff Writer

Jerry Sorkin has never shied away from the hot spots of the world. Which is why it was not surprising to find the former local rug dealer in Iran this week, with a front-row seat for the Islamic nation's elections and its tumultuous aftermath.
For years, Sorkin sought his wares in the remotest corners of the world, traveling throughout the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Several years ago, he closed down his Wayne-based Oriental-rug dealership to focus on his new passion -- promoting tourism to Muslim lands little traveled by Americans. He opened a travel company, focusing mainly on Tunisia and Turkey. Some of the trips he orga- nizes also included visiting Jewish sites of interest.
Now, he is seeking to help open Iran to American tourism. It won't be easy, he conceded, noting that he had difficulty attaining a visa for his exploratory trip.
But "when you get away from the rhetoric" emanating from Iran's political leaders, ordinary people are "very pro-American," Sorkin said in a phone interview Monday from his hotel room in Tehran.
Nor did he encounter any problems when his Jewishness came out, he said.
In the days leading up to the June 12 election, Sorkin said he was surprised to find such excitement among many Iranians.
"People were sensing a change, pushing the envelope," he said, noting that most people he spoke to had supported Mir Hussein Moussavi, the main candidate who had opposed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Sorkin said he has found a consensus that "you can't put the genie back in the bottle."
After experiencing what he called an "amazingly open" election campaign, filled with rallies and debates, Sorkin detected what many analysts are predicting as well: The Iranian people "aren't going to be quiet after the tremendous sense of freedom they felt prior to the elections."
'The World Is Watching'
With unrest mounting over official claims of Ahmadinejad's re-election, some American Jewish organizational leaders are calling for more U.S. support for the protesters and more international action to stop the Islamic Republic's nuclear program, reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

As the first signs of a violent crackdown on street demonstrators came Monday -- at least seven people were killed -- JTA reported that some Jewish communal officials said that the United States should be doing more to show solidarity with the demonstrators.
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said that he understood why the United States "doesn't want to become a factor" in the process, but added, "When do the young people feel they've been abandoned" by the West?
Talking to reporters Monday, Obama said that "it is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be," and the United States wants to avoid "being the issue inside of Iran."
Addressing "those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process," Obama added, "I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was."
On the ground in the country, Sorkin noted that Iranians in general are sensing a positive a change with the new American leader.
Whatever ultimately happens with the election, he predicted, "there will be a new openness to the West."

Monday, June 22, 2009

M. Abraham Importer Oriental Rugs Expands

June 20
Store to expand into Lowe’s bar and restaurant

Former W-B eatery site sold for $235,000

By Jerry Lynott
Business Writer

WILKES-BARRE – The closing of Lowe’s bar and restaurant opened the door for Ali Kazimi to expand his downtown floor covering business.

Read more Good News articles

click image to enlarge

The front of M. Abraham Importer and Lowe’s bar and restaurant on West Market Street in Wilkes-Barre as seen in January of 2008. The owner of M. Abraham Importer, Ali Kazimi, bought the property that housed the now-closed Lowe’s and will expand his floor covering business. Kazimi will now have approximately 2,200 extra square feet to display his Oriental rugs in a street-level showroom. The store’s other floor covering choices of carpeting, tile, hardwoods and laminates will be in the basement of the former Lowe’s building. The second and third floors will be converted into apartments.

Times Leader file photo/fred adams

Kazimi, owner of M. Abraham Importer on West Market, bought the adjacent property for $235,000 and has begun renovations.

“I’m hoping within the next 30 days everything will be done,” Kazimi said Friday.

Tom Williams, owner of Lowe’s, confirmed the sale. “I think he’s going to do great things,” Williams said of Kazimi.

The acquisition will add approximately 2,200 square feet for Kazimi to display his Oriental rugs in a street-level showroom. Customers will access the added space through an interior opening between the two buildings.

The basement of the former Lowe’s building will contain the store’s other floor covering selections of hardwoods, tile, carpeting and laminates. The second and third floors will be converted into apartments.

The purchase is proof he is committed to the city, he said. He acknowledged that he had some trouble over the sale of a parking lot next to the former Hotel Sterling, but he has moved on from that issue. The city was going to exercise eminent domain over the lot, but in 2007, after three years of negotiations, Sterling developer CityVest agreed to pay $650,000 for the lot, lower than Kazimi’s original asking price of $700,000.

“I still believe in Wilkes-Barre and the success of Wilkes-Barre. That’s why I did the investment,” Kazimi said.

He has been in the business since 1974, but it has been in his family much longer. Kazimi’s great uncle Mohamed Abraham started it in 1927 and operated it until his passing in 1975. Abraham’s nephew, David Abraham, took over and Kazimi purchased the business in 1989.

“I am third generation,” Kazimi, 55, said. A fourth generation, Kazimi’s 28-year-old son Hussein, just joined the business.

“Wyoming Valley has been very nice to the Kazimi family. That is why we’re sticking around,” Kazimi said.

Jerry Lynott, a Times Leader staff writer, can be contacted at 570 829-7237.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Encyclopedia on Persian Carpet under Compilation

Encyclopedia on Persian Carpet under Compilation

TEHRAN (FNA)- An encyclopedia on Persian carpet will be published by the Persian Encyclopedia Foundation by March 2009.

According to a report by Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, some 630 entries of the encyclopedia have been compiled, evaluation of which will begin from summer.

The contract to that effect was concluded in 2007 and its duration is 22 months and is extendable.

Following a call by the encyclopedia council, 20 researchers in the field announced their readiness to participate in the project, the Islamic republic news agency reported.

Compiling the encyclopedia aims to present a better understanding of Persian carpet as well as a comprehensive view about the industry.

The encyclopedia which deals with different aspects of Persian carpet will serve as a reliable reference source for researchers in the field.

Friday, June 5, 2009

owner of Zaki Oriental Rugs Receives National Award

Zaki Receives National Award
Triad -

Zaki Khalifa will be awarded one of our nation’s highest honors as a top Asian business leader in America at a special awards gala. A well known and respected leader in High Point, North Carolina, and owner of Zaki Oriental Rugs, Zaki will receive the award in New York City from the Asian American Business Development Center (AABDC).

“Zaki Khalifa is truly one of our country’s outstanding Asian business leaders and he is most deserving of this recognition”, stated John Wang, President of AABDC. “Our organization has presented this award since 2001, but with the economic crisis around the world, our recipients this year represent leadership at its highest level.”

The award is the “Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business” and Zaki is one of only four Pakistanis to receive this honor. He is also the only person from North Carolina ever to be honored by this prestigious award.

“The impact of his leadership reaches not only throughout America but the far concerns of the world.”, noted Tom Dayvault, President and CEO of the High Point Chamber of Commerce. “Our chamber and our community are very aware of Zaki’s benevolence and leadership…now the entire country is aware of his vision and humble spirit.”

Hailed as the Asian American business community’s most distinguished award program, the outstanding 50 is the largest, all-encompassing Asian American business award program in the nation. The award program honors individuals with outstanding leadership, vision and accomplishments who have distinguished themselves within their community. The presentation will take place at the Hilton New York on June 10 with over 600 people from government, business and civic leaders in attendance.

In characteristic style, Zaki noted, “There are many others more deserving of this award. I am humbled and honored.”

“Zaki provides an example for all of us to emulate,” stated Mayor Rebecca Smothers, Mayor of the City of High Point. “Our community, our state and our nation are blessed to have him as a leader.”

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Thursday, May 28, 2009 10:05 PM

Laurel Kozeradsky, Ethan Orley Wed

Laurel Kozeradsky, Ethan Orley

Published: May 30, 2009

Laurel Kozeradsky and Ethan Shane Orley were married Saturday evening at Steiner Studios, a party space in Brooklyn. Rabbi Suri Krieger officiated.

Mrs. Orley, 29, works in Manhattan as an associate director of strategic planning at Mindshare, a media buying unit of WPP Group, the British advertising company. She graduated from the University of Delaware.

She is the daughter of Nancy Miller Kozeradsky and Michael Kozeradsky of Cresskill, N.J. Her father is a consultant in Lodi, N.J., who specializes in the sale and maintenance of seafood display equipment for grocery and fish stores. Her mother is a lawyer in Tenafly, N.J.

Until September, Mr. Orley, 28, was a vice president of DBP Capital, a distressed debt investment firm in Manhattan; he researched potential deals. He graduated from the University of Michigan and received a master’s in real estate finance from New York University.

He is a son of Klara Orley of Karkur, Israel, and Geoffrey A. Orley of Manhattan. His father is an owner and founder of Orley & Shabahang, a retailer of antique and contemporary Persian carpets and also a manufacturer, with stores in Manhattan, Palm Beach, Fla., and Whitefish Bay, Wis.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We’re loving...rug trade

We’re loving...rug trade

Taking a leaf from the Government’s book the upmarket department store Liberty will now part-exchange any old rug when you purchase one of theirs. Customers who buy one of Liberty’s carpets or rugs, which include fine examples from Iran, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, China and Nepal, will receive a discount £100 off any rug costing more than £500. There are between four and five thousand rugs to choose from, and they cost from £75 to more than £150,000. See for details.

Related topics: Oriental Rug Cleaning Austin

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Orientalist,Leading Opens in Dubai

The Orientalist,Leading Name in Knotted Carpets Opens in Dubai
Posted on: Tuesday June 2 , 2009 5:01:08 PM (GMT+4) Submit Press Release

The Orientalist Woven Art LLC, which has carved a niche for itself with a world-class collection of hand knotted carpets from around the globe, is set to take centre stage in the UAE with the opening of its spacious new gallery in Dubai.

The new gallery is located at Al Wasl Road and will complement an existing outlet located on Jumeirah Beach Road. The opening of the new gallery is a strategic growth step for the company, which has made a mark for itself internationally, including South East Asia, where it operates one of the world’s largest carpet galleries in Singapore.

Abi Bagheri, Managing Director of The Orientalist Woven Art, said: “For over 50 years we have been building tightly-knit tight relationships with master weavers and renowned workshops not just in Persia but throughout every major carpet region in the world. As a result we are able to extend unquestionable authenticity, value for money and unrivalled choice of products and services. The Orientalist Woven Art will continue building on our reputation, not only as purveyors of fine hand knotted carpets, but as ambassadors of the carpet world.”

The new gallery in Dubai will offer The Orientalist’s entire collection of carpets, which includes Antiques & Collectables, City Master Weave, Contemporary, Customized, Kilim, Oversize, Renaissance, Rounds, Runners, Silk and Tribal. These carpets originate from all over the world such as, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Afghanistan etc. “The Orientalist has been supplying the finest hand knotted carpets and rugs for some of the most prestigious addresses across Middle East and Asia, including celebrity homes, leading institutions and premier heads of state. Through our new outlet in Dubai, we aim to further enhance our product and service offering in the region,” said Bagheri.

The Orientalist also offers unique personalised designs, giving clients, interior designers and developers the opportunity to create their own unique pieces for distinguished homes, offices and institutions. With over 1,800 colours to choose from, the Orientalist works closely with their clients to ensure that these custom-made carpets perfectly reflect the desired style and ambience of the living and working environment.

The company also provides a vast array of unrivalled services, including Professional Carpet Cleaning – providing specialist washing and cleaning for every type of handmade carpet; Repairs – whether it’s wear or tear, from age or accident; Restoration – commissioning a master weaver for expert restoration; Customized carpets – designing your own masterpiece carpets; and Consultation – advising on all practicalities and aesthetics of choosing a carpet.

Among the other services offered by The Orientalist Dubai are: Classes – conducting fun master classes to help unravel the mysteries of hand-woven carpets and rugs; Searching – finding the perfect rug or carpet to match the customers’ needs; and Guarantee–certifying that every carpet is of unquestionable authenticity

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Robbery Foiled at Oscar Isberian Rugs

Posted: Tuesday, 26 May 2009 9:13PM

Carpets stolen worth $250,000

Four men caught with $250K in stolen carpets
May 26, 2009

(HIGHLAND PARK) Four men were arrested last week in connection with the theft of rugs worth $250,000 from a north suburban business.

Neb Lazovic, 47, Louis Sokolovis, 58, and Srecko Zdravkovic, 45, all of 8213 N. Oconto in Chicago; and Aldijan Salkic, 23, of 2717 Atlantic in Franklin Park were arrested May 18 and charged with burglary, theft and possession of burglary tools, all felonies.

A detective in an unmarked Highland Park police vehicle was conducting surveillance of businesses in the Skokie Valley Road corridor when he noticed a red Ford van and a black Mercedes enter the parking lot of Oscar Isberian Rugs at 3300 Skokie Valley Rd. just before 10 p.m.

Working together with Northbrook, Wilmette and Winnetka police, officers witnessed the men force their way into the west entrance of the store and load rugs into the van. The men were stopped and officers found seven rugs in the van worth a total of about $250,000.

Highland Park Police Cmdr. Gerald Cameron said that the rugs were handmade Persians, some made of silk. The fact that only the seven were taken leads police to suspect the men had been in the store prior to the burglary attempt.

“It’s our belief that they went into the rug store prior to that and targeted several rugs they knew were of great value,” Cameron said.

Bond for each of the four was set at $500,000 and they were required to surrender their passports. Police said the investigation is continuing and court dates are pending.

Copyright 2009 STNG Wire, The Chicago Sun-Times. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Persian Carpets Gardens of Delight

Persian Carpets Gardens of Delight

Persian Carpets Gardens of Delight [Photo]

Persian Carpet Tehran, May 15, 2009: Ancient Persia was known for its hand-woven carpets and rugs. The use of carpets in religious rituals and other ceremonies dates back to the time of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt. The priests of Heiliopolis used them in religious ceremonies. Pazyrik is the oldest evidence of Persian rug that dates back to 500 BC. It is named after Pazyryk Valley in the frosted mountains of Altai in Siberia. According to the ECO Heritage publication, the carpet was excavated from under the ice that protected it for almost 25 centuries. Post-Islamic Rugs, Carpets Since rugs and carpets are made of fine material that perish in the course of time, extant material evidence is rare and scarcely exceeds 300 years. Therefore, to find the evidence of post-Islamic rugs and carpets in Iran, one should rely on written sources. These sources reveal that during 8th century AD, Azarbaijan was a major center for production of carpets and coarse carpets (Ziloo) in post-Islamic Persia. There is a considerable body of textual evidence attesting to at least 12 centuries of rug production in the region, both flat woven and piled. The earliest material evidence of Persian carpet in the post-Islamic period dates back to the Safavid era (1502-1629), known as the famous Ardebil Carpet. Today this priceless carpet is preserved in Victoria and Albert Museum in London (formerly known as South Kensington Museum which was a foundation for collecting Persian arts and crafts). Under the Safavids, the art of carpet-making reached its peak and the degree of refinement and ornamentation in the carpet of Safavid era rightfully earned it the title of “the golden age of rugs and carpets“. The products of court workshop in Safavid period have an exceptional quality in terms of style, materials, patterns and ornamentation. The products of court workshops of Ardebil, Tabriz and Isfahan are dominated by leaf and flower motifs. In the 16th century, human and animal forms began to appear in these carpets. Certain motifs such as the cloud-band unmistakably indicate the Mongolian influence. Nevertheless, the earliest designs used by nomads have survived even to the present day. Abbasid Treasures The earliest reference to Persian carpets is made in the official inventory of Abbasid Caliph Haroun’s treasury recorded in 809 AD following his death. The production of prayer rugs and small carpets also dates back to this period, as historical records mention that along with taxes, 600 carpets were sent to the Baghdad caliphs, including small prayer carpets. These were produced in the province of Tabarestan (Mazandaran), another region in north Persia. It is believed that during this time, the main export item from the region was carpets. The carpets of Khorasan, Sistan and Bukhara were in high demand due to their attractive designs and diversity of motifs. During the reigns of Seljuk and Ilkhanid dynasties, many workshops in different cities were involved in the production and sale of carpets. Fars Carpet Historical texts refer to a magnificent mosque built by Ghazan Khan, the great Ilkhan (died 1304) in Tabriz, which was covered by fine precious carpets of excellent quality. Perhaps the most striking and instructive reference is the historic royal decree of Ghazan Khan, which reveals that carpets, befitting metropolitan royal palaces, were being produced in sizable numbers in Fars as early as the 13th century. Fars remained one of the great centers of carpet production, perhaps the most important, for Ghazan Khan had most of the carpets for a whole group of buildings at Shams Garden in Tabriz (his capital) made at Fars. Timurid artisans combined the art of Persian miniatures with carpet-weaving and reproduced various scenes of Persian miniatures (which had been originally derived from Persian literary texts). Weavers and Weaving Different tribes in Fars province produce rugs and carpets. In fact, the ethnographic map of Fars is so colorful that it is hardly comparable to any other Iranian province or any other carpet-making region in the world. Lors, Turks, Arabs, Kurd-Lor and other ethnicities scattered in the area, which have not been adequately identified. Of the seven major tribes that have maintained their unity up to the present day (Ainalu, Arab nomad, Baharlu, Basseri, Lor, Nafar and Qashqai), only Lors and Arabs (and perhaps some Basseri elements) inhabited the region in the 10th century. Turkic immigrants, comprising Qashqai, Baharlu, Ainalu and some Nafar tribes do not appear in this ethnographic map earlier than the late 13th century. The first Turkic tribal group may have descended from a 300-strong Mughal cavalry dispatched to Fars in 1281. Commercial Aspects During the Safavid era, export quality carpets and rugs were produced. In 1722, the French consul in Shiraz provided 18 carpets to an agent of a company. Because of uninterrupted production, it can be surmised that all or a large part of these rugs were produced locally. During 18th and 19th century, under the Zand and Qajar dynasties, the pace of carpet and rug exports increased. Nassereddin Shah also sent Persian rugs to the Vienna Exhibition in 1891, where they were appreciated by a public fascinated by things Oriental. Carpets, furniture and decorative objects, as well as paintings by European Orientalist painters, were all reminders of the East, and evocative of exotic of distant lands. Toward the end of the 19th century, however, investment and capitalization by local and foreign firms in the country spurred the development of a new Persian carpet industry, the fame of which was to become legendary. Income from the sale of commercial-style carpets soon supplanted the revenues earlier derived from the export of raw silk, fine textiles and luxury carpetsÑand even today; carpets remain modern Iran’s most important non-oil export. Symbolism The richness in international designs rests mostly on the enormous wealth of symbols, myths, icons, occultist ideographs and objects of totemism. Talking about the symbolism of Persian rugs, one cannot ignore the evolution of their patterns and designs, which probably originated in Mesopotamia. Passed on through generations, the designs and motifs of Persian rugs and carpets have basically remained intact. While the continuity of designs and motifs has been preserved, the evolution in form and ornamentation can be identified in the numerous themes and motifs of rugs and carpets. At times, these symbols predate the history of carpet-making itself, as a number of these motifs are related to the patterns and motifs found on the potteries dating back to 4th-3rd millennium BC. They provide us with a vast treasure of prehistoric archetypes used by ancient tribes. These motifs relate to the mythological belief and symbolic iconography of those early times. Later, these forms drew heavily from Achaemenid and Sassanid visual traditions and subsequently from the early Islamic ornamentation. Liberty of Weaver Like words in a language, there are ’motif-words’ that remain unchanged or little changed for generations, while others become obsolete or lose their meaning, original worth and function. Like a language, the traditional weaver cannot change the meaning, spelling and phonetics of the words, but has the liberty of employing them at will, making new phrases. The individual liberty of the weaver has no lesser or greater scope than the liberty enjoyed by a writer or a poet. The incredible wealth of motifs, designs and ornamentation in Persian rugs and carpets has led scholars to believe that these are being invented by individual weavers. Behind the creation of a Persian rug or carpet are weavers (particularly in case of Fars rugs and carpets, most of the weavers are women from tribal or semi-tribal communities) loyal to the traditions passed down to them from their ancestors. Therefore, they cannot easily be separated from these traditions and their common artistic consciousness, yet they are free to create their own versions of the old traditional designs. In other words, this conformity and unity, while forbidding inventions of unfamiliar and non-traditional designs, does not lead to the production of stereotyped rugs and carpets, rather it gives rise to highly personalized creations marked by a uniqueness that makes it difficult to pair rugs and carpets that are identical in design and color. The tribal weaver carries her pattern in her mind. Generally speaking, she has worked on predetermined patterns and designs all her life, and has learned that any deviation from it, changes in coloring, irregularities deliberately introduced and other slight alternations are the unconscious attunement of her mental attitude to her daily environment. Then, of course, the use of birds, animals, flowers, plants and celestial objects in carpet designs have their own symbolism and are governed by regional preferences. These are beyond the scope of this article. Thus you’ll find the Persian weaver whose family bereavement, say, would find unconscious expression in the free use of white in her pattern, a marriage might give cause for a preponderant employment of brilliant red, a misfortune might be shown by a descending eagle, while hunting scenes in her work with hounds and leopards and cheetahs would indicate the fame, valor and honor of someone deserving allegiance or affection.

Carpets Linked with Islamic Art

Carpets Linked with Islamic Art

Carpets Linked with Islamic Art [Photo]
Carpets Linked with Islamic Art Tehran, May 15, 2009: An exhibition on the impact of Islamic art on Persian carpets will be held on May 19 at Tehran+s Carpet Museum concurrent with the World Museum Day. Announcing this, director of Carpet Museum, Parviz Eskandarpour, told CHTN that carpets from across the country, which depict architecture and monuments, will be presented at the exhibition. “Carpets from Kashan, Tabriz, Kerman and Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari provinces, which feature architecture from ancient times up to the present, will be displayed at the event, “he said. Eskandarpour noted that Persian carpets and Islamic architecture are linked. “We can clearly see vaulted buildings as well as minarets and tileworks in Persian carpets, “he said. He referred to Mehrab (the prayer niche) as an inseparable part of Iranian religious buildings, particularly mosques, and added that carpet weavers have always been inspired by religious architecture. “Iranian carpet weavers have always taken religious architecture into consideration, “he said. Eskandarpour concluded that veteran carpet weavers and exemplary museum employees will be honored on May 20 in Tehran+s Carpet Museum.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Silicon Carpet Invisibility Cloak

Tiny Invisibility Cloak Constructed

Tiny Invisibility Cloak Constructed

Kristy Erdodi / DailyTech

May 04, 2009

‘A tiny invisibility cloak has been developed, combining silicon and a carpet-like design.’ -

A tiny, unique cloak has been developed, demonstrating how silicon and a carpet-like design can take scientists even further in their explorations of invisibility.

The journal Nature Materials reported on the development, which was constructed based on a carpet-like design theory first described by Professor John Pendry, from Imperial College London, in 2008. Teams involved in its current production included Michal Lipson and her team at Cornell University and Xiang Zhang, along with his team at University of California, Berkeley.

Hosting a design that allows it to eliminate distortion from the shape of anything underneath it, the cloak enables light to bend around it, which creates the illusion of a flattened surface.

A silicon sheet measuring a few thousandths of a millimeter across and containing multiple miniature holes makes up the cloak, which “changes the local density” of the item placed beneath it, according to Professor Zhang.

“When light passes from air into water it will be bent, because the optical density, or refraction index, of the water is different to air,” Professor Zhang explained. “So by manipulating the optical density of an object, you can transform the light path from a straight line to any path you want.”

The key to changing the optical density in this case lies in the cloak’s holes, which optical light cannot see because they are smaller than the size of its wavelength. All optical light does see is a “sort of air-silicon mixture,” as Professor Zhang explained, which means that at least in terms of light’s view, the item’s density has been altered.

The recently constructed silicon sheet does not stand as the first attempt at invisibility through a cloak. For example, in early August of 2008, Researchers at the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center at the University of California, Berkeley used nano-fishnet of metal layers and nanoscale silver wires to cloak 3D materials. The two separate teams involved in this project, which also relied on the bending of light, were led by Professor Zhang, as well.

Similar attempts at invisibility cloaks of the past have also included constructions made of metal, which highlights this current project’s significant step toward progression. Unlike metal, which allows for losses of light, silicon absorbs only a minimal amount. The new material enables scientists to move forward from some of the flaws that metal’s light loss can cause upon trying to achieve invisibility.

© 2009, DailyTech