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.

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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.”

Posted on:
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