oriental rugs 2

Oriental Rugs, two



design piece (2) say/said/said
career sacrifice foot/feet (2)
sick form (2) do/did/done
basics intricate feel/felt/felt
employ employee unemployed
afford complete weave/wove/woven
able creation workshop (2)
detail material sell/sold/sold
silk floor (2) spun/spun/spun
rug wonder ino wonder
export valuable identity (2)
copper paradise keep together
script engine (2) drive/drove/driven (2)
global audience recognize (2)
saying corner (2) painful (2)
price cover (2) rise/rose/risen
irony fabric (2) affordable
string sanction see/saw/seen
heaven portray think/thought/thought
dealer attempt pay/paid/paid






In Iran there is a saying: “Carpet weavers sacrifice their eyes for people’s feet.”

Making even the smallest carpet means patiently toiling for months, using tools and techniques that had been passed down for generations.

Haideh Shokri, Carpet Weaver: “This is what my parents did, and what my grandparents were doing. So I learned from them. And now I’m in this career.

I love this art; when I’m not weaving, I feel as if I am sick. The carpet is just like a child to me; I love it because this is an original Persian art form.”

The women in this workshop are artist-employees. They take classes to learn the basics and practice for months. The best students get to work on the most intricate designs.

But there is something sad about this job: the closer these women get to completing a carpet, the less able they are to actually afford one of their own creations.

Persian rugs sell for thousands of dollars and some of the carpets made in this very workshop sold for tens of thousands. And depending on the detail and the materials used, such as silk — or even string spun from gold — a Persian rug can sell for millions.

It’s no wonder then that in the business world, carpets are a valuable Iranian export, second only to oil.

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But they’re also an important part of Iran’s cultural identify. In the 2011 Farsi-language film, Gold and Copper, a dying woman weaves carpets to pay for medicine and keep her family together.

The scriptwriter says the Persian carpet was the engine driving the story.

Hamed Mohammadi, Screenwriter: “Iranian and global audiences recognize the Iranian carpet as a piece of art. It has been a little painful for me that the price of the Iranian carpets has risen a lot, and now it’s un-affordable to everyone.

In the past, it was possible for people to cover every corner of their houses with carpets.”

An especially sad irony for carpet dealers is that the United States is their largest market.

Nahid Hosseini, Carpet Dealer: “America has put sanctions on Iranian carpets. But if you look at American buildings, and family homes, you see Iranian carpets on the floor. As I saw in a video, I think even US President Donald Trump’s daughter has an Iranian carpet in her room.”

Traditionally, Persian carpets are meant to portray the gardens of heaven.

Iranians say the latest sanctions are an attack on the very fabric of Iranian identify. And an attempt by America to make trouble in paradise.

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1. Making traditional, hand-made carpets is easy that anyone can perform. True or false?

2. Are Persian carpets a recent art and enterprise?

3. For Haideh Shokri, the carpet weaver, is carpet weaving grueling and tedious?

4. Is there a paradox regarding carpet weaving and carpet shops?

5. Persian carpets are regarded as (considered) as a commodity, like petroleum and coffee. Is this right or wrong?

6. Has the value of traditional Oriental carpets increased, decreased or remained the same?

7. Does Nahid Hosseini, a carpet dealer, see an irony or hypocrisy regarding the US government or president?
A. My friends and I have Persian or Oriental carpets and rugs in my home. Yes or no? Would you like to own and decorate your home with Oriental carpets?

B. Does you city or country produce decorative carpets?

C. Have you visited or seen a carpet shop? What did you see inside?

D. What are some traditional crafts in your town, city or country?

E. What might happen in the future?


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