By Christopher Aslan Alexander
The Silk street conjures photographs of the unique and the unknown. such a lot guests easily go alongside it. Brit Chris Alexander selected to stay there. Ostensibly writing a guidebook, Alexander chanced on existence on the center of the glittering madrassahs, mosques and minarets of the walled urban of Khiva - a distant barren region oasis in Uzbekistan - immensely eye-catching, and stayed. Immersing himself within the language and wealthy cultural traditions Alexander discovers a global torn among Marx and Mohammed - a spot the place veils and vodka, beef and polygamy freely mingle - opposed to a backdrop of forgotten carpet designs, crumbling yet exceptional Islamic structure and scenes drawn immediately from "The Arabian Nights". followed through a wide eco-friendly parrot, a ginger cat and his adoptive Uzbek kin, Alexander recounts his efforts to rediscover the misplaced paintings of conventional weaving and dyeing, and the method constructing a self-sufficient carpet workshop, applying neighborhood ladies and disabled humans to coach as apprentices. "A Carpet journey to Khiva" sees Alexander being stripped bare at a former Soviet formative years camp, crawling via silkworm droppings in an try to checklist their life-cycle, holed up within the British Museum researching carpet designs dormant for part a millennia, tackling a carpet-thieving mayor, distinguishing common dyes from sacks of opium in Northern Afghanistan, bluffing his manner via an impromptu model of "My middle Will cross On" for nationwide Uzbek television and looking sanctuary as an anti-Western revolt ate up the Kabul carpet bazaar. it truly is an unforgettable precise commute tale of a trip to the center of the unknown and the unforeseen friendship one guy came across there.
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Extra resources for Carpet Ride to Khiva
Corruption was an accepted part of everyday life and most people expected to pay a bribe to get a job, a bribe to obtain their salary, and a bribe to get it paid in cash to avoid an even larger bribe needed 43 A Carpet Ride to Khiva to extricate their money from the bank. Abdullah – the wayward middle son – had a similar story to tell. He had landed a lucrative contract working on the President of Karakalpakstan’s mansion. It was a huge job and he took a band of men from Khiva up to Nukus, capital of the semi-autonomous region, to help him.
The slaves made contact with him secretly through a message hidden in the barrel of a gun he’d sent for repairs: ‘We venture to inform your Honour that there are over 3,000 Russian slaves in this place, who have suffered unheard of misery from labour, cold, hunger etc. Have pity on our unhappy situation and reveal it to the Emperor. ’ Later, Muraviev met one of the unfortunate slaves personally. 20 The walled city of Khiva The old man’s name was Joseph Melnikov; he had been 30 years in slavery, was the son of a soldier, and had only been married a week when he was seized by the Kirgiz near the fortress of Pretshistinsk and sold as a slave at Khiva.
Had they considered collapsible coffee-tables that tourists could take home with them? Or carved plate mats, napkin rings, bookends, framed mirrors? Zafar watched politely as I scrawled down a design for interlocking coffee-table legs while enthusing about the possibility of carved wooden chess-sets. Helping artisans develop their products for a tourist market, and acting as a bridge between the two cultures, seemed a perfect blend of creativity and business – and a lot more appealing than spending my days writing up a guidebook.
Carpet Ride to Khiva by Christopher Aslan Alexander