The four-day exhibition Afghan Impressions was a unique rug event held during the
Atlanta Area Rug Show from Jan. 18 to 21, 2007. The exhibition served as the most
recent development in the ongoing bilateral steps taken to connect Afghan rug
producers with U.S. buyers in support of socio-economic prosperity in Afghanistan.
Afghan rugs generate exports of over $50 million annually and provide an important
source of employment and revenue for Afghan weavers.
H.E. Minister of Commerce & Industries, Dr. Mir Muhammad Amin Farhang, traveled
from Afghanistan to participate in the exhibition, accompanied by a group of 10
senior executives of Afghan rug weaving companies, as well as representatives of
the newly established Export Promotion Center of Afghanistan. This exhibition
followed the successful July 2006 visit by another Afghan business delegation to the
United States, where the delegates gained a greater understanding of the
international textile industry through meetings with government and business
Minister Farhang delivered remarks to the audience of more than 200 rug buyers,
prominent investors, and community and government leaders. "We are proud to see
Afghanistan's esteemed products on display in the U.S. and available to interested
buyers," Farhang said. "We look forward to continuing our joint efforts to promote
such opportunities, allowing the U.S. consumer to witness firsthand the beauty,
quality and art of an Afghan-made rug."
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Mr. David Sampson also welcomed the
delegation of Afghan rug producers to the United States. "The Commerce
Department is committed to increasing bilateral business ties and stimulating trade
and investment between our two countries, which we believe will lead to significant
improvements in the welfare of the Afghan people," said Deputy Secretary
Sampson. "A smart step toward this goal is to help Afghanistan export their
impressive hand woven rugs, among the cultural products they are known for
around the world."
Afghanistan's Ambassador to the United States Said T. Jawad encouraged the
audience to let the art of rug weaving be a conduit to Afghanistan's rich cultural
heritage and political stabilization. "Afghan rugs connect you to thousands of years
of history, a group of talented artists halfway around the world, and a reconstruction
process that is helping millions of people find security, prosperity, education and
new hope," he said.
Afghan Impressions: Area Rug Artistry & Inspiration was organized by the Economic,
Trade & Investment Department of the Embassy of Afghanistan, in coordination with
the Export Promotion Center of Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Commerce and
AmericasMart, Atlanta. Many different rugs from different regions of Afghanistan
were on display. The event was accompanies by Afghan music, folk dance and food.
Report by: Khosrow Sobhe
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|Afghan Rugs in the Atlanta Rug Show