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A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Christopher Aslan Alexander

By  Verge

A chance friendship between an international volunteer and  a carpet seller in Uzbekistan marks the start of a seven-year fair-trade project that still resonates in the community today.

A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road: Christopher Aslan Alexander

Icon Books, 2010

Alexander begins his journey as a culture-shocked volunteer with Operation Mercy in the Uzbek city of Khiva. A chance friendship with a carpet seller opens his eyes to the endangered art of carpet weaving. Next thing we know, the author is studying ancient patterns and hiring weavers. For seven years Alexander immerses himself in this UNESCO fair trade project and the surrounding community, forging deep friendships with locals and gaining insights into their culture and history, which he translates for the reader with humour and compassion. The story ends in heartbreak for Alexander but the positive impact he had on his host community continues to this day.

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