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Carpets of Tehran

Posted by Roddy Yazdanpour on

THE TEHRAN CARPETMajority of the scholars and carpet dealers, especially those from Tehran, remember the time that Reza Shah of the Pahlavi Dynasty appointed the military governor from Ravar, Kerman, Mr Abbas Khan Nakhaee Ravari, to build and run the first modern prison of the capitol, Tehran. As head of the prison he came with an idea to teach the prisoners a craft that will not only make their time in prison more productive, but will also produce extra income. Besides that, the prisoners would also be able to take this craft with them for the rest of their lives....

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Rustam

Posted by Roddy Yazdanpour on

A very long time ago there lived a legendary warrior hero in Iran. His name was Rostam and in all the world there was no one as skilful and as powerful as him. Rostam's mother was Rudaba, the princess of Kabul, who was known for her peerless beauty, and Rostam's father was Zal. Zal was one of Persia's most powerful warriors and a great general who conquered many rebellious tribes and ruled over Zabulistan. Zal was known for his wisdom and was unparalleled in riding and fighting on horseback. He once demonstrated his skills to Emperor Menuchihr, to seek his...

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Sampsonia

Posted by Roddy Yazdanpour on

Teresia Sampsonia Teresia was born in 1589 into a noble Orthodox Christian (Greek or Georgian Orthodoxy) Circassian family in the Safavid Empire, ruled at the time by king (shah) Abbas the Great. She was named Sampsonia by birth. The daughter of Ismail Khan, a brother-in-law of the king, she grew up in Isfahan in the Iranian royal court as an accomplished horsewoman who enjoyed embroidery and painting. On 2 February 1608, with the approval of her aunt and Abbas, Teresia married Robert Shirley in Iran. Shirley was an English adventurer who was sent to the Safavids after a Persian embassy...

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DNA of a Rug

Posted by Roddy Yazdanpour on

Most rug weaving happens in villages - small workshops, farm houses - in agricultural settings. Yarns are dirty to begin with; un-rinsed dye, seeds, burrs, dirt from the floor. Just taken from the loom a newly woven rug is filthy. The backs are fuzzy. The fronts so shaggy you can barely see the design. A producer friend used to say that the rug on the loom had the DNA - materials, dye, design - but that the final result was about the finishing. Like cutting a diamond. Turns out you can weave rugs with the same 'DNA', finish them differently,...

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The Moors

Posted by Roddy Yazdanpour on

THROWBACK TUESDAY: THE MOORS, SPAIN AND HER SHEEPIt is 30 April 711 and the Berber commander, Tariq Ibn-Ziyad, and his small force of soldiers had just landed in Gibraltar when the commander issued a startling command: “Burn all our ships”! His troops, shocked and puzzled, wanted to know how they would return home if all the ships were burnt upon which Tariq Ibn-Ziyad issued even a more shocking command: “We are not going home. THIS is our new home”, and thus began the invasion of the Umayyad invasion into Spain. What followed for the next 800 years would be a...

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