The Carpet Wars: From Kabul to Baghdad: A Ten-Year Journey Along Ancient Trade Routes

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9780060097325: The Carpet Wars: From Kabul to Baghdad: A Ten-Year Journey Along Ancient Trade Routes

A personal odyssey through war, friendship and craftsmanship along the old Silk Route. A fascinating travel book that illuminates the contemporary story of south west Asia.

In 1990, Christopher Kremmer arrived in Afghanistan to interview the doomed communist president, Dr Najibullah as rampaging factions of mujahideen massed on the outskirts of Kabul. He found himself intrigued by the politics and culture of the land, and his book provides revealing, often first-hand portraits of warlords such as Ahmad Shah Masood, 'the Lion of Panjsher', of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and of Pakistan's President, General Pervez Musharraf.

The real stories of the lands of the ancient silk route, however, are accessed through Kremmer's obsession with the carpets of the region. Initiated into the wonders of the craft through the stunning classic design and pomegranate dyes of the filpai or Elephant's Foot in Dr Najibullah's office, Kremmer is hooked, and thus tells the tales of his lasting friendships with nomads on portable handlooms to managers of mechanised production units to the merchants in the souks and bazaars.

This amazing journey into an ancient, violent, often tragic, but little understood region is also an impassioned plea for the breaking down of the barriers of paranoia, ignorance and hate that continue to divide the world of the twenty-first century.

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From the Back Cover:

A fascination with carpets leads Christopher Kremmer to roam the troubled lands where they originate. He encounters a marvellous cast of people, from Iranian carpet salesmen to houseboat owners in Kashmir, displaced Afghan nomads to sometimes shady merchants of the bazaar, as well as political and religious leaders who have become household names.

In the remote Hindu Kush, Kremmer celebrates 'Eid' with the late Afghan guerrilla legend, Ahmad Shah Massoud; he meets the fearsome Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostrum in his fortress headquarters outside Mazar-e-Sharif, and in Kandahar, takes tea with Taliban leaders, and goes hunting for Osama bin Laden. What he finds are Muslim nations hanging by a thread, their people betrayed by despotic leaders, and economies kept afloat by little more than rugs, drugs and oil.

'The Carpet Wars' is an intimate and compelling portrait of one of the most ancient and misunderstood parts of the world, and an impassioned plea for breaking down the barriers of ignorance that separate it from the West.

About the Author:

Born in Sydney in 1958, Christopher Kremmer has spent the past decade exploring Asia nad writing about it for print and broadcast media. His award-winning first book, Stalking the Elephant Kings, unearthed the skeletons of communist rule in Indochina. He lives in Sydney.

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Kremmer, Christopher
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Book Description Ecco (HarperCollins), 2002. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Apart from oil, rugs are the Muslim world's best-known commodity. While rugs are found in most Western homes, the story of religious, political, and tribal strife behind their creation is virtually unknown. In The Carpet Wars, award-winning journalist Christopher Kremmer chronicles his fascinating ten-year journey along the ancient carpet trade routes that run through the world's most misunderstood and volatile regions -- Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Christopher Kremmer's odyssey through the crescent of Islamic nations began in the early 1990s, when he arrived in Afghanistan to meet the communist-backed president, Mohammed Najibullah. On the outskirts of Kabul, mujahideen rebels were massing while the carpet dealers of the old city continued to ply their timeless trade. Kremmer was in Kabul when the mujahideen turned their guns on one another after ridding the country of the hated communists. He was there when the Taliban came and the army of religious students -- aided by the wealthy Arab radical Osama bin Laden -- emerged from the scorched earth to implement their vision of "a pure Islamic state." Traveling through these territories, Kremmer chronicles Islamic societies as they were convulsed by dictatorship and greed and as refugees sought asylum in the West. He cemented lifelong friendships and met an unforgettable cast of characters, from nomads toiling on portable handlooms to shady merchants and leaders of the syndicates that control the bazaars. In the remote Hindu Kush, he celebrated Eid with the late Afghan guerrilla legend Ahmad Shah Massoud. In Kandahar, he took tea with Taliban leaders and went hunting for Osama bin Laden. He watched as a new generation questioned the power of the mullahs in Iran, while in Iraq the populace chafed under the weight of sanctions and Saddam Hussein's cult of personality. The Carpet Wars takes readers into a world where even the simplest motif on a rug can be filled with religious, tribal, and political significance, places where life bustles with bargaining and gossip in bazaars and teahouses, while nations crumble, leaders fall, and the final confrontation between freedom and terror looms. An edge-of-the-chair travel memoir, The Carpet Wars offers a personal, vivid, and revealing look at Islam's human face, wracked by turmoil but sustained by friendship, industry, and humor. It is also a historical snapshot of countries at the center of global confrontation that exploded onto the homefront on September 11, 2001. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060097329

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