Rug Shop

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Middle East » Iraq » West » Al Asad Airbase
August 10th 2008
Published: September 1st 2008
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Today I was invited to a barbeque at the rug shop. Persian and Turkish rugs are one of the hot items that the Iraqis peddle. I have learned that most of the so called “Iraqis” are Turks that pretend to be Iraqi to sell their wares at Iraqi gift shops. There are various grades of rug but the best are handmade. The Iraqi Doctor that I have talked about previously is friends with the high class rug seller here in Al Asad. The Doctor invited some of the other Doctors and Nurses to the rug shop for a barbeque. I know that this was all a ploy to get us to the rug shop to see the handmade rugs. But I have come to love Kabobs so this seemed all worth it.
We arrived and were immediately told to sit at a long table and were offered tomato/cucumber salad and cold soda. Then they brought the kabobs - lamb and hen. Boy were they good - we all tease that we should have had Cipro (an antibiotic) for desert. We then had tea as is the Middle Eastern tradition. Shortly after came the sales pitch. The Turk invited us into his shop to see his fine handmade rugs. I saw some really pretty rugs. There were all sorts of colors, patterns, and materials. Silk are the most expensive as well as the brighter colors. Some rugs were small about 4x6 and some were 12x16 or better. I fell in love with a red silk carpet that was 5x7 (I think). It looked deep red and then if you shook it and dropped it back to the floor quickly it looked bright orange. I have attached a picture of me touching the 12,000 dollar 5x7 rug. Wow. That was actually one of the less expensive rugs I saw some that were 35,000 and up. It supposedly takes a family working non-stop 5 years or more to make one of those rugs.
The peddlers are very sharp they recognize our unit patch and officer rank. Once they see it they immediately know money is close as some of the doctors have bought the 35,000 dollar rugs in the past. I don’t think so - not with the baby, dog, cat, and new hamster.


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