Times of Oman
Nov 30, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 03:22 AM GMT
Time to weave a ‘Carpet of Peace’ in Muscat
May 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Photo - Times of oman

Muscat: In today's world where drums of war beat ever louder, symbolic peace initiatives taking place here and there around the globe remind us how valuable peace is and make us wish for a world free of violence.

Amir Hossein Dehshid, an Iranian national who is the general manager of Muscat-based Al Besat Persian Carpets, is one of those peace-loving people who decided to make a contribution, albeit small, to the promotion of global peace by weaving a carpet in the shape of a three-dimensional globe.

Nationals from over 150 countries have so far placed a knot on the carpet, which is the first of its kind and is two metres in diameter.

Dehshid was inspired by the words of Saadi Shirazi, one of the greatest Persian poets ever, whose aphorism, 'Bani Adam' or 'the Children of Adam', has been inscribed on the entrance of the United Nations building.

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Saadi's poem, which is as follows, calls for the breaking of all barriers and highlights interdependence of human beings:
Human beings are members of a whole, In creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, Other members uneasy will remain. If you've no sympathy for human pain, the name of human you cannot retain! (Translated by: M. Aryanpour)

"The knots on the carpet represent the people around the globe. Human beings are like the warp and woof of the carpet. If you untie the knots, the carpet will fall apart. They affect each other," Dehshid told the Times of Oman.

According to him, the project, which is called 'Why Knot', began in 2010. "First we wanted to mark the borders of the countries and put their names, but later we decided not to do so to accentuate the sense of unity," he explained. "This is the first time that a carpet is being woven in the shape of a globe. One of the main challenges was to design and build the loom, which was overcome thanks to the expertise of Siroos Steel."

Over 750 people from 155 countries listed by the United Nations have so far participated in the project, he added.  "Some of them were tourists and some are living in Muscat. We received many guests from the embassies, universities, schools and NGOs."

Dehshid said that each participant was trained for five to 15 minutes to put the knot correctly.
There are more than 4,000,000 knots on the carpet. Bijan, the weaver, can weave 17,000 to 18,000 knots a day. Only a few centimetres of the work remains," Dehshid said. "It is almost finished. The stand of the carpet is being built by Mohammad Reza Shamsian, and we will hopefully inaugurate the carpet in three months."

The carpet is made of pure silk and the stand is a marquetry work made of iron, wood and shell, Dehshid said.

"I have received offers from several museums outside Oman to keep the carpet and they have set a condition that the inauguration ceremony should be held in their museum. But I do not think it is fair to do so. I prefer that the carpet be kept in Oman or transferred to another country through Oman."

Verbal offers have been made by some institutions in Oman, he said, adding that the inauguration ceremony may be held in the Royal Opera House Muscat (ROHM).

"Promoting peace in a creative way," reads one of the notes in a notebook placed near the carpet.
Another visitor wrote, "A wonderful idea to integrate human beings and to preserve your culture and heritage."

"I hope all the geographical and political borders are eliminated as they were removed on this carpet," read another note.

Dehshid invited those who are interested to see the work in progress and weave a knot to visit his shop 'Al Besat', which is located behind Centre Point in Al Khuwair.

To get in touch with the reporter: elham@timesofoman.com

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