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Buy A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road First Edition by Christopher Aslan Alexander (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store . This month my debut novel comes out: Alabaster. Although it’s not set in Khiva, I’ ve drawn on my experiences of living there and elsewhere in. A Carpet Ride to Khiva by Christopher Aslan Alexander, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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Much of the book is devoted to explaining the unique Uzbek origins of and methods for weaving, dyeing and other artisanal production processes. When I go to Khiva in a little over a week from now, I am going to try to find the workshop he began and tell them Aslan sent me. In June a vicious pogrom broke out in South Kyrgyzstan against the wealthier minority Uzbeks there. Putting feminist reasons for this quibble aside, can I appeal to the author in the name of clarity instead?

The author went to Khiva in Uzbekistan with a development organisation to collaborate on caroet guide book. Having failed to buy a ticket at the counter and resigned to a very long bus journey, a man I purchased a painting from who comes from Khorezm, likes me and knows someone at the ticket office and makes a call and now, here we are.

At first, I struggled with bitterness. Experienced natural dyers will appreciate how far he will go in his quest to find powdered madder root to achieve the rich red dyes for his carpets. We reminisce about the old days and he mentions his plan to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the carpet workshop next year.

Two other points that are not quibbles, just things I would like to discuss with friends: His pursuit of powdered madder root takes him deep into Afghanistan, whence he emerges after close shaves.


It’s filled with information about the culture and cautionary tales about how the power structure works. Although the Soviets successfully eradicated the veil in some cases, at gunpointAlexander ridde the farpet little else has changed since at least up to the early s. A Carpet Ride to Khiva Asia. Alexander’s vivid, direct prose is full of rice that will educate readers about Khiva, Uzbekistan and the carpet-weaving craft without posing a distraction from his personal story.

Jan 30, Suzanne rated it really liked it Shelves: Ina massacre of people in a devoutly Muslim community in SE Uzbekistan occurred. To ask other readers questions about A Carpet Ride to Khivaplease sign up.

Only on entering and seeing the pleasingly familiar, dilapidated Soviet interior and discovering that there khova no electricity, do I feel a sense of nostalgic homecoming.

Sep 07, Erika rated it really liked it. To see what your friends thought t this book, please sign up. Book ratings by Goodreads.

A Carpet Ride to Khiva : Christopher Aslan Alexander :

Dide result is an unforgettable true story of a journey to the heart of the unknown. Well, Aslan’s book perfectly captures the complexity of just this situation, and though I picked it up to prepare for a trip to Uzbekistan, this book has evoked a remarkable number of connections to the people I have known, the places I have been as an e It’s complicated when you dearly love a screwed-up and beautiful country that rejects you or who you are forced to leave.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Enter Aslan, our narrator and volunteer for Operation Mercy, who gets a carpet workshop going based on some ancient designs from the days of the Silk Road crpet are exquisite, enabling him to provide a number of very decent jobs for Khiva’s most vulnerable citizens, mostly women. Read this for research on an upcoming trip to Uzbekistan.

I read this while travelling around Uzbekistan and it provided a great deal of context and insight into the reality of life in a country that, as a tourist at least, almost feels too good to be true.


You just have to go ahead and read it. Hopefully it will inspire others to embark on similar ventures. He also lived with a local family whose fortunes he was also able to improve. Alexander has natural talent for telling historical asides, and he shares the plight of carpet weaving during the Soviet era when it was nearly extinct due to ideology and factory mass-production. I was hesitant to read this book, as my memories of Khiva are very personally ingrained, and I didn’t agree with some of the activities of the organization that brought the farpet to Khiva.

The puppet master is there, and so Umid, who still has a stall next to Zulhamar and the antique seller. Welcome to the website. We find a taxi, which takes us to the Andijan bazaar where we change money on the black market.

There is a lot of detail about finding places for the workshops, workers, designs, silk, dyestuffs, etc. The next morning the train leaves the desert and we pass through the Khorezm oasis.

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

Not only is Chris a talented author though believe it or not this is his first book! Development organisations sponsored his setting up a carpet making workshop and later one embroidering cushion covers. His enthusiasm for his work and the people in Khiva apart from the Mayor is loud-and-clear.

He writes with clear-eye observation and courage, and never fails to emphasize the ingrained hospitality and random acts of kindness that remind you that, in spite of everything, Central Asia is still an exceptionally alluring place.