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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We were given three days of training in basic trauma-counselling techniques and told that when a whole community experiences trauma, they need outsiders to come and listen objectively.

I asked, and was shown stacks of firewood. Andrea received a sympathetic hearing when handing in these documents, but the answer was still clear; I had to leave. However, there was a bit of a carpeg thanks to the design improvisations of clever weavers who included woven homilies to Father Lenin. By the end of it I wanted to visit! An enjoyable but occasionally sad read about the author’s seven years in Khiva in Uzbekistan, much of which was spent reviving the art of handmade silk carpet making.

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Accompanied by a large green parrot, a ginger cat and his adoptive Uzbek family, Alexander recounts his efforts to rediscover the lost ried of traditional weaving and dyeing, and the process establishing a self-sufficient carpet workshop, employing local women and disabled people to train as apprentices. His pursuit of powdered madder root takes him deep into Afghanistan, whence he emerges after close shaves.

Apart from one coy remark at the end of the book, we learn nothing about more intimate aspects of his time in Khiva.

This one makes a good follow up to Sheila Paine ‘s trilogy of searching the globe in search of the history of a specific embroidery design. Though he is very respectful of local customs and fond of the people, he maintains a rather wry sense of humor about some of his acquaintances’ actions, statements, and experiences which I enjoyed immensely. On the other hand, I did occasionally acrpet myself wishing Alexander was a little more introspective. Soon we were visiting tents within the burnt shells of once-prosperous courtyards, filled with scorched vines, and rubble.


There is not as much detail about Uzbekistan and its people as I was hoping for, but there is some. But, and it’s a big but, I found he occasionally came across as having an overblown sense of his own importance and at times bordered on misogyny.

Great introduction and it was awesome to visit the workshop itself in Khiva and some of the characters mentioned in cafpet book. I breakfast with the family and then head to the carpet workshop with Andreas. Up until that point, he had used girls interchangeably with women so it’s possible he could have meant either.

He has no wood or money to buy new wood, so his apprentices must buy small blocks from the successful workshops, and then sell back the finished Koran stands for a meagre profit.

A Carpet Ride to Khiva : Christopher Aslan Alexander :

I knew Chris in the early ‘s and so this book was a bit of a catch up for me. To describe Uzbekistan as a failed state implies that it might at one time have been a successful one and is misleading. 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. Made me desperate for one of the amazing carpets though!


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

My old boss in Khiva, Andrea, had been promoted to country director for our NGO in Tajikistan and called in tears to let me know that the KGB they have a new name but locals still use their old name as they still do the same old job had paid a visit to her office with various allegations against me, including that I was a spy for Switzerland.


He mentions friends and relatives back in the UK but we never get much of a sense of their role in his life or how he felt being so distant from them for so long.

When he asks the staff if Afghanistan is safe, he is given the response: Thanks for telling us about the problem. Sep 28, Marissa rated it it t amazing Shelves: Most travellers simply pass along it.

The enormous loom from the corner cell has been moved to the suzani workshop and carlet the suzani workshop they no longer weave cotton material but have bought thin, unsatisfactory cotton from the bazaar. For those of you Yanks who baulked at having to fork out postage to get your khivva from the UK, fear not: 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 author to Khiva.

Seven Years on the Silk Road. I continued work with Yak Yak in the Pamirs until April Book ratings by Goodreads. You cannot help but hope for the best for him and the people around him.

In this respect it joins a crowded field of memoirs written by young Westerners who move to the Third World to take part in international development projects.