By Christopher Kremmer
Except oil, rugs are the Muslim world's best-known commodity. whereas rugs are present in so much Western houses, the tale of non secular, political, and tribal strife at the back of their construction is almost unknown. In The Carpet Wars, award-winning journalist Christopher Kremmer chronicles his interesting ten-year trip alongside the traditional carpet alternate routes that run in the course of the world's such a lot misunderstood and risky areas -- Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, and the previous Soviet republics of crucial Asia.
Christopher Kremmer's odyssey throughout the crescent of Islamic international locations begun within the early Nineteen Nineties, whilst he arrived in Afghanistan to satisfy the communist-backed president, Mohammed Najibullah. at the outskirts of Kabul, mujahideen rebels have been massing whereas the carpet buyers of the previous urban endured to ply their undying alternate. Kremmer was once in Kabul while the mujahideen grew to become their weapons on each other after ridding the rustic of the hated communists. He was once there while the Taliban got here and the military of spiritual scholars -- aided by means of the rich Arab radical Osama bin weighted down -- emerged from the scorched earth to enforce their imaginative and prescient of "a natural Islamic state."
Traveling via those territories, Kremmer chronicles Islamic societies as they have been convulsed via dictatorship and greed and as refugees sought asylum within the West. He cemented lifelong friendships and met an unforgettable forged of characters, from nomads toiling on moveable handlooms to shady retailers and leaders of the syndicates that regulate the bazaars. within the distant Hindu Kush, he celebrated Eid with the overdue Afghan guerrilla legend Ahmad Shah Massoud. In Kandahar, he took tea with Taliban leaders and went attempting to find Osama bin encumbered. He watched as a brand new new release puzzled the ability of the mullahs in Iran, whereas in Iraq the population chafed less than the burden of sanctions and Saddam Hussein's cult of personality.
The Carpet Wars takes readers right into a global the place even the easiest motif on a rug should be full of non secular, tribal, and political importance, locations the place lifestyles bustles with bargaining and gossip in bazaars and teahouses, whereas international locations disintegrate, leaders fall, and the ultimate war of words among freedom and terror looms.
An edge-of-the-chair trip memoir, The Carpet Wars bargains a private, shiny, and revealing examine Islam's human face, wracked by way of turmoil yet sustained by means of friendship, undefined, and humor. it's also a ancient photograph of nations on the middle of world war of words that exploded onto the homefront on September eleven, 2001.