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(Muhammadi Parviz, Director - Archaeologist and Art historian with Richard Gere)

A Persian carpet is just like a picture on the floor that carries thousands of years of love and longing within itself. The very composition of a carpets colors and motifsdepicts love, good wishes and longings of people who lived in the East hundreds of years ago

I can remember that even as a child in the village of my birth, Qorveh Dargezin, (in western Iran, eighty kilometers northwest of Hamadan) most of the women wove carpets. Every house had a loom, like an easel for painting, and we children watched our mothers and grandmothers sing and weave birds and roses. Day by day, those pictures came more and more to life. Whenever they needed to start a new carpetto set the warp and weftthey would call a man who had lucky hands. They would burn incense for this occasion, and a man who had a lucky step was called to enter the room where the carpet would be woven. The first knot needed to be made by a pure soul and with the name of God upon the lips. Day after day, each carpet was shaped in the same way.

People in my village believed that every color carried a certain meaning; through the combination of colors and motifs, they wove musica symphony of the soul. They were making gardens in which their thoughts were free to sing and to fly. There were no limitations for their playful thoughts, which were coming out of the garden of their hearts. For us, this was what we thought the art of weaving carpets was all about.

There was no electricity or television in our village. We were educated with stories and poetry. They taught us to understand the language of stones, earth, birds and roses. There are many different beliefs concerning the symbolism of carpets and their motifs, colors and patterns. I recall a story about a certain girl who wove an unusual carpet and no merchant would buy it. It was considered shameful for a girl in the village if she could not sell her carpet; people would think that she was incapable. But this girl was in love and she was happy by nature. Therefore, she left her carpet in one merchant`s shop and it stayed there for a long time. One day, a merchant from Hamadan came and as soon as he saw the carpet, he fell in love with it. He bought it and took it to his home. Although it was an unusual piece, the whole family liked it. Right away, they spread the carpet on the floor to admire its patterns. Now, this merchant had an ill son and the next day, the merchant`s son woke up strong and healthy. His face was happyhe even wanted to go out and have a walk in nature. From that day forward, he felt better and better until he was soon restored to full health. In this way, the motif of that carpet became famous and it was given the name: Cure for the merchant`s son.  There are many stories about carpets, such as this one

If a rainbow appeared in the sky, the women believed that an angel was weaving a carpet out of suns silk and that the one with a pure heart who looked at it would go to Paradise. They would wash their hands and faces and mention the name of God. After that, they would weave the carpet while watching the rainbow, thinking that love from the heavens would descend into it. For this reason, a carpet was, for me, a path upon which the soul is journeying towards Heaven and Paradise, a garden of music in which a new melody is played every day. For hours, I could look at the carpets in our house or the carpets that had been woven by my familyfor me there was poetry and melody coming from the Garden of Longing.

As the son of such an atmosphere and surroundings, I have always aspired to offer happiness and friendship to people; I like to write songs about happiness and love, I like to look for the good in others. As a child I made a saz (a type of musical instrument with strings), believing that I could, through music, discover the sun of happiness hidden in the breasts of men, like those ashiks (lovers of God) who traveled from village to village and sang about their love for people. I prayed to God to direct me to a land in which there were people with heavenly natures and where spirituality still existed. People kept telling me that no such place existed, nor such a land. They laughed at me, not believing that there were still such places upon the earth. However, even as a child I started wandering through neighboring villages, seeking the land of my dreams.  None believed that I would find it.

At that time, I had not heard about Bosnia, but with time, God directed me there. In Bosnia, I was reborn here I have found a rich history, lush nature, and people rich in soul and who know the language of the soul, simple people who are without evil intentions and who are full of goodness.  Even at the time of my studies before the war, I started working with carpets and handicrafts, wishing to connect people through art and to introduce the art of my people here in Bosnia. The war came and I had to go back to Iran, but a part of me stayed in Sarajevo a city that carried inside itself the sun of heavenly love and friendship.  I studied archeology and the history of art for five years in Teheran. At one point, I spent three months studying carpets in Teheran`s carpet museum, learning as much about them as I could. At the same time, the desire to return to Bosnia never really left me. I met two merchants from Jazah, a place near the historical city of Isfahan. The foundation of our work and its philosophy was a path of love and art. While reading poetry from Rumi and Hafez Shirazi and with a nay and def in our hands, we embarked upon a journey from Isfahan to Bosnia. We promised each other that we would not simply be merchants, but ambassadors of our culture and art to ordinary people and that we would walk upon the path of humanity.

In a contemporary world that is moving faster and faster, where people have less and less time, a carpet on the floor or upon the wall connects the minds of contemporary people with pure and genuine love. In such a way, a carpetas a picture on the floor or upon the wall offers peace, develops the mind and rests the soul.

Why are we based in Sarajevo?

Sarajevo is an interesting cosmopolitan city. People here are simple, hospitable and the cultures of East and West are intertwined here; the sun of friendship has not set here yet. Bosnians are people with good and open hearts; there is a strong spirituality in their origins. Bashcharshiya (the old part of the city) has positive energy, with its numerous oriental shops, old trades and unique atmosphere. The merchants from East and West meet here, befriend each other and exchange their goods and cultures.

Where are we?

We are located in Bashcharshiya, a place rich in history and friendship. Our shop is located in Moricha Han, a historical object itself an old inn where travelers, merchants, doctors and poets from East and West met each other. The stay was free and some were even able to teach their science or skill.

Our mission

We have friends from among every nation and creed and, here in Sarajevo a place of soul we feel that we can connect people with a source of beauty and a feeling of contentment through the art of carpets and other handicrafts.

The choice

We are a specialized gallery located in the Balkans and Southeastern Europe that offers a wide range of carpets and nomadic handicrafts from various parts of Iran. We like carpets, we like to look at them, and we often dream about them. Since we believe that every carpet has a soul, every customer who buys our carpets becomes our friend.

Who are we?


I am Parviz Mohammedi, the director of the Gallery Isfahan and I am an archeologist and art historian. As I said earlier, I was born in Iran, in a little village called Qorveh Dargezin.

There was a little bazaar and in the afternoon, merchants and peasants would gather in the shops and read poetry; many of them were poets, themselves. The women wove carpets and sang. There were many historical artifacts in our village. As children, we found and dug out old jars and jugs that were richly-decorated. From an early age, they taught me to express myself fluently and they awoke in me a love for songs and poetry. I grew up surrounded by carpets of various patterns and colors, woven by my aunts, grandmothers and neighbors. For me, carpets were like the heavenly garden.

After all, my colleagues and I are all striving to become better men; carpets are our love but we do not wish to compel others to buy them. It gives us great joy when we see people come to the shop to admire the beauty of our carpets and we would be very pleased if we could succeed in passing on the thousands of years of love and sincere wishes that have been woven into them.
 

Contact Info - Sarajevo

Persia d.o.o. - Gallery Isfahan
Sarači 77, Morića Han
71000 Sarajevo, Baščaršija

Telephone: +387 33 535 172
Fax: +387 33 237 429
Email: info@isfahan.ba
web: http://www.isfahan.ba

Contact Info - Mostar

Gallery Isfahan - Mostar
Ulica Mala Tepa 18.
36000 Mostar

Telephone: +387 36 551 186
Email: info@isfahan.ba
web: http://www.isfahan.ba