From my oriental rug design studio in Bucks County, PA to an open courtyard in Kabul, Afghanistan I found myself four years ago drawing rug motifs on the back of hotel advertisements to visually describe what I couldn’t convey verbally to my Farsi speaking, rug weaving, new friend. As many artists know, words were not needed between us because art was our form of communication…that, and a few nods and smiles to confirm that we understood each other.
It always amazes me that no matter where I am, from a rural Chinese province where people still find blond hair a novelty to a small remote workshop in wonderfully exotic India, the unfamiliarity of the place and culture quickly fade away whenever I work with a fellow artisan. I found this to be no less true in Afghanistan even with the constant stream of fully armed NATO soldiers passing us by.
On this somber tenth anniversary of September 11nth, I pulled these old sketches out of my overstuffed file cabinet and looked at the beautiful drawings we made if only to remind myself that most people are good and kind and that we can find common ground in what makes us human.