We have a weekly meeting on Monday evenings at the Flame Restaurant, the Camden House in Beverly Hills. The organizer of the meeting is the Coalition of Iranian Entrepreneurs, in Farsi called AHAM. The meeting starts at 6:00 pm with one hour of networking and mingling. During this time, some Persian appetizers are served with tea. We have Persian food from 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm followed by 2-3 short speeches each one 5 minutes, and then, we have a keynote speaker who talks about 30 minutes and then there is a short question and answer part. Without prior notice, I was asked tonight to deliver a 5-minute speech on Persian carpets for the audience of nearly 50 businessmen and women who had gathered for networking, business and speeches.
First I presented some information on the current state of the Persian carpet industry in Iran. We have around 1,000,000 carpet looms on which around 2,000,000 weavers work. The rough annual export of Persian rugs from Iran is approximately $600,000,000. I then talked about the Kish Island Carpet Exhibition which was held from April 29 to May 2nd, 2008. Non-Iranians do not need visa to go Kish Island, a free zone which is 20 minutes away from Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
I talked about the biggest hand made carpet in the world, a 6,000 square meters (roughly 70,000 square feet) carpet which was recently made for a mosque in Abu Dahbi. It took 18 months to weave this magnificent rug by 600 women who worked in two shifts. I briefly talked about two video presentations I had on Persian carpets at the Bowers Museum in Orange County on April 26, 2008 and another lecture on May 7th in the California State University Northridge.
My speech tonight lasted for only 5 minutes. Several people came to me after the program was over and told me they liked the brief but statistical and informative report I presented. It was good opportunity for me to present myself to the Iranian business community who were there.
I got home around 9:30 pm and posted this report to share the story with the kind readers of my rug blog.