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Handmade, Social Responsibility

Kabul Carpet Export Center Hosts Virtual Afghan Rug Trade Show

The KCEC aid program, designed to create jobs in Afghanistan for carpet weavers, is showcasing its latest hand-made area rugs in a virtual event on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

Lisa Vincenti
tribal style oushak rug in cream and red
This bold geometric Oushak (AZ879) is hand-crafted by Zinnat and will be among the featured rugs at KCEC's virtual trade show.

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Kabul Carpet Export Center (KCEC), a  program designed to create jobs in Afghanistan for women and returning, is hosting a virtual trade show to present its latest hand-made Afghan area rugs on Tues. Nov. 17 at 12 p.m. (EST).

Participants can review all available area rugs at the KCEC's Shop page, and can learn more about the program and the current state of the Afghan rug industry by watching KCEC's recently released roundtable video. To register for the Zoom virtual fair click here. During the Zoom event, each rug will be announced and buyers can type the word "buy" into Zoom chat to acquire rugs.

Iconic Oushak motifs, such as this design (AZ982) by Khal Mohammad, get updated in trending palettes and will be part of the KCEC virtual trade show.

"KCEC is a jobs creation program that stimulates employment for women and returning refugees," said Rob Leahy, owner, Fine Rugs of Charleston, and founder of the program. "Most rugs are woven by women in their homes and rug-making is one of the few ways women have of earning household income. They use knotting techniques that vary from one ethnic group to another, but have been handed down from mothers to daughters across generations."

Several contemporary and classic kilim and Gabbeh styles will be part of the fall KCEC trade event. Above, a Zinnat kilim (AZ832)
and below, a Gabbeh by Noor Ahmad (AZ522).

The Kabul Carpet Export Center was launched in the fall of 2018 with $9 million in funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). KCEC was the brainchild of carpet industry veterans Leahy, Richard Ringrose, Alex Zahir and Stephen Landrigan working together as Impact Carpet Associates, LLC, to develop the concept for KCEC.

Hand-crafted in Afghanistan by Noon Ahmad is this warm and vibrant Super Kazak (AZ619), which will be up for grabs during the KCEC Zoom event.
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