Aleppo CCO: Carpet weaving as an incentive to settle in Armenia

“Traditional Armenian carpet weaving classes for women” – a project that was initiated by the Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization and funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH within the framework of the “EU Targeted Initiative for Armenia” program, have brought together Syrian women who relocated to Armenia because of the civil war in Syria. Over 60 applicants expressed their desire to participate in the project, but only 28 Syrian women were accepted in and joined the initiative.

Throughout the first month of the 4-month program the participants have learned the basics of the traditional carpet weaving and began to weave their very first carpets on their personal carpet weaving looms. Syrian women were interested not only in the Armenian roots of this craft, but also in its history and symbolic philosophy. It’s no secret that while working on a carpet, the person forgets about his everyday routine and problems. It gives an opportunity to sink deep into a working process which may result in a piece of art at the end. Given the war in Syria, the complicated psychological conditions of those people who moved to Armenia from there, and the current social problems, this program gives an opportunity to forget the experienced cruelty of the war as well as provides grounds to building a stable financial foundation for a better future.

One of the participants of the program notes that she already has an idea of a small carpet weaving enterprise that will export carpets weaved according to Armenian traditions, colors and patterns. Enthusiasm is spreading within the whole group, the Syrian women give each other advice and make jokes during the classes and enjoy a warm atmosphere, as if nothing happened. Another participant was impressed by the fact that every pattern and color symbolizes something, tells its own history, represents the nature and the feelings of the carpet weaving master and what’s even more important, represents the culture of a particular region or the whole country.

All the carpets weaved throughout the program will be presented at an exhibition-sale, providing a new platform for those Armenians who are willing to contribute their skills not only to their own benefit, but also to the future of their culture, history and their children.

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