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1. 9-11 9-11 War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century ; September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 On September 11, 2001 at 8:46am American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. Seven minutes later, at 9:03am, United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower. This rug depicts the impact of the two towers hovering above a US aircraft carrier and a deployed missile. Behind the towers is a green map of Afghanistan, in front of them the twinned flags of Afghanistan and the United States with a dove of peace.

2. Bridge Rug Bridge Rug War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History 21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century ; Afghanistan--social life and customs This colourful rug appears to depict a modern-looking bridge over a busy street lined with traffic. At one end of the street is a mosque and in the sky are helicopters and jets. It is not clear whether the rug is depicting some real or hoped for!

3. Clock Tower Clock Tower War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century This rug represents a new development in Afghan rug production with its almost photographic realism. The vehicles are shown receding into the background and, in some cases, driving away from the viewer. The minimal border and the fact it is woven sideways enhances the panoramic sweep of the Kabul cityscape. Like “Clock Tower I” (2009.003.000), it features a modern looking tower with a clock face. Students have commented on the prevalence of red, green and black in the rug—the colours of the Afghan flag.

4. Clock Tower I Clock Tower I War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; Afghanistan--Social life and customs There are increasing numbers of carpets featuring Afghan cityscapes and heritage sites. This one represents a clock tower, likely in Kabul with a river and rows of vehicles. It is surrounded by a particularly bold, traditional border. From the vantage point of an outsider, it functions like a postcard; evoking memories of visited places and events. It is also possible, however, that it speaks to an emergent Afghan nationalism, celebrating local history.

5. Constitution Constitution War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century ; Constitutions--Afghanistan ; Afghanistan--Politics and government--2001- Another rug featured in the 2006 exhibition, “Made in Afghanistan”, which was not in Rob Fyke’s collection was one we called “Constitution”. This rug was based on a poster promoting an Afghan-authored constitution. It featured a map of Afghanistan on which nine individuals (including two women) representing different ethnic communities, are arranged around an inscribed white sheet. For any of the Afghans who visited the exhibition, this seemed to be the only rug that interested them. Once again, Rob wrote to his Peshawar friend and rug dealer, with a request to order a copy of this rug. Apparently, the rug (or perhaps the original poster) was not as well known as he might have liked. The borrowed rug is part of the collection of the Textile Museum of Canada.

6. Constitution Constitution War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century ; Constitutions--Afghanistan ; Afghanistan--Politics and government--2001- Another rug featured in the 2006 exhibition, “Made in Afghanistan”, which was not in Rob Fyke’s collection was one we called “Constitution”. This rug was based on a poster promoting an Afghan-authored constitution. It featured a map of Afghanistan on which nine individuals (including two women) representing different ethnic communities, are arranged around an inscribed white sheet. For any of the Afghans who visited the exhibition, this seemed to be the only rug that interested them. Once again, Rob wrote to his Peshawar friend and rug dealer, with a request to order a copy of this rug. Apparently, the rug (or perhaps the original poster) was not as well known as he might have liked. The borrowed rug is part of the collection of the Textile Museum of Canada.

7. Exodus of the Soviet Union I Exodus of the Soviet Union I War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; Afghanistan--History--Soviet occupation, 1979-1989 ; Afghanistan--Politics and government--1989-2001 ; Military weapons This rug commemorates the departure of Soviet forces from Afghanistan. On the “Friendship Bridge”, heading north, are three Soviet BTR 60A Armoured Personnel Carriers. On the bloody red map of Afghanistan are what appear to be Soviet Mil Mi-24 Helicopters (aka Hind) with three Mil Mi-28 Helicopters (aka Havoc) in the air above the map. The rug also features AK-47s, several grenades, and two RPG 7V Grenade Launchers. The inscription refers to the departure of the Soviets.

8. Exodus of the Soviet Union II Exodus of the Soviet Union II War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; Constitutions--Afghanistan ; Afghanistan--Politics and government--1989-2001 This rug is very similar to 2009.011.000 suggesting that popular designs are shared among weavers.

9. Garden Runner with Weapons Garden Runner with Weapons War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century ; Afghanistan--Social life and customs This was one of the last rugs Rob Fyke added to his collection and in many ways the most enigmatic. In a garden-like setting with trees, flowers, a camel, several recoilless rifles, jets and helicopters it features a number of recognizable buildings. These include what is likely the Eid Gah Masjid in Kabul, the Herat Masjid, as well as the Monument to Afghan soldiers and Victory Arch located in Paghman Gardens. Paghman Gardens were built by Shah Amanullah Khan after his European tour of 1927-28, as a retreat from the heat and congestion of Kabul. Located in the foothills, the area became a Mujahidin stronghold during the war with the Soviets and again during the Civil War. Apart from the heavily damaged Victory Arch, little remains today. The carpet features a variety of inscriptions with references to historic figures including Wazir Akbar Khan a Pashtun hero from the first Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842).

10. Herat Citadel Herat Citadel War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century ; Afghanistan--Social life and customs This carpet depicts the Qal'ah or Citadel of Herat, a city in western Afghanistan. The Citadel sits on a mound in the northern part of the city and may be the site of a fort built by Alexander the Great in 330BC. Saved from destruction in the 1950’s, it was restored in the 70’s and today, operates as a museum. In front of the Citadel is a street scene dominated by a Frontier truck. The Frontier was used by Aid Agency workers, members of the Taliban, the Mujahidin, and later, US forces.

11. Herat Mosque with Column Herat Mosque with Column War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century ; Afghanistan--Social life and customs ; Mosques ; Herat (Afghanistan) The Great Mosque of Herat (Masjid-i Jami) is a large, congregational mosque in Herat, a city in western Afghanistan. It was built on the site of earlier mosques from about 1200 AD and has been added to and restored frequently since then. Boxy, perhaps Soviet-style vehicles line the road in front of the mosque, while jets fill the skies.

12. Jam Minaret Jam Minaret War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle east--History--20th century ; Afghanistan--Social life and customs The twelfth century minaret at Jam in Ghor Province in central Afghanistan is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Built in a steep valley at the junction of two rivers, it likely commemorates a military conquest. It stands sixty five meters high, is made of fired brick and is richly embellished with tiles. At the base of the minaret is a river and two poppy plants. The inscription, in Dari, is translated as ‘glass jam’

13. Made in Afghanistan Made in Afghanistan War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History 21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century; Military weapons ; Vehicles, Miliary ; Maps, Afghanistan This carpet was likely woven in a workshop in a refugee camp in Pakistan. Many war rugs from period have become ‘poster-like’ in size, in feel (very dense and hard) and with the use of strong hard-edged graphics on a white ground. This piece depicts a variety of arms and vehicles of Soviet manufacture arranged around and on a green map of Afghanistan. The diagonal band protruding from the top of the map is the ‘Friendship Bridge”, formerly used to transport supplies to Russian soldiers, but here depicting their exodus. The Dari language inscriptions refer to their departure.

14. Map of Afghanistan with Provinces Map of Afghanistan with Provinces War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History--21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; War rugs--Central, Asia--History--21st century ; Afghanistan--Social life and customs ; Maps, Afghanistan This woven map of Afghanistan shows the provincial boundaries. At the top (right hand side) of the rug is a symbol that may represent the Afghan Coat of Arms.

15. Najibullah Najibullah War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; Afghanistan--Politics and government, 1989-2001 ; Afghanistan--History--Soviet occupation, 1979-1989 ; Najibullah, Mohammad, 1947-1996 Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai was the last president of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, left in power by the Soviets after their withdrawal in 1989. He was detested by the Taliban for being anti-Islamic and a Communist. In 1996, after the Taliban seized Kabul, he was tortured and hung. His image here with the Soviet hand holding him in place is a graphic reminder of the lingering effects of the Cold War.

16. Najibullah Najibullah War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; Afghanistan--Politics and government, 1973-1989 ; Afghanistan--History--Soviet occupation, 1979-1989 ; Najibullah, Mohammad, 1947-1996 In 2006 Robert Fyke collaborated on an exhibition of war rugs at The Nickle Arts Museum called “Made in Afghanistan: Rugs and Resistance, 1979-2005”. We chose to examine the development of war rugs borrowing selected examples to complement our scheme. One of the rugs that Rob’s collection did not have was Najibullah—a rug we believed was commonly known and traded. In the fall of 2005, Rob wrote to his Peshawar rug dealer friend and drew a quick sketch of the rug he had in mind. Two years later, this bizarre, thumb-nail sketch of a rug arrived in Calgary.

17. Najibullah Najibullah War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; Afghanistan--Politics and government, 1973-1989 ; Afghanistan--History--Soviet occupation, 1979-1989 ; Najibullah, Mohammad, 1947-1996 In 2006 Robert Fyke collaborated on an exhibition of war rugs at The Nickle Arts Museum called “Made in Afghanistan: Rugs and Resistance, 1979-2005”. We chose to examine the development of war rugs borrowing selected examples to complement our scheme. One of the rugs that Rob’s collection did not have was Najibullah—a rug we believed was commonly known and traded. In the fall of 2005, Rob wrote to his Peshawar rug dealer friend and drew a quick sketch of the rug he had in mind. Two years later, this bizarre, thumb-nail sketch of a rug arrived in Calgary.

18. Najibullah Najibullah War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; Afghanistan--Politics and government, 1989-2001 ; Afghanistan--History--Soviet occupation, 1979-1989 ; Najibullah, Mohammad, 1947-1996 Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai was the last president of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, left in power by the Soviets after their withdrawal in 1989. He was detested by the Taliban for being anti-Islamic and a Communist. In 1996, after the Taliban seized Kabul, he was tortured and hung. His image here with the Soviet hand holding him place is a graphic reminder of the lingering effects of the Cold War.

19. Najibullah Najibullah War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; Afghanistan--Politics and government, 1989-2001 ; Afghanistan--History--Soviet occupation, 1979-1989 ; Najibullah, Mohammad, 1947-1996 Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai was the last president of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, left in power by the Soviets after their withdrawal in 1989. He was detested by the Taliban for being anti-Islamic and a Communist. In 1996, after the Taliban seized Kabul, he was tortured and hung. His image here with the Soviet hand holding him in place is a graphic reminder of the lingering effects of the Cold War.

20. Najibullah and Uncle Sam Najibullah and Uncle Sam War rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; Afghanistan--Politics and government, 1973-1989 ; Afghanistan--History--Soviet occupation, 1979-1989 ; Najibullah, Mohammad, 1947-1996 This rug is a variation of the Najibullah rugs. Beside the wide-eyed Najibullah, is Uncle Sam’s Hat with an AK-47 protruding from it. It speaks to the foreign occupation and control of Afghanistan. The map of Afghanistan behind the figures is typically green (for an Islamic state?)—here it is white. As in the other rugs of this type, the red area above Afghanistan is figured with Soviet vehicles, while the blue area below is filled with people and animals.
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