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Traditional Carpets

Traditional carpet weaving in central Iraq unravels

AL-HAMZA: In the shadow of the Imam Hamza mosque in the region of the ancient kingdom of Babylon, a carpet market that was once bustling is now almost empty. The only visitor to Hamad al-Soltani´s small shop in the city of Al-Hamza in central Iraq, some 175 kilometres (110 miles) south of Baghdad, is a local tribal chief. Nothing in the world can convince Sheikh Hazem al-Hiyali – a Bedouin scarf on his head, hooded cloak over his shoulders and shawl on his neck – to replace the traditional carpets he receives his…