Iranian handicraft exhibition opens in Erbil's downtown market
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – About 80 craftsmen and women from Iran and Iranian Kurdistan have opened an exhibition for handicrafts and textiles in Erbil's downtown, close to the ancient Erbil citadel.
The exhibition is expected to continue for two weeks and aims to introduce the works to locals and visitors alike.
The place is popular with tourists from the rest of Iraq, neighbouring countries, and elsewhere in the world.
Handicrafts and textiles are also part of the Kurdistan Region's culture. There is a permanent Textile Museum in the citadel.
Kurdistan’s many nomadic tribes are famous for producing rugs, which are made with thousands of small knots, and kilims, which are woven on a loom. This tradition, along with the production of numerous other handicrafts, ceased altogether in the late 1980s when former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched the genocidal Anfal campaign that destroyed 4,500 Kurdish villages.
In 2008, Spain hired some of the last surviving masters of the craft to teach a new generation of weavers. Over 40 women were trained in the following years.