About the Author: Richard Snelsire serves as Spokesman at U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
A U.S. delegation inaugurated a handmade carpet exhibition hosted by the USAID/Pakistan Jobs project and Carpet Training Institute October 5 in Lahore. The exhibition was followed by a certificate distribution ceremony to 24 successful master trainees who completed three-month training in carpet weaving using the Turkish knot.
"The U.S. is happy to honor the culture and tradition of Pakistan by supporting the carpet industry," U.S. Consul General Carmela Conroy said at the exhibition. "Together we can forge a better future for all Pakistanis."
The USAID-funded project taught 24 master trainees Turkish knot-weaving skills and these trainees are now training unemployed men and women from Southern Punjab. Once the training is completed, trainees will earn at least 50% more in wages, which will in turn benefit their communities and Pakistan as a whole. The Carpet Exhibition features over 70 contemporary and antique carpet designs produced by trainees over the last three months.
"For generations, the carpet manufacturing industry has produced high-quality, hand-woven carpets that are renowned across the world for their intricate design and beauty," said Mrs. Yasmeen Rehman, Advisor to the Ministry of Women Development. "The training provided by USAID lends key support toward the introduction of carpet weaving techniques in high demand in the international market."
The master trainers will train over 400 people in rural areas of Punjab over the next several months, and hundreds more in the coming years.