Letter from Aziz Atiyeh in 1929
Atiyeh Bros., Inc.
134 Tenth Street
I am still here in Kerman, but expect to leave within
the next few days, going up north to Yezd, Esfahan, Tehran, Sultanabad,
Hamadan, and from there will start my journey back to Syria and America,
hoping to get there by the end of October.
My first task was to inspect the looms and see the
course of weaving to ascertain what colors and designs are used, and how
soon some will be finished. I had to walk from one house to another over
very dusty alleys in the very hot sun; and to inspect over 300 looms scattered
in this town and in the neighboring villages was not so easy. We still
have over one hundred looms in the town of Ravar about 120 miles from
here, and it will require about fourteen hours driving over very rough
roads, but I have decided not to make this trip any more. Then I was constantly
busy with the designers, the dyers and the contractors, and none of them
seems willing to take any advice or suggestions for they think their methods
are the only correct ones. Those who agreed with me on some points and
promise to follow them, in second inspection were found still following
the old methods and stated mine were not so good. Finally, I gave up in
despair for it is impossible to change their minds.
Two shipments of Kerman carpets were forwarded after
my arrival to Kerman, and a third will follow in ten days. Lately, trucks
are used to transport shipments to seaports, and our last shipments of
Kerman carpets were carried by truck to Dozbad, then by rail to Quetta,
and Karachi, India. Previous to that, we were sending goods by camels
to Dozbad, and it required thirty-five days, but by trucks the first shipments
arrive in twelve days. Another route was by caravan to Bandar Abbas, which
required forty-five days and here-to-fore, most of our shipments went
that way. Now trucks can go through to Bandar Abbas as far as the roads
are concerned, but due to trouble between Kashgar tribes and the government,
the roads are blocked for the time being, and that is prevented the shipments
from going through by caravan.
At Tehran, I might be able to buy some semi-antique
rugs but at Sultanabad, I expect to buy Sarouks and Lilahans, and at Hamadan
Moussouls and Hamadan goods. My original plan was to limit our importations
to New York of only Kermans which we are manufacturing in this town and
the neighboring towns, but I found it a very risky proposition to tie
up so much capital here with no security whatever, from the contractors
Shaking hands on the deal.
Just now, while I am writing this letter,
a man came into the office in an excited manner, and from his action I
soon noticed that something was wrong. Then the resident manager told
me that our yarn which we sent for yesterday morning on donkeys to Jupar,
was robbed on the way. We reported the incident to the authorities, but
doubt we can recover it. I made the distance to Jupar in one hour by auto,
but it requires six or seven donkeys, and that is how all things are transported
in this country. There are no auto trucks, at least very few, and their
charges are excessive. Also there are no regular roads,--only a few paths
zigzagging through the desert. Such is the way I came from Sultanabad
For five weeks, or in fact, since I arrived at Persia,
my conversation and talk was limited to only one person -- our manager
-- except once, or in fact with the British Consul, with whom I have exchanged
calls. Yesterday I met, by chance, a gentleman who speaks Arabic and was
kind to ask me to his house, and there I met another who speaks English
and happened to receive his education at the American University at Beyrouth,
where I studied. The first is a district attorney and the second a Judge.
Both are to call on me this afternoon, and we will have a game of bridge.
What a treat!
With kindest regards to all,
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