Historic Letters and Photos

Right: Aziz Atiyeh on Arabian horse. The Atiyeh's raised Arabian horses in Amar El Hosn, Syria before emigrating to The United States in the late 1800s.

Above:Gold Medal Award received by Atiyeh Bros. from the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition.

Letter from Aziz Atiyeh in 1929

Atiyeh Bros., Inc.
134 Tenth Street
Portland, Oregon


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 and weavers.

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 here.

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,
Aziz Atiyeh

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