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Thread: Flat weave bags
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Old June 11th, 2017, 06:28 PM   #62
Rich Larkin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 162

Hi Egbert,

That is a very interesting paper. Though it is a draft (from 2004), a little side research on one of the authors, Adam Pain, makes clear he is a professional with a number of published works on the topic of rural development, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. He later held the chair as visiting professor of rural development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. I didn’t find anything else on the co-author, (Mohammed) Moharram Ali, though he is listed as a “consultant” in the paper along with several other persons (including Pain).

A noteworthy aspect of the paper is that it provides detailed information about certain very significant shifts in the rug weaving industry of Northern Afghanistan for the thirty or thirty-five year period of its focus prior to the writing of the paper. It also mentions that relatively little is known about the internal structure of the industry in Afghanistan prior to 1950 or 1960. This stimulates one of my major latent gripes about the literature in general on the ‘recent’ (i. e., the past 150 or so years) history of rug weaving throughout the Middle East. Very often, generalities are recited about what was going on over time with little detail, though common sense tells us that literally hundreds of benchmark events (births, deaths, battles, the place of individual persons in positions that provided some measure of control over rug production policy, etc.) had to have occurred that led to what we see now as the surviving remnants of the production. I have always though that much of the generalization represented either guesswork or genteel plagiarism. This Adam Pain/Moharram Ali paper makes it clear that in the very recent past, the Afghan industry has experienced a number of abrupt shifts for one reason or another. For one thing, it piques my curiosity even more than before about what was really happening in Afghanistan for the hundred or so years before the period focused on in the paper you have brought to our attention.

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