I’d like to thank everyone who came to Fine Rugs of Charleston’s event on April 24 to benefit the women rug weavers of Afghanistan. Designers, colleagues and community activists packed the showroom to hear from some of the most prominent voices dedicated to improving the living and working conditions for the Afghan people.


From Left: Dr. Penny Travis, Qais Akbar Omar, Rob Leahy, Roz Rustigian and Connie Duckworth.


We’d like to thank Fork Fine Gourmet Catering for providing hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.

Dawn Drake came from Brooklyn, NY to entertain the guests.

Featured speakers included Connie Duckworth, the Founder of Arzu Studio Hope. Arzu is an innovative non-profit organization that helps Afghan women weavers break the cycle of poverty by providing steady income and access to education and healthcare. Arzu sources and sells the rugs they weave to customers, mainly in the US.

Connie 2

Connie showcases the rugs designed by master architects for Arzu.

Connie spoke about a new collection of carpets designed by legendary architects, created especially to benefit Arzu’s mission. Cameron Wilson, an architect with LS3P, one of the biggest architecture firms in the Southeast said, “These Masters Collection rugs are stunning and could be great statement rugs either on the floor or on the walls of many of our grander projects. They are a statement of style and also a statement in the belief that we can make a difference in the lives of people in Afghanistan.”

Guests also heard from Roz Rustigian, who talked about the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women, and Qais Akbar Omar, author of “A Fort Of Nine Towers“, a poetic, funny and terrifying memoir describing life in Kabul between the Soviet Army’s exit and the Taliban’s retreat, and his family’s attempts to flee Afghanistan.

Roz and Qais

Qais Akbar Omar, author of “A Fort Of Nine Towers”, and Roz Rustigian

We’d like to thank Charleston’s newspaper, The Post and Courier, for previewing the event in this article.

Again, Fine Rugs of Charleston extends our gratitude to our featured speakers, and everyone who came to hear their message. If you’d like more information, email us or call our showroom at 843.577.3386.

Sally Bennett and Rob Leahy

Sally Bennett of Mirth Studios and Rob Leahy

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