My grandparents raised animals close to Erbil and had good relations with many of the nomadic tribes that would pass through the plains in winter," he told Al Jazeera.But it would not be until attending university in Europe that his passion became more academic.Many people regret it and come looking to buy old carpets, but most of my customers are either foreigners or Kurds that come back from Europe. The carpets and kilims, known locally as , are distinctive in their use of vivid colours, from burnt oranges and fuchsias to deep reds and browns.The dyes used were all organic, often made from indigenous plant roots or flowers by the nomadic Kurds who would trade them with villagers on their migration paths from the plains to the mountains."After taking an anthropology class, I wrote a paper on Kurdish nomads.During the research process I found a few books on Kurdish carpets and that was it; I was hooked," he said.
"It was not an easy learning process, but I am glad that we mastered all the knots and patterns to produce the carpets and kilims," she told Al Jazeera. A walk along the city walls, which are currently under restoration, brings people to one of the region’s gems: the Kurdish Textile Museum.It is here that the lost art of weaving and handicrafts is being re-taught.The culmination was the 1988 Anfal campaign, which Kurds consider a "genocide", during which the Ba’ath regime waged a systematic assault on more than 4,000 villages in Iraqi Kurdistan.Many people come and ask if I know anyone that can still make these beautiful carpets, but sadly I have to say no. - Aram Ismail, carpet trader in the Sulaymaniyah bazaar Up to 182,000 people lost their lives, and many nomadic tribes were exiled to settlements in the south of Iraq, losing their centuries-old way of life.