Crossing Borders

Crafting Margins from the End of the World

Posted by: Alicia Engel, EMGM '16 on Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The specifics may vary, but I have no reason to doubt the general backstory of the stunner I'm holding: a weaver from deep within the Middle Atlas Mountains poured her hopes and dreams into this Moroccan rug design. Ismail Tazi, '11, now founder and CEO of Oum Rugs, comes from a family with generations of roots in Fes, the oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities. His passion for his country and his work is utterly genuine. His Thunderbird certificate and collaboration with Bob Girvin, '13 and TIAA Premier member, and Abby DeLaney, '12 further validate his credentials. The elephant in the room, of course is that I personally have no way of proving the rug’s authenticity. My knowledge of Moroccan rugmaking will never equal Tazi’s.  Whether perusing a souk in Marrakesh or visiting a rug store in an upscale western mall, how can I know a given carpet is the real thing? And why should I care? Read the full story.

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