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Montsalvat is currently showing rugs and embroideries from the Middle East, courtesy of writer and carpet seller Najaf Mazari. Najaf is well known in High Street Prahran where he sells and restores magnificent rugs from Afghanistan. This exhibition is part of Montsalvat’s Afghan festival- A Month in Afghanistan– being held over the month of March.  The walls and surfaces in the Barn are adorned with the results of countless hours of weaving and embroidery. I’ve chosen details of the rugs and embroideries to show you the beauty and variety of what’s on offer.

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Najaf Mazari and Robert Hillman, are bestselling authors of The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif and The Honey Thief. Signed copies of both books are available for purchase during the festival. The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif is a beautifully written memoir detailing Najaf’s life in Afghanistan before the civil war ripped the country apart.  In addition, his refugee experience has been poignantly and vividly described. As I read The Rugmaker over the last week I was touched by Najaf’s indomitable spirit and capacity for forgiveness. In recognition of the quality of its writing and the issues it raises, The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif has been selected for the 2012 VCE English booklist.  

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On the final night of the festival (Saturday 31st March), Montsalvat will host a grand fundraising extravaganza featuring Afghan music, dancing, food, wine and ‘magic’ carpets.  Special guests on the night will be Julian Burnside AO QC, David Manne, Sally Warhaft and Arnold Zable. 

All money raised will go to the Masawat Development Fund where it will be used to provide medical and educational facilities in the community of Mazar-e-Sharif. Details for the extravaganza are as follows:

Saturday 31 March at 6.30pm in the Barn Gallery

Entrance fee, which includes buffet dinner: $35, $12 Students, children under 12 freeBookings essential –  9439 7712

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Najaf Mazari’s retail outlet, Afghan Traditional Rugs is at  461 High Street, Prahran, Melbourne, VIC. Australia.

Tel: (03) 9529 2068 (Int’l. +61 3 9529 2068)Fax: (03) 9529 4468Mobile: 0421 425 037