In August 2010, severe flooding ravaged Pakistan, covering one-fifth of the country's landmass, killing more than 1,600 people and displacing 20 million Pakistanis, or 12 percent of the population. But after an initial surge of international news coverage, the issue has slowly floated out of most Westerners' minds. Boise's Dunia Marketplace hopes to change that. It has partnered with Bunyaad, a fair-trade artisan group from Pakistan, for its annual Oriental Rug Event. According to Dunia Marketplace's website:
"Bunyaad, meaning 'foundation' in Urdu, provides such a foundation for rug artisans by paying them a living wage to knot heirloom-quality rugs on looms set within their homes. This gives men and women equal opportunity for year-round stable employment that allows them to support their families, send their children to school and plan for the future."
The event runs from Thursday, May 12, through Sunday, May 15, and will feature approximately 300 handmade Pakistani rugs. For those looking for more information on Oriental rugs before making the investment, Dunia Marketplace will also host an educational seminar on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m.
"Every rug sold at this event will directly impact the lives of rug artisans by providing jobs with dignity rather than charity to rebuild their lives."