Amadi Carpets at Chateau Sonoma

Amadi Carpets, founded by the Ahmadi brothers, are not only exquisite art pieces, they also empower women in Afghanistan through education and employment. Visit Chateau Sonoma to see the beautiful carpets, and read below to learn about the Amadi Carpet Story.

Amadi Carpets at Chateau Sonoma

At Chateau Sonoma we love to share artists’ stories – especially when those stories involve helping others. When I stumbled onto Amadi Carpets on a buying trip, I knew I would find a way to carry their products in the shop to share with our customers. Not only are Amadi Carpets some of the most beautiful rugs I have ever seen, but the company is at the forefront of women empowerment & education in Afghanistan, a cause I support wholeheartedly.

These carpets have a story that is deeper than the stitching. It begins with a dream from the Ahmadi brothers, refugees of The Soviet War, who fled their homeland for safety, hope and peace. Their dream was to give the women of Afghanistan an opportunity to learn, to strive, and to rise up. 

Amadi Carpets at Chateau Sonoma

In 2003 the Ahmadi brothers ventured home and opened their first weaving workshop in Kabul. Initially, they hired 20 women from the region – which was no easy feat. It took begging and pleading of husbands, fathers, and brothers to allow the women the opportunity to work and learn. However, after three years of commitment to their cause, Amadi carpets now employs 120 women.

“The women, aged 18 to 70, have been taught weaving skills as well as provided education classes. A bus safely transports them from around the Kabul area to the weaving center. Beyond earning an income and education, the women are helping to impact an entire generation. Because the women now provide for their household, their children who would have normally worked (as is the reality for many Third World countries) are given the opportunity to go to school. 

The Ahmadi brothers were kind enough to bring a shipment of beautiful rugs to live in Chateau Sonoma for a while. They range in sizes, colors, and textures and each time one of them catches my eye, I smile knowing the passion and love that went into the making of it. These are not just carpets, but the works of empowered women and art.  

“You help empower one woman and you have empowered a whole family. You empower more than one woman and you have empowered a whole community,” Zubair Ahmadi

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Chateau Sonoma's Letters From France | Day Two

Day two of sharing my journal from Chateau Sonoma's culinary group trip to France! 

Day Two:

Auty, France

Rise and Shine! Not a difficult thing when there is the smell of fresh baked croissants wafting in the air. Waking up to French roast coffee and a freshly prepared petit dejeuner is one of the many luxuries of the trip.

We gather downstairs and sit down to break bread and go over the schedule for the day. Today we are off to St. Antonin Noble Val to explore the farmers market, various antique shops and learn some of the historical importance of the village. 

St. Antonin Noble Val is where the movie, The 100 Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren, was filmed. The town is rich in history and has an incredible farmers market, it is, in my opinion, the most beautiful city in France.

It is a 45 minute scenic drive from Chateau Dumas.  Charlotte Clement, who is from Manchester, but said to be more French than the French, is waiting for us on the bus and begins to explain some of the history of the area. She is a walking encyclopedia and speaks of the Cathars of the 13th Century as if it were yesterday. I enjoy every second that I get to spend with Charlotte and I particularly look forward to our very special dinner at her 14th C restored farmhouse.

We arrive at the village and it is bustling with locals and visitors from outlying villages who are in town for the day to buy their weekly supply of food from the farmers market. 

There are vendors for every kind of food you can imagine, and they are all farmers from the surrounding area.  The payson or “peasants” as they are referred to, come with their live ducklings, rabbits and chickens - taking farm-to-table to a whole other level. 

After wandering through the main thoroughfare of town where the farmers market takes place, we explore the rest of the village and peruse brocantes, antique stores and local artisan specialty shops. We make a stop for the required afternoon coffee break, and taking in the sights and sounds of the town square, we make our way back to Chateau Dumas. 

Once we are back home, some of the guests wander the beautiful grounds of the Chateau while others take a much-needed nap in their beautifully appointed rooms. It is the perfect ending to an incredible day! 

Chateau Dumas a French culinary group trip from Sonoma!
Charlotte Chateau Dumas a French culinary group trip from Sonoma!
Chateau Dumas a French culinary group trip from Sonoma! Aunty, Toulouse, and Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val
Chateau Dumas a French culinary group trip from Sonoma! Aunty, Toulouse, and Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val