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Soldier On a Mission to Deliver Gift to President Bush

Updated with photo

The Anchoress links to a news story about Grayson Gile who, while serving in Afghanistan, befriended an elderly Hazara man who made a rug for President Bush as a thank you for his efforts bringing Democracy to Afghanistan.


While in the country, Gile got to know many of the natives. "We got to have quite a bit of interaction with the people of the host nation, probably more contact than most soldiers. It took time to establish a rapport with them, but once we established trust, we had friendships," he said.

One of those friendships involved a Kabul rug merchant who pulled Gile aside before he left the country. The merchant told Gile the story of an elderly man, so overwhelmed with gratitude to the United States for its intervention in the conflict that he made a gift for President Bush - a gift that was a year in the making and made, given the conditions of the country, under penalty of death.

Gile was astonished when he saw the hand-knotted rug, a portrait of Bush, filled with Christian and Catholic symbolism. Filling the center of the rug is an incredible likeness of Bush, dressed in religious vestments, standing at a podium decorated with the official seal of the country and flanked by two waving American flags.

Directly above Bush is Jesus with a sacred heart and stigmata carefully knotted into the rug's pattern. The rug also shows cherubs and, apparently in an homage to both Bush and a fallen Northern Alliance leader, two lions.

"(Ahmed Shah) Masood was often called 'the Lion of Panjshir.' As one of the country's military leaders, he put some very, very heavy licks to the Soviets and then turned around and delivered the same to the Taliban," Gile said. "He was assassinated two days before 9/11."

One corner of the rug reads, "President George W. Bush," while the opposing corner has the words, "Number one champion."

Gile said he was impressed by the man's efforts.

"For this man to sequester himself away for a year to hand knot this rug speaks highly of his gratitude," he said. "And for an extraordinarily devout Muslim to have taken very strong Christian and Catholic symbology and incorporate them into the rug is amazing. He may come from a different religious culture, but he was respectful enough to do that, and that is very interesting and humbling."

Mr. Gile has not yet been able to deliver his rug to President Bush, but he's hoping local Republicans can help him fulfill his promise.

Comments (13)

That's a pretty kick-arse r... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

That's a pretty kick-arse rug there...

But I do have this sort of "Velvet Elvis" vibe about it.

As in so many gifts from th... (Below threshold)

As in so many gifts from the heart, it's the thought that counts. And the thought here... man. A lot of work and thought and love went into that.

It deserves a place in the Smithsonian.

Give that man his rug...and... (Below threshold)

Give that man his rug...and the rest he's due.

I'd love to see a picture o... (Below threshold)

I'd love to see a picture of that rug. I'm sure it's a work of art.

Oh, the link decided to wor... (Below threshold)

Oh, the link decided to work now. There's the rug! Second link doesn't work at all.

jllawson, if it did make it... (Below threshold)

jllawson, if it did make it to the Smithsonian, it WOULD end up in a warehouse somewhere.

It belongs in the White House, then to go to the Bush Library to be displayed in perpetuity.

Agreed. (Don't know what I... (Below threshold)

Agreed. (Don't know what I was thinking - all of a sudden the last scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" comes to mind....)

Hmmmm.But... (Below threshold)


But I do have this sort of "Velvet Elvis" vibe about it.

Yeah it kinda does. But then again it's not exactly easy to make a rug in the first place and secondly the guy definitely gets props for the amount of work involved.

Plus ...

This has given me the idea of making Velvet Bush wall hangings. Just like Elvis, but with Bush instead.

It's cheesy. It's wierd. And it'll annoy liberals.

I'll have to see if there's someone in Vietnam that can make the damn things.

That is SO cool.... (Below threshold)

That is SO cool.

Hazara, not Haraza.<p... (Below threshold)

Hazara, not Haraza.

The Hazaras reckon themselves to be descended from Genghis Khan and have features that reflect a far eastern heritage.

They were probably the most persecuted ethnic group under the Taliban.



Wow, make a postage stamp o... (Below threshold)

Wow, make a postage stamp out of it!

Ed these rugs do photo very... (Below threshold)

Ed these rugs do photo very well. See it in the real and its a whole world of wonder.

Some of the recognition of America from people around the worldis amazing. The cattle from Africa, this rug. Just Amazing...

Did someone say black velve... (Below threshold)

Did someone say black velvet paintings of George W. BUSH?

Then in the most unspamly way possible, please allow me to direct your attention to this painting gallery: http://velvetpaintings.com/Velvet/GeorgeBush-On-BlackVelvet/GeorgeBush-On-BlackVelvet.shtml

Or even just go to the main page of this site--ok
site--as it features that very idea in as much fuzzy gloriousness as possible: http://www.velvetpaintings.com






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