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Across China: In Xinjiang, carpets and roses pave path out of poverty
2017-11-01 source:Xinhua
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Residents of southern Xinjiang's Hotan Prefecture have been weaving carpets for at least 2,000 years, but the ancient craft has created a new opportunity for villagers, especially women, to bring themselves out of poverty.

Sahipjamal Tursunniyaz, 30, learned traditional Hotan carpet weaving from her mother when she was 18. But it was not until two months ago that she began to make silk carpets, a finer handicraft than the traditional rugs.

"I can earn 4,000 yuan (600 U.S. dollars) for each square meter of handmade silk rug," said Tursunniyaz. Although it takes a month and a half to complete a square meter of silk carpet, it helps Tursunniyaz increase her income.

Tursunniyaz works at a local carpet factory in Hotan. Many other women in this district have improved their living standards through rug weaving.

Abliz Metyusup, manager of Xinjiang Nakixwan Hand Carpet Development Co., Ltd., said the gross output of his company in 2016 reached more than 28 million yuan, providing employment for more than 600 women. Ten percent of its products are exported to Australia, Britain, the United States and Germany.

The company also built three kindergartens for the employees to provide free education for their children.

So far, the prefecture has 157 carpet factories, which have provided 120,000 jobs for locals. Women account for 95 percent of the employees.

Local governments have also provided more than 10,000 carpet stands for impoverished households to encourage them to produce carpets.

Villagers in Yaprak, a small village in Hotan, are exploring ways to eliminate poverty with the local government's assistance.