Elizabeth Stuart, Hope College 2018
I believe that one of my generations first encounters with a rug from a Middle Eastern country would have been the flying carpet in Aladdin. While that quirky and fun loving rug is essential to the entire plot line of Aladdin (I mean how could he have gotten the lamp or saved Jasmine with out it?) to most people however that rug is simply a magic rug. However that is not all that the rug is. Disney has taken an object that would have been as source of prayer and meditation, and transformed it into a sassy sidekick.
It is not just Disney that is guilty of appropriating prayer rugs as normal rugs. For a while having “Persian Rugs” was a very in thing. (I know that we had one in our front entry way growing up, and to my family it was just a decorative rug.) I believe that this is the curse of hindsight being 20/20. Society for years has taken objects, items, rituals and foods and incorporated them into daily life, and it is now that attention has been called to them that people realize that these objects had a meaning of their own before they entered into our every day lives.