Imtiyaz from India
"I was born and brought up in Kashmir. Kashmir was never like this before. It was one of the most beautiful states. But for me, despite its current chaotic situation, I still love my hometown dearly.
"I was not able to complete my studies there. I was in 8th standard when my school was burned down and my father sent me to Delhi for further study where I completed my Bachelor of Commerce.
"My father has been in the field of Kashmiri shawls since he graduated. But I think my association with this art goes back to very long ago when I was a child. My grandmother use to weave shawls and even sold them. Since we were a large family, I remember spending most of my time with my grandmother. She loved me so much. Now she has expired.
"My uncle is in the field of carpets and I know quite a bit about the art of weaving as well. However, I was fascinated by the beauty and elegance of Kashmiri shawls. In Delhi, I learned how popular Kashmiri weavings are. And I thought I should also go into this field, since my father was in it."