Zari’s first impressions of the city left her imagination vastly disappointed. Her face was pressed hard against the window of the careening van and the fires and rubble passed by like blurs in the early dawn hour. Gangs of men wielding clubs and machine guns turned their suspicious eyes toward the sound of the honking transport. She still didn’t understand why she’d been summoned except that it had something to do with her expertise.
The driver eyed her disdainfully through the rear view mirror. He spoke to the man sitting next to him as if she wasn’t there.
“Are you sure she is the right one? Her name is Saborjhian, nothing but a lowly thread painter.”
“Her family has been making rugs for 2,000 years,” was the response, “they may have started out lowly but they’ve since come out of the desert. There is no mistake...”
The van made an abrupt turn down an alley. It screeched to a halt and the door flew open. She was grabbed by the arm and hustled into a dimly-lit warehouse. Inside were at least a dozen frightened women and several men, guns on their hips, and scattered across the floor were bags spilling over with long thin strips of paper.
“Zari,” the man still gripping her arm said, “you are to handle and recreate these bits as if they were priceless Persian rugs.”
He led her to a loom where a project had been started. Within a few minutes she’d already connected several strips: “SEP 19” formed before her eyes.
All the shredded documents recovered from the gutted Embassy were soon rewoven by the superbly skilled professionals, revealing to the new theocracy the tale of chaotic activity by American diplomats before they were taken hostage during the initial stages of the Iranian Revolution.