Parviz Mohammadi

People and souls come together in Sarajevo

Parviz Mohammadi is an archaeologist, art historian, poet and musician from Iran who came to BiH in 1984. He studied in Banja Luka and Sarajevo and ran a small carpet gallery, Puti Svile, in Sarajevo before the last war broke out and he left BiH.


He had a strong yearning for Sarajevo and returned with his family in 2000 with a wish that people could gather in a place full of Persian art, so he opened Isfahan, a Persian carpet and handicrafts gallery, in Morića Han in the heart of Baščaršija.

Always happy people

- I have always known people in BiH as those who like to have neighborly gatherings, drink coffee and sing. At first I thought, “What kind of people are these to always be so happy?” And then, after studying history, I came to realize that the influences exerted over the centuries have made you a good and special people.

Born in Qorveh Dargezin in western Iran, where most of the women weave carpets, Parviz came to see a Persian carpet as a form of spiritual wealth that brings warmth and positive energy to every home.

- The philosophy of Isfahan Gallery makes it a different kind of shop. This is a sort of museum, unique in Europe, with rare treasures from around the world, carpets that took years to make. Some are not even for sale but are just here to testify to the rich tradition and beauty of Persian art.

He often hosts “Persian evenings” at the gallery, with instruments and poetry readings, all with the aim of learning from one another and seeing carpets from around the world with identical motifs which show that we have a common source.

- Sarajevo is a carpet where all religions leave traces of true love and the soul, and here I found a piece of myself that I had lost, he relates.

He says that he loves to start from Baščaršija and walk up through the mahalas, where the architecture and simple people make him feel like he has gone back hundreds of years into the past.

- Those who live in the mahalas, mainly older people, are especially warm.

As for Bosnian food, he is keen to mention potato and cheese pies baked under a sač.

- I love Pod Lipom and their vegetarian dishes, the Turkish restaurants in Baščaršija have good soups and, when I prefer meat, I go to the Iranian restaurant, Persepolis, for Iranian kebab and rice. As for cakes, Torte i to and Palma have the best.

He does not like the fact that in Sarajevo people smoke in enclosed places and he would rather stroll to Vrelo Bosne or hike up on Bjelašnica with friends than go to a cafe.

Lovely customs of Sarajevans

- I am glad to show dear ones the city from Žuta Tabija and help them become familiar with healthy relationships, mixed marriages and Sarajevans’ lovely customs.

He often attends the theater and festivals and wishes there were more cultural events so that visitors could better know the spirit of the city and its young artists.

- In Sarajevo, art brings souls and people together because it transcends religions, nations, languages….

Parviz thinks that Bosnian carpets, copper pitchers and coffee pots from Baščaršija make the perfect Sarajevo souvenirs, and he ends our chat with a message:

- Over the centuries, contact with different philosophies, cultures and religions has made people here wise and shows the world that we can all live together, help each other, forgive and nurture love and friendship.