A life-changing project


In 2013 Maartje Nevejan, Rogério Lira and Alwine van Heemstra organised a ‘lab’-style workshop in Iran, invited by Omid-e-Mehr foundation. Amid Foundation cares for abused and neglected young women. Each group of girls stays under the care of the foundation for three years. During this time they can come to terms with their past, learn new skills and focus on their future.

Eleven of these girls were in their last year in the shelter before they would enter the traditional Iranian society again.
Then, on an ugly day, their friend, rapper Nazila, a former girl who had already left the shelter, died under suspicious circumstances.

The director of the center invited Maartje Nevejan who had filmed Nazila before for a project, to come and help the 11 girls regain their strength. “Let’s create a carpet together”, Maartje suggested, “a carpet that will contain their stories”. She proposed a ‘lab’– a week long workshop – at a house on the Caspian seaside, surrounded by a secret garden. A cathartic week of art, dance, poetry and storytelling.

Maartje took along graphic designer Rogério Lira, to design the carpet on the basis of what would happen in the lab. Filmer Alwine van Heemstra joined as well to record it all on video. They were accompanied by the foundation director, psychologists, art teachers, poets, carpet weavers, musicians and artists, and a fantastic cook.

The Magic Carpet lab was a life-changing event for everybody involved. The power of these twelve young women was captured in the Magic Carpet that now flies all over the world.

Physical Carpet

IMG_1016A numbered, physical carpet can be ordered.
All carpet orders help provide better futures for abused, neglected and disadvantaged girlsin Iran. To learn more please visit:


Magic Cards

IMG_8763A set of 18 discussion cards based on the stories of the twelve young women is available for purchase. You can choose between English and Dutch editions.

The cards feature each of the symbols of strength and vulnerability created for the Magic Carpet. We created the discussion cards for use by all those working with abused and neglected young people, especially girls.

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