Abd al Karim ibn Omar Ali ibn Faisal Baghdadi opens his safe and pulls out a jewel-encrusted gold box. Inside the box is a red woolen thread.
“You know what this is?” he asks, keeping one eye on the door and the other on my hands. “This is a thread from my ancestor’s flying carpet”
As if to prove it he suddenly threw the thread in the air and we watched it float to the ground.
“After 1,200 years it still flies,” he told me solemnly.
Anybody who has seen Aladdin knows that flying-carpet technology (FCT) has been available in the Middle East for hundreds of years. The inventor identified with FCT is Sufi mystic Omar Ali ibn Faisal Baghdadi, who in 752, after years of experimentation, finally elevated his prayer carpet to a height of three feet unassisted, the technical minimum height for official carpet flight.
Baghdadi revolutionized travel in the early days of the Abbasid Caliphate, cutting journey times across the caliphate by over 50%. The church looked at this new technology with deep suspicion and in 752 at the Council of Vespers, Pope Stephen II banned FCT across Christendom and sentenced Baghdadi in absentia to a long a brutal execution.
Needless to say, magic-carpet sales did not do well in Europe and over the next five years approximately 2,200 magic-carpet (and normal-carpet) salesman were burned at the stake for immoral earnings, heresy, ungodly acts and devil worship.
In 2013, construction workers repairing a section of road near the Nasib border crossing between Syria and Jordan uncovered a hitherto unknown ancient village, later identified as ancient Almaeiz Alkhasiatayn, the location of Omar Ali ibn Faisal Baghdadi’s workshop.
The Institute for Surveys and Identification of Souvenirs, ISIS, is focused on monetizing potential tourist attractions, especially ancient sites. They were at once despatched to survey the Almaeiz Alkhasiatayn’s potential, especially in light of its very famous resident.
We were among the first to enter the newly-opened visitors’ center and mosque. There is a very interesting tapestry depicting the life of Baghdadi, however no faces can be readily identified because of religious law. Any reference to flying carpets, which mysteriously disappeared from around 1100 AD, have also been obliterated from the tapestry.
When we asked about the flying carpets we were told by an armed guard that it is wise not to mention it, enjoy the day and cross into Jordan where we can ask as many questions as we like.
Many people have tried to recreate Baghdadi’s technology. Some say he was a conjuror and illusionist, others that he was in league with evil spirits and on the same web page is a theory about ancient astronaut technology.
Project Magic Carpet, a joint project between NASA and Baghdadi Carpets say they are close to releasing a demo model, as are Google and Apple.
The village has been fully restored and has the feel of a living working village from the 8th Century. The government, as a humanitarian gesture, invited 100 refugee families to settle in the restored ruins and allowed them to live as their ancestors did over a thousand years ago.
School buses pulled up and the children were fascinated by the amazing recreation. The migrant residents are encouraged by the government to survive on their wits, hunting for food, bartering, and trying to grow their own crops. There is no running water, but a well has been located three miles from the site. The migrants have made the squalor and desperation seem very realistic. Bring a good camera.