Born into the fourth generation of a family of carpet dealers and enthusiasts, Hadi was raised among rare objects of beauty that impressed themselves upon his young imagination.  After earning his MA in Mathematics at Oxford, he went on to complete a PhD there with Professors James Allan and Jon Thompson.  He specialised in Islamic Art with a focus on Antique Persian Carpets.  He has been teaching art history at the American University of Beirut since 2008 and is the author of numerous published works on Oriental carpet art.  
Hadi has participated in a number of international conferences such as at ICOC, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Textile Museum. He has also extensively investigated the carpet collections of the Louvre and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs (Paris), the Museum of Islamic Arts (Berlin), the Hermitage (St. Petersburg), the Gulbenkian (Lisbon) and the V&A (London).  In addition, he assisted the Emam Reza Shrine (Astan-e Qods-e Razavi) for three years in an advisory capacity for the inauguration of the new Carpet Museum in Mashhad and was responsible for identifying and locating a long-lost carpet woven by the legendary 19th century Master Weaver Molla Mohammad Hasan Mohtasham.

Hadi continues to conduct research in the muddy waters of carpet history, this being a craft that received very little notice by historians and whose  archival records are scanty.  To date he has shed light on the continuity of Persian weaving in the period between the Safavid (1501-1722) and Qajar (1785-1925) epochs.  In particular he has brought forward the great role played by the designers and weavers of Kerman and Khorasan in maintaining and propagating carpet heritage during the 18th century.  His current focus is on royal Qajar carpets and the mysterious history of royal Tehran workshops and the Amoghly weaving dynasty, hopefully to be published soon.


Selected works :


  • "Under the Peacock Throne; Carpets, Felts and Silks in Persian Painting, 1736-1834", in Muqarnas, Volume XXVI, BRILL, 2009.
  • “Beattie’s Benefits”, in HALI 151 (Spring 2007), pp. 54-56.
  • "After the Safavids: Khorasan Carpets of the 18th and 19th Centuries”, in Oriental Carpets & Textile Studies (OCTS), vol. VII.
  • “Lost & Found: the missing history of Persian Carpets”, in HALI 153 (Autumn 2007), pp. 68-79.
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