Nine hundred women have obtained licenses for producing handicrafts in the field of local hand-woven works there.
Hamidreza Hassani, head of Shahroud Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Department, described Kalateh Khij as the city of ‘traditional hand-woven works’.
He said that feminine efforts have given Kalateh Khij an exclusive privilege in the country.
Khadijeh Ghoncheh, one of the women involved in producing handicrafts in the city, told Persian Daily Iran that efforts are underway to produce fabric for making clothes. She and other women mostly weave towels and small napkins. They, however, believe the market has been saturated by these two products, stressing that they should instead produce fabric for clothes.
Khadijeh along with her brother Abdollah have revived the ecotourism house of Cheshmeh Morad. Other women are helping them. The women are introducing local cookies to tourists.
Short walls with open wooden doors
Ecotourism has provided a new image of Semnan Province.
Before tourists arrived at ecotourism houses in the province, they were among preserved areas and national parks. The ecotourism houses have revealed that people have meager knowledge about Semnan Province.
These houses have short walls and open wooden doors. People wake up in the ecotourism house of Cheshmeh Morad by the crows of roosters. It has several rooms and a big yard — which was once inhabited by a tribe.
Pourang Pourhosseini, a tourism expert, had recommended Abdollah to revive Cheshmeh Morad. Abdollah was a bank employee who was also involved in camel and fish breeding. But the job failed to generate good revenues for him. Ecotourism was what he had always been looking for.
Kalateh Khij is the hometown of Davoud Mirbaqeri, a prominent Iranian film director.
It is said that Abdollah spent about $36,000 to restore the ecotourism house. He needs more money to spend on the house.
The beauty of buildings can encourage many tourists to visit Semnan Province.
Tourists can spend their night in Kalateh Khij which is near Clouds Forest and enjoy watching stars in the dessert region.
Food prepared by local people also adds to the attractions of Kalateh Khij.
Women in the city also give tourists herbal drugs which are grown in the region. This has generated jobs for the residents.
The ecotourism house of Cheshmeh Morad has also familiarized tourists with weaving traditional fabric which is seen in rooms that they rest in.
Abdollah and Kalateh Khij Mayor Gholamali Arab Ameri have called the city the cradle of ‘traditional fabric weaving’. They say the local women have revived broadcloth, which is a dense, plain woven cloth, historically made of wool.
Abdollah’s sister along with 18 other women have allocated a room for selling handicrafts and souvenirs.