Photo of Board Member Bill Mor

William Mor | President

Bill worked as a potter for over 25 years in California and in Maine. While in Maine he also began to sell tribal rugs handled by Chris Walter, the owner of Yayla and co-founder of Barakat. Bill assisted Chris by helping him market carpets woven for the nonprofit organization, Cultural Survival Turkmen Weaving Project, to rug dealers in the US. Bill wants to share his profit with the weavers and their communities. Barakat gives back to those communities by offering primary education, literacy programs, and courses in human rights. Bill assisted in constructing the foundation of Barakat and served as the first board president. Bill holds a BA in American History from Lehigh University, and an MA in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Photo of Board Member Thomas Barfield

Thomas J. Barfield | Vice President

Tom is author of The Central Asian Arabs of Afghanistan (1981), The Perilous Frontier: Nomadic Empires and China (1989) and co-author of Afghanistan: An Atlas of Indigenous Domestic Architecture (1991). Professor of Anthropology at Boston University, Barfield is also President of the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies. Since 2001 his research has focused on problems of law and political development in contemporary Afghanistan. In 2007 Barfield received a Guggenheim Fellowship that supported the research for his new book, Afghanistan: A Cultural and Political History (Princeton, 2010). His membership on Barakat’s Board enables him to further education in rural Afghanistan and repay in a small way the debts he owes to the people there. Tom received his PhD in Anthropology from Harvard University.

Photo of Co-Founder Chris Walter

Christopher K. Walter | Co-founder

Chris is President and Founder of Yayla Tribal Rugs, a socially-conscious business which has been directing a percentage of its profits back into the welfare of carpet-weaving communities in South Asia. He is co-founder of Barakat, Inc. as well as Machik, a DC-based non-profit working to strengthen communities in the Tibetan plateau. He serves on the Board of Directors for Barakat, Inc. and Cultural Survival, and is Chairman of the Advisory Board for Machik. He has Bachelors in Anthropology from University of Massachusetts, Boston, and he has used his formal education to hone his natural skills and passion which lie towards the field that is now being recognized as 'social entrepreneurship'.

Photo of Board Member Julie Arcari Cook

Julie Arcari Cook | Treasurer

Julie is CEO of Landry and Arcari Rugs and Carpeting of Salem and Boston MA. She graduated from Northeastern University’s School of Business in 1989 with a concentration in management. Her coop intern experiences included working at software development company SDC in Cambridge, Bed and Bath as a retail management trainee at, and. overseas in Birmingham England for the West Midlands Development Corporation creating marketing materials to attract US business interest.

Upon graduation Julie became immersed at Landry and Arcari and rapidly established her current position as CEO. Julie has spearheaded, along with her father and brothers, to evolve Landry and Arcari as arguably New England’s premier rug and carpeting industry leader. Julie has previously served on the board of Directors of the Salem Chamber of Commerce. In 2008 the Boston College Club honored her in a Commemorative Photo Exhibit featuring leading women of Boston.

Julie believes that education is the path to equality and world peace. Through her business and expertise she supports Barakat’s mission. Julie has become passionately aware of the social responsibility to support the families and communities they work so closely with.

Photo of Co-Founder Habibullah Karimi

Habibullah Karimi | Advisor

Habibullah is the president and founder of Kehkashan Exports and a co-founder of Barakat Inc. He has worked in development in Afghanistan, and with the Afghan refugee community in Pakistan, since 1988. Habibullah has worked in innovation of hand woven carpets and kilim rugs since 1989. Habibullah stays deeply committed to furthering access to education for women and children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Photo of Board Member Shereen Asmat

Shereen Asmat | Member

Shereen is a management consultant at Bain & Company and has worked out of its New York and Boston offices, where she has advised Fortune 500 companies in addressing critical strategic problems, such as cost optimization, growth strategy and organizational restructuring. Shereen graduated from Harvard with a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and Economics. Outside of consultancy work she is involved in youth mentorship programs. Shereen is a first generation Pakistani-American with an interest in her parents' culture, and with supporting the Pakistani region’s development. At Harvard she helped create the Pakistani Students Association, and believes Pakistan and Afghanistan can be economically successful and politically stable if given the appropriate resources. Barakat’s mission speaks to this belief, because education is a resource that can help women and children move society forward, so Shereen is excited to play a role in Barakat's growth and success.