WORLDWIDE SUCCESS: Longtime businessman honored for accomplishments
Zaki Khalifa never intended to start a successful Oriental rug business in High Point.

He had planned to move to New York City, but greater forces kept him here, where he opened Zaki Oriental Rugs on S. Main Street.

Likewise, he never intended to receive a national award. But after being nominated by the Pakistan Embassy in the U.S., he'll finally go to New York City to receive an award for his accomplishments as a business leader on June 10.

"It was unbelievable," he said about being notified of the award.

Khalifa, who said he first came to High Point only to visit one of his former college professors, has been selected as one of the Outstanding 50 Asian-Americans in Business by the Asian American Business Development Center.

He will be presented with the award in front of 600 people from government, business and civic leadership roles.

His professor, Carl Wheeles, former chairman of the department of history and political science at High Point University, had taught Khalifa at a missionary college in Pakistan. He urged Khalifa to open his business in High Point.

Almost one year after he arrived from Lahore, Pakistan, he took Wheeles' advice and opened his business in 1977 in a 3,000-square-foot shop on Main Street. Today, he has a 100,000-square-foot building with an inventory of more than 14,000 hand-knotted rugs imported from the Middle East.

Tom Dayvault, president and CEO of the High Point Chamber of Commerce, said Khalifa's efforts have been noticed throughout the world.

photo by: don davis jr. | hpe

Zaki Khalifa, owner of Zaki Oriental Rugs on S. Main Street, was named one of the Outstanding 50 Asian-Americans in Business by the Asian American Business Development Center. Khalifa was nominated by the embassy of his native country, Pakistan.
"The impact of his leadership reaches not only throughout America but the far concerns of the world. Our chamber and our community are very aware of Zaki's benevolence and leadership. Now the entire country is aware of his vision and humble spirit," Dayvault said.
Khalifa, who has spoken on many different historical and cultural issues around the country, said he is grateful to receive the award.

"I feel humbled and honored," he said. "I will always plan to carry out my mission to serve humanity anywhere in the world and to promote understanding between different people from around the world."

Zaki Oriental Rugs privacy
600 South Main Street High Point, North Carolina 27260
phone 336-884-4407   fax 336-884-5087
Monday - Saturday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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