Iran

Heyran road: A Photo Journey Above the Clouds

Madi Jahangir – After several times postponing my trip, I finally took the road to Ardabil the other week and on our way, we passed Heyran region on the Astara’s mountainous road to our destination. To my surprise, approximately 1500 meters above the Caspian sea, we were above the sea of clouds too!

Above the clouds in Heyran road / Photo: Madi Jahangir

Above the clouds in Heyran road / Photo: Madi Jahangir

No wonder they named the place Heyran, which means wandering in Persian. This region is very strange. It is located on the far west of Gilan province and the road is partially border with Azarbaijan and the barded wire of the border is quite visible on the right side. Continue reading

Isfahan: Iran’s Hidden Jewel

Andrew Lawler * – The courtyard is coated in a fine brown dust, the surrounding walls are crumbling and the flaking plaster is the same monotonous khaki color as the ground. This decrepit house in a decaying maze of narrow alleys in Isfahan, Iran, betrays little of the old capital’s glory days in the 17th century. Suddenly, a paint-splattered worker picking at a nearby wall shouts, waves his steel trowel and points. Underneath a coarse layer of straw and mud, a faded but distinct array of blue, green and yellow abstract patterns emerges—a hint of the dazzling shapes and colors that once made this courtyard dance in the shimmering sun. Continue reading

Sheikh Safi: My Dizi Experience in Ardabil

Madi Jahangir – In my last trip to Ardabil, I wandered around the Sheikh Safi mausoleum to buy some Black Halva, Ardabil’s traditional sweet confection. I was also looking for a place to have a local meal for lunch. After spending some days in the city, I had come to realise that finding a restaurant in Ardabil could be quite a challenge. I should have possibly spent more time in the city to learn the lifestyle, but unlike the way I was used to in Tehran and Caspian provinces, Ardebil’s residents did not seem to have such culture of dining out. Continue reading

Neyshabur: The Land of Attar, Khayyam and Blue Turquoise

Some people in Khorasan region have this strange belief that if a family moves to Neyshabur and lives there for sometime, they will have blue-eyed babies. They also say most people in Neyshabur have turquoise eye-color.Whether myth or reality, blue-eyed or not, the most important Neyshabur’s souvenirs are turquoise gemstones.

Neyshabur Turquoise

Neyshabur Turquoise is the finest in the world.  For at least 2,000 years, Iran and Neyshabur has remained an important source of turquoise which was named by Iranians initially “pirouzeh” (Arabic Firouzeh) meaning “victory”. Continue reading

Kandovan: Iran’s Incredible Village Carved Out of Stone

The photograph you are looking at is not a microscopic image of a termite colony. It is Kandovan, the stone village. Kandovan is a tourist village in Iran that is not only famous for its scenic beauty, but also its uniqueness that comes from the fact that many of its homes have been made in caves located in cone-shaped rock-formation. Thus making the complete village look like a gigantic termite colony. Continue reading

Harav Oursharga: A Jewish Pilgrimage to Yazd

At 8:00 a.m, almost all the buses gather at the old Masjed-e-Jameh (Grand Mosque) to go to the Yazd’s Jewish district, in which there are two old synagogues still in operation. Every year, on 28th of Hebraic month “Heshvan”, Iranian Jews gather at the tomb of the Harav Oursharga to pay tribute to this prominent Jewish mystic and religious scholar. He died 200 years ago but has always been respected by Jewish and non-Jewish residents of Yazd. Continue reading

All About Birjand: The Capital of Saffron Province

Nicknamed as City of Pines and City of Culture, Birjand was once an important city in Ghehestan (Part of the greater Khorasan). The city now serves as the capital of Southern Khorasan province in Eastern Iran. The small but organised and fast growing city is located on the eastern side of Iran’s central desert. That’s why the weather there is harsh and dry,  however, it is surprising that Birjand has had the first water system in Iran, even before that of Tehran and other big cities. Continue reading

A Trip to Mesr: The Island in the Sea of Sands

 Dr Ali Sabaghian * – What do you recall when you hear “Mesr”? The Arabic name of Egypt, a country in north Africa? Nile river, Pyramids, Sphinx and Pharaohs? You are right. But you would be surprised to know, there’s another Mesr too, but thousands of kilometers away from current Egypt, and tens of kilometers away from any crowded city. A small island in the sand, somewhere in the heart of Iran’s central desert, Mesr is name of an Iranian village  in Khur and Biabanak county, close to city of Naein which is famous for agricultural production in the area. ¹

Continue reading

The Untraveled, Unknown wonders of Chabahar

Bahram * – On our trip to Chabahar, we visited one of Chabahar’s wonders named as Gelafshan mountain. From the night before, we arranged with the same agency that picked us up from the airport, to take us to our desired destination with the cost of 70’000 IR Toman. They came after us in the morning and drove us 80 kilometers into the Chabahar-Bandar Abbas road. The path was interesting and beautiful.  We arrived at the total empty desert area in which there was only a mountain made of mud.  Continue reading

Iranian School Stationery Brands: Between Nostalgia and Innovation

Madi Jahangir *- “Teaching and learning is a form of worship.” For Irainans born in the 80’s and raised in the 90’s, this sentence makes so much sense. It is the nostalgic memorial of their school years, but the nostalgia is not only for the importance of seeking or teaching knowledge which in the sentence is emphasized. This sentence was once the only luxurious decoration of the notebooks in the 80’s. The quality of the papers was too low. Only few years past the revolution and during war time, the country was politically and economically under severe domestic and international pressure. So for the poor and the rich Iranians, that was the only available type and the government could not provide any better. Continue reading

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