Chasing the Dream: Two Women Traveling in Iran

Madi Jahangir* –  “Iranians and Italians are so much alike. In the good and in the bad!” Angela’s emphasis on the good and the bad made me laugh aloud every time and laughter was what made our trip even more fun.

Our two weeks traveling in Iran officially ended few days ago when my friend and fellow travel writer Angela of Chasing the Unexpected flew back to Rome, Italy and I took the night bus to northern Iran. So far as being two women coming from two of the world’s first civilizations, we were not really surprised to realize that the two nations share a lot in the matter of culture and lifestyle. Perhaps one of the major traits that Iranians share with Italians is to keep that crazy sense of humor, to cheer oneself up at the time of frustrating long distances.  Continue reading

Nakhl-Gardani: Experiencing Passionate Ashura in Yazd

Madi Jahangir – Jalal Al-e-Ahmad, Iranian prominent writer says in his memoirs: “Yazd is Iran’s museum of mourning tools.” On the corner of the stunning Amir Chakhmaq complex which draws attention of every tourist, stands the 8.5 meters high Nakhl, the Arabic word for palm tree which is used with the same meaning in Farsi. This Nakhl, however, looks more similar to any regular cypress tree which Iran is famous for, often known as the country’s national tree as well.

 The Nakhl in Yazd is a huge structure weighing several tons consisting of interwoven carved woods in the shape of a very large leaf or, as said above, the cypress tree. Traveling through the cities in central desert of Iran, one may see so many of these Nakhls in the corner of the mosques and tekyehs. But the ones in Yazd and Taft, a nearby town, are considered to be the oldest and tallest in Iran, dating back to 450 something years ago and the Safavid dynasty.

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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

Iran’s Wonders: The World Records in Tourism Attractions

‘The most…’ has been always an enticing description to human beings. This description is the main reason which has made a lot of tourists and travelers put Iran on their itinerary. Being described by “the most” is so attractive that many people are trying to make their country be known by it in various ways. For example, a tower is built at a point in the world to be the tallest tower in the world in order to become renowned as such and attract many tourists. Continue reading

The Most Beautiful Mosques in Iran: Part1

Dignified, magnificent and impressive. The arches, tilework mosaics and the very round domes are the post Islamic method of building structures in Iran. However, Iranian architecture has a history from at least 5000 BC to the present which significiently inspired the architecture in Insia, Turkey and Tajikistan to Zanzibar: “The supreme Iranian art, in the proper meaning of the word, has always been its architecture. The supremacy of architecture applies to both pre-and post-Islamic periods.” Says Arthur Pope, a pioneering American expert on Iranian art. Continue reading

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