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In Pictures: The First Autumn Snow in Iran

Dream Of Iran – Iran is called the land of four seasons for a reason. This week the first snow of autumn blanketed half of Iran and led to closure of schools in several cities. This happens while at the moment, Iranians in southern Iran enjoy swimming in the Persian gulf and take bath under the beautiful warm Sun. These all seem out of context for northerners in the winter days.
Tehran also experiences white winter every year and it is much more welcomed by the Tehraners as a sign of relief from the pollution. Specially this year that the smog forced the Tehran officials to declare an air pollution emergency, even the little snow or rainfall can come to the rescue and clear away the dirt from the face of the mega capital. Continue reading

From Ariobarzanes to Ta Moradi: A Road Travel to History of Yasuj

Kija * – The roads in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province are amazingly beautiful in a way that when you start driving in them, you forget the destination and get lost wandering and watching the landscape. My trip to the province was in fact a road trip to enjoy the natural beauties of the area. But to my surprise, the trip had more profound impact on me and led me to much deeper insight about the history of the province.

Ario Barzan in Yasuj

Ario Barzan aka Ariobarzanes square in Yasuj

Yasuj is the capital of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province in which we slept the night and the early morning of next day, we went to city’s Ariobarzanes square. Yasuj municipality has erected a statue of Ariobarzanes in the square to pay tribute to an ancient Iranian hero. Ariobarzanes which in Farsi means exalting the Aryans was name of an Iranian general, a Satrap of Persis who led the last stand of the Iranian army at the Battle of the Persian Gate against King Alexander the Macedonian in the winter of 330 BC. After 30 days of resistance against the Ancient Macedonians, he was then killed together with his soldiers in the battle near Yasuj.  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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Hamedan Revisited: A Traveling Wife From Brunei

Hamsare Mosafer * – Before leaving for Tehran on the last day of our Hamedan tour, we managed to visit a few more places and historical sites of interest in and around the city. Our first stop in the morning was the Gonbad-e-Alavian or Tomb of Alavian located in the vicinity of Eyn-ol-Qozat Square. It is a four-sided structure 12th century mausoleum dating back to the Seljuk period, containing tombs of two members of the Alavian family which ruled Hamedan for two centuries. Continue reading

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

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

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

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