Tourist & Resident Guide to Iran

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fallen Petals

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cave of the Martyrs

For the last few months I've been wondering what the green halogen lights leading up the mountainside were for. Alien landing site? Late night mining operations? There was nothing obvious from down below but one day I noticed a new street sign pointing up the hill. The white on brown colour scheme denoting something of cultural interest.

A thin layer of crisp snow lay on the ground the morning I decided to make my way up. I followed the icy dirt path in unsuitable shoes. Paw tracks showed me that the local strays had been up and down before dawn. A long, white goods container had been deposited on a level area half way up. Green-painted frame borders with "Kahf al-Shohada" (Cave of the Martyrs), brushed on in vivid blood-red spoke of the grief-fuelled nationalism so fundamental to current power structures. Open air martyr-worship in a country where the politico-religious establishment has a strict monopoly on public expression.

Further up was a slightly wider but equally anticlimatic plateau. More red, white and green. Iranian flags, makeshift spotlighting planted in the ground at incongruous angles. I heard the creak of a hinge and shuffling behind me and a lanky, young Basij boy, crewcut, unshaven, with regulation Palestinian check scarf, emerged from apparently nowhere. An inner voice told me my presence was not wanted. I swung my camera behind my arm offered a guilt-ridden "good morning." Political repression clearly having left its mark on my conscience.


The great irony being that though this makeshift monument was intended as a form of public relations, the Basij themselves would be exceedingly sensitive to anyone here taking pictures of it for wider consumption. But the earnest young lad just returned my greeting and went on his way and he was safely out of sight before I ventured a look in the direction from where he had appeared. A workmanlike iron gate, banners with religious slogans hanging limp either side and above it. An entrance to a cell adapted from a natural cave in the mountainside.

Inside, fading bouquets, petals strewn over three stone slabs laid on the ground. Graves of fallen heroes? An ascetic hermit's cell set aside for solitary mourning and devoted tears.

A few metres away, a low semicircle of sandbags, arranged like a machine-gun bunker, marked off the dead-end path. It guarded a crudely hung nylon banner. On it, a photograph showing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, standing in reflective mood at the entrance to that very cave.

My cousin later told me of how his father rose early one morning for a mountain walk and witnessed the Supreme Leader emerging from "Kahf al-Shohada" under the cover of the half-light. No fanfare, minimal entourage, perhaps a very personal pilgrimage - but not without leaving photographic evidence to establish the site's status in Basij mythology.



Tehran Skyline

View of Tehran with Milad Tower
You get some pretty stunning views out over the city from "Baam-e Tehran" (Roof of Tehran) especially at dawn and sunset. From here you also get a good perspective on how breathable the city air is on any given day - mountains visible in the south is a sign that the smog is relatively thin.


Same view, this time with thick, early morning cloud (not smog) smothering the city like a quilt.

Iranian Music CDs

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Guide to Tehran

Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA)

Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA), Tehran
Plans to build IKA existed before 1979 but were put on hold after the Islamic revolution. The airport was eventually opened in 2004 and now almost all international flights have been transferred here from the old Mehrabad Airport in central Tehran.

IKA is situated about 30km south of the city on the road to Qom. With no public transport system yet in place, the only way to get there is by private taxi (120,000 Rials, 1hr, Tel.: 021 88738855)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Basij Week in Iran

Basij Week Tehran

This poster is publicising Basij Week which I think has just ended. You may have heard something about the Basij in the news where you are. Human Rights Watch calls them a "parallel organisation" which pretty well sums up their relationship with the government - they're not under direct control but they provide a loyal pillar of support for it in times of need.

In the past this has involved getting heavy with student protests and enforcing codes of conduct and dress in public places. I remember last year seeing a run-in between a group of Basijis and some young men out for a walk in the mountains. The boys were wearing tight clothes and "fashionable" beards that the Basijis found objectionable and they tried to "arrest" them. I didn't stay to find out what happened.

(NB. The Basij are not responsible for the current minor crackdown on "un-Islamic" dress which is going on around Tehran. Those guys are from Ershad (The Council for Islamic Guidance) which is a full government body. Ershad patrols get real police cars and have much more convincing uniforms.)

One way in which the Basiji make themselves conspicuous is on big group outings. I occasionally see them on the way to or from the mountains near wear I live. Here's a clandestine shot of some women Basiji's taken from inside a bus.

Basij Week Tehran

They were part of a coachload of female members all-wearing white and blue checked scarves which signify their support for the Palestinians. At the head of the procession there will often be a standard-bearer carrying a green flag addressing Imam Hossein - the most important of the Shia martyrs. Male groups often chant military-style marching slogans. This all harks back to the time when Basij members provided much of the raw manpower required to kick the Iraqis out of cities like Khorramshahr - a name which still evokes bitter yet proud memories of a time when Iran really was united against a common enemy.

The Basij are still a major part of Iranian society, but I can't help but think they're becoming more and more anachronistic as the Iraq war recedes further into the past. Though scars are still fresh for veterans and especially the families of the shohada (martyrs), it's getting harder now to convince Iranians that they are still at war.
Basij Week Tehran
Iranian government PR is something of a one-trick pony. Replay footage of the Iran-Iraq war and try to make it feel current by blurring it into recent images of dying Gazans. All the patriotically-inspiring if broadcast at half time during international football matches. But the war footage is looking more and more dated now and superimposing Ayatollah Khamenei over pictures of volunteers who never came back just doesn't ring true. The Palestinian conflict is just too far away to evoke the same power of conviction.

With 50% of Iranians just too young to really remember the war, what the Iranian government needs now is a cause. A truly Iranian sacrifice to once again give the Basij a feeling that their world view - a country under threat and therefore in need of repressive conservatism - is correct. And just the possibility (let's not even consider the actuality) of an attack by the U.S. on Iranian soil is just the ticket.

Monday, December 10, 2007

BBQ Corn - Vali Asr

On a quiet weekday evening there isn't really much going on in the streets of Tehran. Not even on the main strip - Vali-e Asr Street.

Barbequed corn on Vali Asr

But this guy was gamely fanning the flames of his makeshift barbecue and wooing passers-by with the prospect of chargrilled sweetcorn. I'd never had it over coals before, and I still prefer it boiled but it's a fun treat nonetheless especially on a cold autumn evening when you can gather around the hot coals and make small talk with other stray folk.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Neon signs - Vali Asr

Don't you just love neon on cold, crisp evenings? The shop below is photocopy and print shop and above it is the phone number of a travel agency consisting only of 7s and 8s.

Neon signs - Vali Asr, Tehran

Iranian Music CDs

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Friday, November 30, 2007

Persimmons in Tehran

Seasonal fruit is a great pleasure. There's so much tasteless imported produce in western (and Japanese) supermarkets that probably not that many people know what the right season for most fruit is. But I think Iran is pretty much self-sufficient when it comes to fruit and veg and I certainly look forward to autumn for several of my favourites - one of which is the persimmon which I've heard called "Sharon fruit" before, "kaki" in Japan and "khormaloo" in Iran. Khorma is the Farsi word for "dates" and aloo means "plum."

Persimmons

I wonder if there's a connection there with the Hindi(?) word for potato - something like the French calling them "pommes de terre." Anyway "khormaloo" is a word loaded with sweet winter connotations for me, the colour itself is enough to warm your hands and the sight of abundant orange fruit weighing down leaveless branches and punctuating the air with their fat jolliness is a sure fire way to put a smile on my face. I think Santa Claus should wear persimmon orange.

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Iran Tube

Iran Tube is the Iranian equivalent of You Tube.

Members can upload Iran-related videos. Categories include news, sports, travel and popular culture.




Iranian Music CDs

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Afshin Ghotbi to Persepolis

Afshin Ghotbi recently left his job as South Korea's national team assistant coach to return to Iran to coach Iranian giants Persepolis.

Afshin GhotbiBorn in Iran, the 43-year-old left his homeland for America in 1977 and went to the 1998 World Cup with the United States and the 2002 and 2006 World Cups with South Korea.

How do you feel about leaving Korea for Iran?
I think I am numb at this moment. I feel excited because of a new challenge and going back to my home country that I haven't seen for 30 years. I also feel sadness because I have so many memories in Korea and so many experiences. It's hard to leave the Korean players as I am always impressed by their mentality and their willingness to learn.

I am excited because I will be head coach of a team and more than that the biggest club in Iran and probably one of the biggest in Asia. They have such history and I remember that as a child. Even when I was a little boy playing in the street, it was always the Reds (Persepolis) against the Blues (Esteghlal).

Read the rest of the Afshin Ghotbi interview here

Iranian Music CDs

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Guide to Tehran

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Iran on You Tube

Type in "Iran" on You Tube and coming up No. 1 is this tribute to the country.

The music is by Faramarz Aslani "age ye rooz"



Iranian Music CDs

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Iran Reach Asian Cup Second Round

Iran beat co-hosts Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur to reach the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup as winners of Group C.

Iran scored once in each half to set up a match with South Korea in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Javad Nekounam scored from the penalty spot after 29 minutes and Andranik Teymourian added a fine individual goal ten minutes from time.

Iranian Music CDs

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Friday, June 08, 2007

Still Incomplete Milad Tower



The still incomplete Milad Tower looks out over one of Tehran's busy public transport junctions.

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Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Existential graffiti in Iran



Roughly translated:

I write to leave a reminder
So that if I disappear one day
A reminder it will stay

Iranian Music CDs

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Thursday, June 07, 2007

"Eeenja Iran-e!" (This is Iran!)

This is an excuse I hear a lot when things are not the way they should be. It's usually employed once a solution to a problem is identified and thoughts turn to putting it into practice.

"But this is Iran!" It's not as easy as that! Sure, that's the problem and this is the best way to get around it but this is Iran. Don't expect things to go so well....

[ followed by any/all of Iran's 3 great national excuses.]

1. First of all people 'don't have culture' here [the Farsi word for this is 'bifarhang' which has no direct translation] they don't know how to behave. You tell them one thing and they do another. They're uneducated and they don't know how to follow rules....

2. And the government doesn't let people get on with their lives. One day one politician launches a policy, the next day he's gone and his replacement wants something else. He gives government jobs to all his cronies and they start filling their pockets and before they've had enough so they can really start work their boss gets the sack and another politician/set of cronies starts all over again!

3. Do you expect the West would let us improve? We were developing a perfectly good democracy until the US stepped in and took away the only decent leader we'd had since Abbas the Great [meaning Mohammad Mossadegh]. And the British are twice as cunning.... Everyone knows George Bush is in Tony Blair's pocket. The mullahs all take their orders from England. It's been like that for centuries and don't think it's going to change soon!

Iranian Music CDs

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Monday, May 21, 2007

Uptown Real Estate

Uptown Tehran

Another pic from the rooftops. This is uptown Tehran. You can make out the slope up to the Alborz mountain range in the background. Basically, if you have the money, you get cleaner air. But Tehran real estate is prohibitively expensive for most Iranians and prices just get higher. And so do the construction projects. Here's a tower block going up on Afriqa Avenue (also known as Jordan) - a fashionable, traffic clogged boulevard flanked by some of the most expensive property in the country.

Iranian Music CDs

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Guide to Tehran

Tehran From Above

Tehran from above
On a clear day you can see mountains from everywhere in Tehran.

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Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Nuclear banknote

Iran's central bank has issued a 50,000 Rial note with a nuclear symbol motif.




The back of the note features a symbol representing electrons circling a nucleus superimposed over the map of Iran. Alongside it is a quote from the Prophet Mohammad which runs, ""if the science exists in this constellation, men from Persia will reach it."

Iranian Music CDs

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Giveh: Iranian summer footwear

Giveh
Just in time for summer, I've bought myself a pair of giveh, the ideal shoes for the long, hard Tehran summer. Giveh have been made for centuries in many parts of Iran but are most famously from Western Iran, particularly a town called Paveh in Kermanshah Province.

The upper is made of strong tightly woven cotton sewn tight to (on my pair) a leather sole. The soles of traditional are made of tightly compacted layers of cotton material stacked from toe to heel. These are less practical since they can lose their shape if wet.

Giveh are, however, very much dry weather footwear. Made almost entirely from cotton, there's no need to wear socks and feet breath easily. In fact, in the town where my giveh were made they are referred to as jurab (socks) rather than kafsh (shoes).


Iranian Music CDs

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Guide to Tehran

Friday, April 20, 2007

Kermanshah Sheep

Kermanshah, in central west Iran, is known for its large flocks of sheep.


Kermanshah sheep

The sheep have a dual purpose: meat from the animals is consumed locally and much of the surplus is sent to the capital Tehran, sheep wool is also used in the production of the famous geometric-designed carpets of the area.

Kermanshah carpet design is significantly influenced by the culture of the local Kurds and Loris who live in the area.
Sheep and goats number around 81 million in Iran, according to 2005 figures and outnumber the 71 million humans in the country.
Sheep have been a prominent part of the culture of Iran for centuries. A clay image of a sheep which was found at Sarab in Iran dates back to 5000 BCE.
Iran cloned its first sheep in 2006 at Tehran's Royan Institute, though the animal lived only a few minutes, before it could be named.

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Guide to Tehran

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Iranian reactions to the movie "300

Iran's mission to the UN has issued a statement criticising the movie "300", calling it "a thinly-veiled attack on Iranian history." You can read the full text here.

The statement expresses what many Iranians feel about a film that most haven't even seen yet - that misrepresentations of Iran in Western media are something close to a deliberate campaign to present Iran as "a dangerous, bestial force fatally threatening the civilized 'free' world." Government Spokesman, Gholam Hossein Elham, described it as a "cultural intrusion" and said the government interpreted it as "hostile".

I was at a talk held at the Khaneye Honarmandan artists centre where a mercifully edited version of "300" was shown to an audience mainly of university students. Listening to the talk that followed, I was struck with just how intensely felt, yet deeply vulnerable, the Iranian sense of national identity was.

During the screening the mood was light. When King Khashayarshah (Xerxes), a three-metre-tall drag queen, stepped-off his medieval hovercraft, the audience laughed along with Leonidas' raised eyebrow. The anticlimactic end of the Persian attack rhinoceros was another amusing highlight. I noticed a number of other representations that could be interpreted as more serious insults. For me, the ape-like masks of the "eternal warriors" sent a potentially racist message. Furthermore, referring to the Persian army as "slaves" belies the historical truth that the Persian Empire was, unlike Greece, Rome and Egypt, not dependent on slavery.

Iranians live under a persistent irony. Their country's glorious past casts a long shadow over the Iran of modern times. Every Iranian will relate with pride and confidence in the historical facts that the Iranian empire was the first and largest of ancient times and, at its height, stretched from Greece to China. They cite great leaders whose names were suffixed with "the Great" as rulers with enlightened ways who led their people with intelligence and fairness. What's more, every time foreign powers invaded Iran, either the invaders themselves effectively became Iranians (Mongols, Turks) or Iranian culture simply resurfaced in new forms to absorb the invading culture (Arabs).

But far from blaming westerners for not accurately representing an ancient civilisation to which they owe such a huge debt, the Iranians in the audience expressed a deeply self-critical attitude. One woman asked why so few of her countrymen and women attended a protest against a dam-building project which was set to submerge an important archaeological site. Another hit on another very deep vein of dissatisfaction citing many examples of how Iran's pre-Islamic history was being downplayed. Why, for instance, were there no roads named after Kouroush (Cyrus the Great) while so many were named after clerics made famous by the Islamic revolution or Iran-Iraq war. When the current of discussion threatened to break out into open criticism of the government, the chairman had to reign it in. He mentioned that, if the attendees appreciated the facilities provided by the Khane Honarmandan, it would be advisable not to turn it into a base for political debate.

A more lighthearted response to the film comes from Iran's best known satirical cartoonist, Touka Neyestani. You can read the original text here. Thanks to Zeynab's sister for the following translation:

I simply don't understand why my Iranian friends were upset by this film. After all, it's not the first time that Hollywood has done this. It has been doing it to Native Americans, blacks, Arabs, Germans, Japanese,... etc for years. Just last year we all saw "Borat" and we all laughed.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Eid-e-Nowruz goldfish

Eid-e-Nowruz goldfish
The build up to Eid. Darakeh’s walnut and almond seller is branching out into the New Year goldfish market.

Goldfish are not one of the haft sin but still an indispensable part of the festive spread that every Iranian family displays at this time of year. They are said to represent the unexpected favours to be received in the coming year. Traditionally, they are set free in rivers when the holiday period ends. Some people take theirs to the ponds at mosques and shrines. My aunt’s goldfish from Nowruz 2006 is still going strong and will be making comeback appearance this year.

Books on Persian Art

Post Office, Vali-Asr Square

Post Office, Vali-Asr Square
Iran’s postal service is reliable and efficient. Sending packages internationally requires identification in the form of a passport. Bring your package unsealed as contents will be checked before dispatch.

Books on learning Farsi

Monday, February 19, 2007

Tasbi (prayer beads)

tasbi (prayer beads)
Strings of prayer beads are known as tasbi in Iran and here are some on sale in Tajrish bazaar. Most often they are seen dangling from the hands of middle- to old-aged men who tend to fiddle with them rather aimlessly. However for devout grandmothers, they are indispensable tools for tallying the number of prayers required to get a grandson into university or a sister out of her sickbed.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Remembering the Martyrs of the Iran-Iraq War

Remembering Iran's war dead
The scars of a war as devastating as the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) do not easily heal. Some counts put the number of Iranian casualties 300,000 with another 500,000 wounded. The number of Iraqi dead numbered round 375,000.

The Iranian establishment refers to the war as the “Iraq-imposed war” and Iran’s part in it is known as the “Sacred Defense”. Hence, Iran’s war dead are shahid (martyrs). Shiite Islam, so steeped in the culture of mourning, gives them a place alongside the paradigmatic holy victims; Imam Ali and Hossein.

Tehran is dotted with large painted murals commemorating the most famous of the Iraq war martyrs. Their fixed gazes tell nothing of the conflict that robbed them of their lives. The colours have faded with time but their complexions remain unaging.

Remembering Iran's war dead

Iranian Music CDs

Books on Iran

Guide to Tehran

Iranian Music: Daf

DafThe daf is the other of Iran’s indigenous drums – the other is the donbak which I’ve already talked about elsewhere. As you can see from the picture, the daf is a wide, circular, frame drum. Inside the frame of the drum are hundreds of metal rings in short chains. The player beats the drum with his fingers while supporting it in his palms. With the movement and beating of the daf, the rings inside the frame strike the skin – the same way as the springs of a snare drum work. The sound is a combination between a bass boom caused by the hand and a high-pitched crash from the rings. The daf is a drum for dancing to. Indeed, it is the drum to which Sufi mystics dance the whirling, trance-inducing dance known as sama.

Iranian Music CDs

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ghaliyan

The Ghaliyan - or hookah as it is more widely known - is a water pipe used for smoking tobacco. Ghaliyan is still very much a part of popular culture in Iran – in fact you see more young people smoking it than old. You can smoke ghaliyan at working-class teahouses and at traditional restaurants where it is served to your table or rug with dates, sweets and of course tea. Places like these quickly fill with the sweet aroma of scented tobacco. Many Iranians – especially young men – bring their own on mountain walks and picnics, take coals from the barbecue and share a smoke after lunching on chicken kababs.

Hookah pipe in Iran
The pipe consists of several parts; a glass jug part-filled with water, a wooden, earthenware or metal stem fitted tightly to the jug, a brazier at the top of the stem for coals and tobacco and a hose with a mouthpiece attached to the jug above water level.

When you suck the mouthpiece, air is drawn past the coals in the brazier and this heats the tobacco. Smoke from the burning tobacco is then pulled down into the water jug where it is cooled and partly filtered of tar and other impurities. After bubbling up through the water (the sound it makes gives ghaliyan its other popular western name – hubbly-bubbly) it passes through the hose.

Traditionally the ghaliyun is used for smoking plain tobacco that you can still see in bazaars in the form of dry, brown folded leaves. These leaves have to be soaked before smoking. Now though, the most popular form of tobacco is the scented, flavoured variety which comes in a sticky paste wrapped in plastic and packed into small boxes. Some popular flavours are na’ana (mint), do-sib (two apples) and portogal (orange).

Friends smoking a hookah pipe

Books on Iran - Fiction, Politics, History, Islam

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Persian Carpets

Persian Carpets

The seven main centers for production of Persian carpets in Iran are: Tabriz, Mashhad, Qom, Kashan, Nain, Esfahan and Kerman.

Persian Carpet

In Iranian culture carpets signify much, much more than just a floor covering.

Carpets in Iran symbolize wealth, investment and religious devotion. The earliest surviving Persian rugs date back to the Safavid Period.

Persian carpets are traditionally woven from wool or silk and have a long history of production and international trade on the ancient Silk Road, which passed through Persia between China and the West. Persian carpets have long been treasured by the rich in both the Far East and Europe.

Persian Carpet

Carpet motifs are classically symmetrical and often floral, symbolizing the design of classical Persian gardens.

Persian carpets are produced in three main sizes:

- mian farsh: 3m x 2.5m
- kellegi: 3.5m x 2m
- kenareh: 3m x 1m

Terms:

Gabbeh rugs - a colorful carpet often produced by nomadic tribes
Kilim - flat, geometrically patterned and woven rugs

Most Persian carpets are hand-woven on vertical looms by mainly female artisans from sheep or goat wool and occasionally from camel wool.

Persian carpets contain on average up to 30 knots per square centimeter.

Persian carpets are available for sale in their centers of production in Iran and from the bazaars of Tehran, Esfahan and Shiraz.

The Carpet Museum in Tehran provides the visitor with an excellent insight into the history of Persian carpet production, styles and techiniques.

The world's largest Persian carpet is the Ardebil Carpet.

Persian Carpet

Further information see Kimiya International

Travel Guide to Tehran

Travel Guide to Esfahan

Books on Iran - Fiction, Politics, History, Islam



Books on Iran

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bridal SUV


Iranian weddings are floral feasts and the car that gets the bride and groom to the ceremony is always elaborately festooned.

Travel Guide to Tehran

Travel Guide to Esfahan

Masuleh Gilan Province Iran

Masuleh, Gilan Province
Though Masuleh is one of Iran’s most valued architectural treasures it is also one of its humblest. Here it is not the sweeping vision of a master architect or the glory of a great king that tourists flock to appreciate, but the simplicity of a traditional village in a spectacular location untouched by the modern age.

Masuleh is located about a one and a half hour drive away from the city of Rasht, less than an hour away from Fumn, in the foothills of Mount Talesh. In fact, the village literally grips the mountainside, hanging on as if it were in danger of plunging into the river at its foot.

The architectural style that makes Masuleh special can be seen elsewhere in Iran but not so perfectly preserved. In order to accommodate houses, a bazaar, 18 mosques and all the facilities of a village of just under 2,000 inhabitants, the roofs of many buildings double up as the streets of the level above.

The height difference between the lowest and the highest points of this stepped village is about 100 metres. The car park at river level is as far up as motor vehicles can go – this being the only village in Iran in which automobiles are completely banned.

Much is being done in Masuleh to maintain buildings in the old ways. Every year walls get a fresh coating of mud, giving the whole village an organic feel – as if the buildings have grown out of the earth of the streets.

At the heart of the town is the bazaar which is a lively nest of alleys and stairways with cubby-hole shops selling a wide variety of handicrafts, freshly-baked sweets, a worrying preponderance of knives and all weaves and colours of silk scarves. One level above the bazaar are a number of restaurants and teahouses where you can lunch on kabab followed by tea and gheliyoon.

Masuleh, Gilan Province
Stray up further and your chances increase of having a grumpy local chide you for not sticking to the "tourist areas". Not everybody here is glad of the attention that their picturesque little town brings. However, most of Masuleh’s inhabitants welcome the interest in their village and some even open their homes to guests for meals or overnight stays.

Travel Guide to Tehran

Travel Guide to Esfahan

Books on Iran - Fiction, Politics, History, Islam

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Iran News 1/14/07

Iran News

The BBC has three stories on Iran this week.

The first details the effects of traffic and new construction on the historic city of Isfahan

The cheap price of oil and the effects of pollution from cars leads to thousands of deaths in Tehran from smog every year.

Lack of job opportunities is leading to an estimated brain drain of 150,000 people each year leaving Iran.

The Iran Daily highlights "Clean Air Week in Tehran" to combat the threat of car pollution.

The Fars News Agency reports that the Iranian government has passed into law a regulation raising the voting age in local elections from 15 to 18.

Travel Guide to Tehran

Travel Guide to Esfahan




Books on Iran