Blogs from Iran, Middle East - page 5

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Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz December 5th 2012

TOUCHDOWN No doubt about it, Iran suffers from a chronic image problem. Having a top dog like Mahmoud Ahmadinajad doesn't help. He does for Iran's international profile what Donald Trump does for the hair replacement industry. The rest of the population is guilty by association. Tell someone you're going to Iran and the only sound you're likely to hear is their jaws hitting the floor. Couple that with a blank stare and there is no need to read between the lines to decipher what they think of the idea? We accounted this to a western populace misguided by a prejudiced media but like our visit to Yemen 5 years earlier, we began questioning ourselves when other people from this region debated our sanity. One congenial young flight attendant from Turkish Airlines commented; "Please. At least don't ... read more
Toudeshk
Tosua
Hammam in Kashan

Middle East » Iran October 21st 2012

I cannot even begin to count the number of times I was asked why in the world I wanted to go to Iran by my incredulous friends. Then too, nor can I count the number of times I was embraced by envious friends who dreamed of the same trip. And that was just the beginning of a trip which continued to be filled with overpowering dichotomies! As an American I had to be part of a booked and organized tour to visit Iran. And the tour company was basically in charge of shepherding me through the visa application process. When I received my notification that my application for a visa had been accepted, complete with notification number, I thought that meant I merely went to the Iranian Embassy thats two blocks from my Bucharest apartment to ... read more
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Middle East » Iran » South » Persepolis October 7th 2012

Ancient Persepolis - the heart of ancient Persia - today’s Iran. Towering columns, massive gateways, monumental staircases and exquisite reliefs. Its almost impossible to imagine these ruins in their former splendor. And to imagine the proud empire that held the Greeks at bay for so very long. It started in the 7th century BC with Persepolis being constructed in the early 500 BCs. At its height, the Persian Empire stretched from India to Europe’s Danube River. It had the first postal system in the world with paved roads stretching from one end to the other to speed the mail on its way. The famed King Cyrus perhaps established the humane and inclusive policies that brought those conquered by the Persian Empire into the empire not as conquered, but as integral parts of the fabric that was ... read more
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Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd October 7th 2012

Until the Arabic invasion that brought Islam to what is today Iran, Zoroastrianism was the main religion across the Iranian plateau. Zoroastrianism was one of the first religions to be based upon the idea of an omnipotent and invisible God. That God is named Ahura Mazda and Ahura Mazda was to be worshiped through light - thus the Fire Temples for which the Zoroastrians are famed. The name Zoroastrian, comes from the prophet Zoroaster (also known as Zartosht or Zarathustra). And the priests of this religion were originally called Magi - yes, many postulate that they were the three wise men from the East that are the Christian bible. The basic tenant of Zoroastrianism is a dualistic belief in the Good Mind (Vohu Mano) and the Bad Mind (Ahem Nano). This dualism brings us day and ... read more
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Middle East » Iran May 2nd 2012

The flight from Karachi to Tehran was 6 AM in the morning, with 11 hours of connection waiting in Doha by Qatar airway, a cheap flight by USD 150, so Madeeha and her mother took me to the airport at 3 AM, so basically I didn't sleep that night, so my plan was to sleep in Doha airport during my 11 hours of waiting time, but I couldn't because I met a Chinese guy going to Chile with the connection in Brazil, he hadn't the return ticket, so the Brazilian custom didn't allow him to board, later I knew the Brazilian custom is asking for the return ticket because a lot of people go and stay in Brazil, my lovely country! Anyway, the Chinese guy didn't get the connection flight to Brazil at first moment and ... read more
Tehran city view
Camping in park
Iranian beauty

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Middle East » Iran April 22nd 2012

Before entering Iran we had a bunch of warnings from our relatives. The media has mainly focused its attention on recent relationships between Iran, Israel, Europe and States. It is almost everything been so fragile and on the verge of a newly upcoming war. Though whilst we are on a go, it seems another kind of regime switches on. We rarely access the TV, the Internet is being used in a rush to update what we have been up to. Even though somewhere at the back of one’s mind the news exists, we enter this country as any other place. So standing between the borders of Turkey and Iran, we were happy to finally having obtained our visa, and looking forward what this country could offer us. Nuostabiai kontrastinga Irano dykuma. � Such a wonderful and ... read more

Middle East » Iran » East » Mashhad March 6th 2012

MANTRA: a mystical formula of invocation or incantation (Merriam-Webster) 1. Hinduism A sacred verbal formula repeated in prayer, meditation, or incantation, such as an invocation of a god, a magic spell, or a syllable or portion of scripture containing mystical potentialities.2. A commonly repeated word or phrase: "Today's edutainment software comes shrinkwrapped in the magic mantra: 'makes learning fun.'"(Clifford Stoll).man to think (the free dictionary) Mantras, the Sanskrit syllables inscribed on yantras, are essentially 'thought forms' representing divinities or cosmic powers, which exert their influence by means of sound-vibrations.... read more
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
ayatollah khamenei- got too many
war is hell

Middle East » Iran » South » Kerman December 4th 2011

How low? Out of 1.9 litres of oil I got down to about half a litre… low enough to cause catastrophic engine failure! So pretty low :-( But before I go into the embarrassing explanation of how that happened, perhaps first some lighter news. The Iranian Highway Code Having now spent about five weeks in Iran I think I have grasped the road rules here. They are unusual, and not like those in Europe and Australia, but fortunately they are short. So, in rough order of importance: 1. Speed: the appropriate speed is determined by estimating the minimum safe stopping distance. You should always travel at greater than this speed to maintain priority (right of way) - see Rule 2. This is a minimum speed, not a maximum speed. 2. Turning: turning traffic, traffic crossing your ... read more
Not my finest moment
Broken engine coming out
Sad bike :-(

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd November 12th 2011

My Iranian Haircut So, I'd been putting off getting a haircut in Iran because I was bit worried about how it might turn out, what with the language barrier and all. I'd settled on Esfahan as a promising place, supposed to be quite an upbeat and diverse city.... what could possibly go wrong? Perhaps I'll let the photos speak for themselves, because sometimes a picture can be worth quite a bit more than 1,000 words... in extortion money! (Which makes me wonder why I'm putting these on our blog; but hey if nude snorkeling went up there)... read more
After
After after

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd November 12th 2011

The Country So I had this vision that when we crossed the Anatolian Plateau in Eastern Turkey and entered Iran the cold would be over. After all, Iran is a hot desert kind of place, isn’t it? Well yes, Iran is a hot desert kind of place, but a bloody mountainous one. So far we have rarely been below 1,000 metres in altitude, and mostly have been at 1,500m plus. Often we hit 2,100 or 2,200 metres on our rides between places. Which means it’s not so hot in late Autumn! In fact it’s been bloody freezing. On numerous occasions we have ridden roads with snow at the sides. Hot it is not. Forgetting about the cold for a moment – not so easy to do when you’ve been wearing a t-shirt, light merino top, thin ... read more
How cold?
Iranian kiddies at school
Sanandaj scrum!!




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