Half the World’s Wonders

The proverb Isfahan nesf-e Jahan (Isfahan is half of the world) shows Iranian’s propensity to exaggerate. Nevertheless, it is a wondrous city with numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites. No previewed photos or guidebooks prepared me for the feeling of dizzying beauty when I finally saw the mosaics of Naqsh-e Jahan mosque. The Pol-e Khāju andContinue reading “Half the World’s Wonders”

The Bridge over the River Dez

Dezful is named after the fortress built on the bridge over the River Dez.  Dez-pol transformed into Dezful with time. My parents were born and raised in Dezful, Khuzestan. We lived in Shiraz, but I have childhood memories of going to Dezful every Noruz (New Year) which Iranians celebrate on the Spring Equinox. Every year after Noruz deed o bāz deed (NewContinue reading “The Bridge over the River Dez”

Shiraz: a city with poetic roots

So deep is the admiration for the 14th century poet, Hafez that citing his poetry is often used as emphasis in expressing a particular point of view. His poetry is even consulted for Estekahre: a poetic way of fortune telling. When faced with difficult decisions, it is common for Iranians to pull out a copy of Divan-eContinue reading “Shiraz: a city with poetic roots”

Tehran: a City of Contrasts

From the Grand Bazaar to endless parks and museums, Tehran is a city of contrasts and surprises. Every year we’ve visited Tehran in the past 12 years, we’ve explored a different park. In a city of 9 million (15 million if you count the Greater Metropolitan area) it is amazing how many gorgeous parks there are: Continue reading “Tehran: a City of Contrasts”