In 2015 on an annual trip to Shiraz, my parents raved about an extraordinary Lori driver-guide they’d met in Yasuj, Farhang Heidari. I called him to ask if he was available to guide my father and I in the next few days. Greeting me as hamshireh (meaning sister – although the word literally means someoneContinue reading “The Colors of Yasuj”
Between two nights of Turkamani wedding festivities in Syjval, Golestan Province, I traveled to the docks at Bandar Torkaman early one morning. My aunt had mentioned that migratory birds could still be seen in Āshurādeh, an island in the Miānkāleh Peninsula about 3km from Bandar Torkaman. There were guided boats that offered bird-watching. Although weContinue reading “Birding before a Turkamani wedding”
For over forty years, dance has been prohibited in public spaces in Iran. In the past two decades however, male folk dance troupes have become increasingly visible under the officially approved terminology of ā’inhā-ye namāyeshi (theatrical rituals) or bāzihāye mahalli (local games).
I was born and raised in Shiraz, where ancient Persian history was always very palpable. The remains of Persepolis (the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire) were less than an hour drive away. Every time relatives came to visit, Bāgh-e Eram, Bāzār-e Vakil, Hāfezieh and Saadieh were must sees. My deepest memories are tied toContinue reading “A Deeper Look”
Born and raised in Shiraz, Iran with relatives in Dezful and Tehran, I had never experienced a desert in Iran until a trip to Yazd in 2017. I accepted the invitation to accompany a friend who planned to take a three-day tour of Yazd by bus. I anticipated visiting the water museum, walking through theContinue reading “Finally, the Desert”
On 2008 I spent several days in Gilan visiting the city of Rasht, the Caspian coast at Bandar Anzali, and the beautiful Mordab-e Anzali Wetlands. Although I have childhood memories of family trips driving up the windy Chalus road to the coast, this was the first time the tea fields and the rice fields onContinue reading “The Caspian Coast”
Hours before we were due at a night-time engagement party in Sanandaj, our host invited us to spend the day at a Bāgh (fruit orchard and gardens) on the outskirts of Sanandaj city.
Along our travels to observe folk dances throughout Iran, we often experienced wondrous surprises. Like the day before we were expected at an engagement ceremony in Sanandaj…. From Kermanshah we chose to go through Ravānsar and further north. Green pastures and mountains in the distance accompanied us until we arrived to the famous water cave:Continue reading “Wondrous Surprises”
After two days of observing and interviewing folk dance troupes during the Tabriz 2018 Festival in El Goli park, I had a day to sightsee. I visited the childhood home of the poet, Parvin E’tesami, now a museum in her remembrance and spent some time in the tranquil garden as well. The Mausoleum of PoetsContinue reading “Memories of Tabriz”
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”