January 15, 2008

the real IRAN

Photo Essay

By wissam abdel samad
31 December 2007
"They are barbarians"

"OMG, Wissam, Iran is not safe"

"Would you please get me a nuclear head from there?"

"They kidnap westerners, your Irish friend should be careful"

"They are fanatics, terrorists, and backwards; why are you going there?"

I don't usually get carried away by the brain washing or the unrealistic international propaganda. So with each negative comment I heard about Iran, my determination to explore the country increased. On the other hand, I was trying to stop the implicit feelings of reluctance, hesitation and worry from surfacing. What if my friends were right?

"I am going anyway"

The Tickets were booked, the Visas were ready, and the bags were packed. The only thing missing was a contact in Iran.

"Do not judge Shiraz by its airport." The Iranian friend of an American-Lebanese friend of mine pleaded to me, over the phone, when he knew that I was flying into Shiraz's airport. At this stage all my expectations were kept at the lowest levels.

In the plane, my Irish friend was apologetically asked, with a smile, to put the veil on. The trip has started.

On reaching the airport's gate, my friend pointed out a sign, with my name on it being held by a pleasant looking young lad. Mohsin, the taxi driver, who did not have a single word of Arabic, English, French or Irish, taught us our first Farsi words to keep our minds off the less impressive streets of Shiraz.

Holit che tori = how r you

Man doust daram = I love you

Merci mamnoun = thank you


Posted by faraz at January 15, 2008 8:20 PM