A Deep Experience in Iran: Meeting People

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By Wendeline Van Der Feltz, SYI Facebook Group Member

Dear all, bear with me regarding the length of my post, but these are only the highlights that I had to tell!
So people ask “how was Iran?”, and words as flabbergasting, inspiring, curious and even familiar come to mind.
There are too many things to tell; we visited gorgeous places such as Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, the mesmerizing Shah-e-Cheragh Shrine in Shiraz (a must go!), the inspiring desert in Mesr, Garmeh; the desert town Yazd, Esfahan, Persepolis …
But what really gave depth to our experience in Iran was meeting people, learning from them, making new friends and even meeting family!
We talked during 1,5 hours about religion with an imam, during the “Free Friendly Talks With Clerics” promoted by the Mosque in Esfahan, to strengthen dialogue among religions and cultures). He told us that the Quran should be interpreted (I hope I got this right!): i. in the light of the whole text of the Quran, based on theological and philosophical foundations and finally based on logical reasoning, as the Quran is not “against” intellect, and “God has given us the ability to analyze if our interpretation of the holy text makes sense”. We had the most amazing diner with a complete family in Esfahan, whom we met in an ice cream shop. A simple conversation started with Parmida, a little girl who was practicing her English with us. A few minutes later, Parmida’s father, Abbas Tajmiri and more family members joined and we got the diner invitation, and we ate, danced traditional Persian dances (I’ll show the video in private, not facebook material 😉), and sang: we sang Portuguese songs, they sang Persian songs.
We also smoked shisha with local villagers in the desert town Mesr, had lunch in Tehran with my cousin Marene, her husband and lovey son (best meal ever at their restaurant Khoune, another must go!), had tea with Amid, a knowledgeable carpet seller, again tea with Ali Mazaheri in Esfahan, met a sweet Norwegian couple, Nora and Simon, drank again loads of tea, ate the best kebab ever, met a kind Iranian, Farzad, who took time explaining us Persian traditions and culture … I guess that my conclusion is that Iran is a country that deserves and should be known by us all, and this is something Iranians have known for ages! Thank you to all of you who made our trip unforgettable! And now after the biggest post I ever wrote, beware of my photobomb!

Read more in See You in Iran facebook group