By NOMADasaurus – Adventure Travel Couple, SYI Facebook Group Member
“My friends! You are very welcome in Iran.”
We were walking down the street in Tabriz when this beautiful man came running up to us with a heartwarming smile and sincere welcome. He invited us to visit his store, and even though we were rushing off to see a mosque, we couldn’t say no to him.
His name is Ali Yousefi.
Ali led us to his small sewing machine repair shop, set up some stools and brewed up a fresh batch of tea. He told us all about his life, his family, and the hundreds of tourists who he had met over the years. He then pulled out a series of notebooks in which people had shared tales of friendship in meeting Ali.
For over an hour we chatted in broken English and sipped on tea. Of course we also added to his notebooks. Afterwards he pulled out some postcards and wrote a thank you in Persian to us for joining him. When we offered Ali some money he refused, saying it warmed his heart to be able to meet us, and the postcards, tea and friendship was his simple gift to welcome us to his country.
Meeting Ali was a humble experience of pure joy and hospitality. And this is just one example of the fantastic kindness we have encountered since we arrived.
This is the real Iran. The Iran you don’t see in the media. And Ali Yousefi is the country’s most incredible ambassador.
Read more in See You in Iran facebook group