Everyone was against my trip to Iran in 2009. Why? In world media you could hear only frightful information about Iranian nuclear program, potential war with Israel and even a predicted date of the attack (sic!). In Poland you couldn’t find a single traveler’s blog which would describe how life in Iran looks like so that I get better view on the country. Instead, I read a few basic facts from BBC country profiles section and Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website just to find out Iran was and is pretty much a safe country. With such limited knowledge and high level of motivation I got a visa and flew to Iran the day after… The reason of my trip? 5 month-long internship with students organization at Tehran University – life-changing experience.
Long story short: I run the project with the support of incredible Iranian students. We had lots of fun, laugh, work, unforgettable discussions over my favorite ash soup, joojeh kebab or the finest shirini (sweets). I was captivated by the beauty of ancient Persepolis, charm of Kashan, Esfahan, Kharanaq, Kazarun…and bustling, smoggy Tehran of course! While admiring the surroundings I managed to be stopped by hejab police 4 times in a month (I’m 100% Polish with “Iranian” look that should explain it;), got a professional escort from Basij paramilitary groups on the 3 days trip to observe Ashura fest, also had my voice recorded intro to the International Short Film Festival, attended a mass in the Catholic church! in Tehran…finally celebrated by birthday, x-mas and New Year’s Eve in one of the most “exotic” places you could think of …just to name a few of my “adventures” in Iran.
And guess what? I’m planning to come to Iran for the 3rd time and bring somebody who has never been there yet but I’m sure will he get the same disease as I did – love for Persia.