Muharram, Groups March by with Huge Drums

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By Tim Franke, SYI Facebook Group Member

Muharram – my first day in Iran.

After a couple months of research, and hearing my freshly-made Iranian internet friends tell me I am insane to come visit on the day of Ashura, I arrive and after a quick rest I’m meeting up with my buddy. He buys me a pack of smokes and a red bull at the ONLY place open in the wide vicinity and as I look closely I see a truck with the back open, filled to the brim with the bleeding bodies of at least 20 animals ( I suppose they were sheep or goat? I’m not sure and don’t want to disrespect). Was this what my friends back home have warned me about? Have I gone insane booking a flight to Tehran?

I have not. The complete opposite actually. We sat down next to a beautiful statue to have a coffee and a chat, as some groups march by with huge drums, beating their backs with chains. I feel completely safe, safer than I would feel back home if something like this happens. The eerieness of the streets gave me a feint of attentiveness, but nothing bad.
As we continue to roam the streets of Tehran in search for lunch, we enjoy a pomegranate beer in the sun while a couple other groups pass by. The striking photo of the man with the baby doll was an impressive show of historic performance witnessed shortly after. Once again, the streets were completely filled with people, all in black. They tell me hello, they ask me where I’m from, they offer me food, smokes, a talk and a smile. At this point I am sure everyone back home is crazy and not me.

Iran is amazing.

Read more in See You in Iran facebook group