Iran – Part I.

Davamand mountain

Most certainly many of you have heard the name of the country “IRAN” also known as “Persia”, the ancient name of the country. This beautiful land is located in The Middle East, not far from Macedonia, not in the Far East as many people imagine. It is located in West Asia geographically, borders the Persian Gulf, Oman Gulf and Caspian Sea. Its neighbor countries include Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, owing it to the dominant geo-political position in the world, one of the world’s largest empires in history, The Empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great. Since the country covers different geographical circumstances, we face varieties of climate during the year in different regions; you can go for ski during the winter in the mountains or enjoy a quite mild weather along the coast. Deserts, basins, forests and pastures are long time attractions to both domestics and tourists as well.

Briefly in a couple of series I am going to introduce you to this wonderful country. Maybe it will be your next destination to travel. Who knows…

Nasirolmolk Mosque in the city of Shiraz

The country’s population growth rate has been increasing, approximately from 19 million in 1956 to around 78 million by 2013 according to the statistics. The official language is Persian (Farsi) and also several other languages are spoken in different regions of Iran. Before the Arab conquest, Iranians religion was Zoroastrianism. Now 98% are Muslims and 89% are Shi’a opposite of the rest of the Muslim countries. After they converted to Islam, culture and art were highly influenced.   

Tehran is the capital and the largest city, residence of almost 12.5 million people. Making it suffer from pollution and traffic as many other large cities in the world. But you can always enjoy a nice fresh air and scenery at the country side not very far from the city.

If you travel to Iran in February you will see the country celebrating the Iranian Revolution anniversary which took place in February 11th 1979. Lead to overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty eventually replacing with the Islamic Republic by Ruhollah Khomeini the leader at the time who returned to the country after a long exile. He formed the new government in April 1979 after holding a referendum.

The Iranian culinary style is unique, though has historically both influenced and has been influenced by Iran’s neighboring and conquered regions at various stages throughout its history. Turkish cuisine, Azerbaijani cuisine and Iranian cuisine on the other hand have heavy mutual influence on each other. Rice is the main food companied by a stew made with vegetables, meat or chicken with local spices in.

Another thing I would like to mention which I think you are already familiar with is Carpet weaving, it is an inseparable part of Persian culture and art. They are widely known famous throughout the world. According to their design and color they have different names. Also there are different usages such as symbolic, decorative or just as covers. They are made by hand in a couple of main cities in Iran which are famous for their unique patterns and colors they use.

So now I guess you have basic information about this Persian cat lying in the Middle East, observing the ongoing events. See you in the next episode.

Written by Afra Fekri

Translated by Vela Popadic

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