by Emerson GrossmithTravelling in Iran was something Emerson Grossmith had dreamt about for a long time. Over the years, he had read and formally studied Persia: from its rich and varied history under the Achaemenids up to the modern day Islamic Republic. To actually go there would be a dream come true.
Mr. Grossmith had pursued a career in Near Eastern Studies and worked as an archaeologist on several sites in the Middle East. He gave that up to teach ESL in the United Arab Emirates.
During the Nou Roz holiday of 1999 the dream of going to Iran finally became a reality. Emerson along with his erstwhile travelling companions George Evashuk and Brian Rose took a break from teaching English to explore the Islamic Republic of Iran. This adventure in Iran was to become a trip of a lifetime.
Going to a new country comes with its own pre-conceived fears and since the Islamic Revolution; Iran had been off the map as a tourist destination. In fact, if anything, Iran has been a pariah state in light of its on-going nuclear programme and sponsoring of state terrorism in some Middle Eastern countries.
Having been working in neighbouring United Arab Emirates for two years, Mr. Grossmith and his two friends would find many differences during their journey between the Sunni Gulf Arabs and the mostly Shia Iranians. The physical distance between the Gulf countries and Iran is not that great but there is a huge gulf between the Sunni Arabs and the mostly Shi’a Iranians.
Full of the Empty; full of paradoxes. Iran is full of surprises too. It is desperately trying to be modern under an imposed rule by the Mullahs. It is a land of contradictions. A land represented by a glorious Persian Empire versus an austere modern Iran controlled by the Mullahs. Most Iranians that were encountered loved their country and their past culture but despised their present Islamic government. This book is as much a travel book as it is an appreciation of Iranian art and architecture.
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