TRUTH OF PERSIA
We set foot in Iran whose image is long calcified by its political regime, and soon discover seven reasons why everyone needs to catch the next flight to the highly misunderstood nation
THE HUMAN TOUCH
The fallacy that Iran is a treacherous nation to navigate holds no water as soon as you meet its people. Warm smiles, curious questions, even the odd invites to homemade meals by someone you have just stumbled upon on the street are prevalent when you’re a foreign face. It is easy to understand this lavish hospitality from the cultural standpoint – Iranians believe that guests are gifts from God and should be treated as such.
THE HISTORY LESSON
The national pride among Iranians is mainly founded in the country’s historical legacy. After all, the land presently occupied by the Islamic republic was once home to one of the most illustrious civilisations. Much of the influence of the Persian Empire and its other notable successors remains alive today in the form of 21 (and counting) Unesco World Heritage-listed sites. Whether roaming the imposing ruins of Persepolis, Shush and Choqa Zanbil or former royal residences such as the Golestan Palace, retracing the footsteps of some of the most distinguished figures in history will fill you with awe and admiration.
THE ARCHITECTURAL MARVELS
As enchanting as Iran’s many ancient kingdoms are, the architectural inheritanceance has enriched the country. These include the crumbling mud-brick houses of Abyaneh, the lofty wind towers of Yazd and myriads of manicured gardens thathat are the very picture of paradise on earth. But it is the city of Esfahan that hass truly accomplished the tour de force. The former capital has long been dubbed ‘Halfalf of the World,’ partially due to the magnificent bridges, mosques and palaces that form its crux. The Naqsh-e Jahan Square is one of such wonders to behold.
TAKING SHAPE With the attractive contours of both its cityscape and nature, Iran is repeatedly named as a go-to travel destination
GREAT WONDERS History and culture vultures alike will nd insightful glimpses into Iran’s fascinating past, at the ancient city of Persepolis
Abya neh or the Red Villa ge is most fa med for its red mud-brick hou ses