Iran

The Ghost City of Bam

Shiraz, Iran Bam is blistering hot. Even in mid-April the noon day sun beats down with a ferocity that sends me straight to the nearest teashop. So it was very early morning when I explored Bam's main attraction, a four square kilometer walled ghost city. The...

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The Angry Man of Yazd

Kerman, Iran I am surrounded in all directions by hundreds of miles of desert wasteland, where scarcely a weed survives. But centuries old underground tunnels feed water to the oasis city of Yazd, which emerges like a mirage from nowhere. The tunnels, called qanats,...

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The Pain of a Martyr

Esfahan, Iran Esfahan has been described as the most beautiful city in the Islamic world. Normally, I am suspicious of hyperboles like this, but after spending 2 days here I can understand why people have said this. The Emam Mosque is easily the most beautiful mosque...

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Right Side Drive

Tehran, Iran I have never seen anything quite like the traffic in Tehran and the insanity of an Iranian behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Though the driving style might be similar in India or Syria, Iran has both higher traffic volumes and higher velocity,...

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The Den of Espionage

Tehran, Iran If I had just stepped off of the plane from New York, perhaps Tehran would seem more developing world. But right now, the flashing neon lights and streets full of clothing and electronics shops are more reminiscent of Times Square. But even objectively,...

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Under the Table and Over the Border

Tabriz, Iran A new language, new writing, new money, new dictator portraits: border crossings always begin a new chapter. Crossing a tiny footbridge at a minor border crossing between Turkey and Iran was no different. Having heard rumors about endless delays miring...

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