Calendar Home
Previous Day

January 5, 2003

Next Day
Forget silly Western notions about Iran; the people here are friendly. We have no problem saying we're American and people react positively. Of course they don't like our government but we don't blame them (we defend America in many conversations) and they don't hold a grudge against us. People don't stare at us even though we're obvious foreigners. If you smile then anyone you meet will smile too. We enjoy the sights. The top things to see in Tabriz: a bazaar maze, a blue mosque, a poet's cemetery, and a lunch of mashed meat and chickpeas called Abgusht. In the morning we receive a Persian history lesson - it's long because Iran has a longer history than Greece. The last war with Iraq has left indelible scars, everywhere stand signs and posters that show men 'martyred' during that conflict.
Iran is more liberal than Saudi Arabia: women can ride on the bus at the back (so men can't stare at them).
Tabriz's mullah factory, a mullah is an Islamic cleric that has graduated from a theological school.
Carpet seller's waiting room.
Billboards show the Ayatollah Khomeini (old) and the Ayatollah Khamenei (new) as friends. An Ayatollah is the highest rank for a Shiite cleric. Iran has many Ayatollahs. One Ayatollah is chosen to be the Supreme Leader, the person who holds most of the power in the Iranian government.