GETTING TO KNOW THE BEAUTY OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN – PART II

GETTING TO KNOW THE BEAUTY

OF THE

PEOPLE OF IRAN

PART II

Compiled by Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.

 

“Iran is one of the world’s oldest civilizations and has been among the world’s most thoughtful and complex civilizations from the very beginning.  There are aspects of Iranian civilization that, in one way or another, have touched almost every human being on the planet.”[i]

 IRAN = PERSIA

Iran is the political name – Persia is the cultural name.

TRADITIONAL PERSIAN TEAHOUSES

 

Tea House in Shiraz, Iran – the city of roses, nightingales, wine, and poets.

Wine, as is all alcohol, is banned under Islamic law.

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/travel/narrative_travel_writing/saffron-and-nukes.shtml  At this site, Nancy Penrose shares her story of touring Iran in 2008.

Traditional Persian Outdoor Tea House

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/73022/photo1365.html

Teahouses are scattered throughout Iran.

PERSIAN GARDENS

Gardens are created as a symbol of paradise—a place for spiritual reflection.  Water is a vital part of the garden as it is a metaphor for looking into one’s Soul.  In the garden, an individual can meditate while feeling a sense of sacredness and tranquility.[ii]

Gardens play an important role in Iran, where much of the land is arid.  Moving water—as in a waterfall or fountain–adds humidity as well as creating the sounds that enhance a meditative state.

“No one can inspire humans with hope like Mother Nature and nowhere can she playfully display the greater extent of her will than in the garden of human mind….  Persian worldview and culture does not regard humans sans Nature. Islamic teachings consider Nature as a bed of signs that display the power of the creator of this world and therefore a source of meditation and wonder. A forerunner of world gardens, the Persian garden is a sanctuary where the creative forces of humans and Nature merge into another.  Building gardens is an ancient art in Iran which includes its very own traditions as a material and spiritual representation.” [iii]

Architecture can be an important part of the Persian Garden.  Graceful arches play an important role.  Iranian architects use to build domes on square buildings.

http://www.slideshare.net/kitang007/persian-gardens

Garden of Eden Persian Garden

http://www.slideshare.net/kitang007/persian-gardens

“By the … soul, and Him who perfected it and inspired it with conscience of what is wrong for it and right for it….  He is indeed successful who causes it to grow, and he is indeed a failure who stunts it.”   Islam. Qur’an 91.7-10

 “Train yourself in godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”  Christianity.  I Timothy 4:7-8

“The Holy One gives wisdom only to him who has wisdom.”  Judaism.  Talmud, Berakot 55a

LANGUAGE

 “Iranians speak Persian, an Indo-European language, in the midst of the Arabic-speaking Middle East….  Since the 1979 revolution, Iranian women have been subject to one of the most restrictive dress codes in the Islamic world, yet partly in consequence, Iranian families have released their daughters to study and work in unprecedented numbers.  More than sixty percent of students entering university now are female, and many women—even married—have professional jobs.” [iv]

http://www.bangalorehelp.com/news-iranuniversity.php

 

SCHOOL GIRLS

Schools are presently segregated.

School girls on a field trip to Chelhel Sotun Palace in Esfahan, Iran

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/travel/narrative_travel_writing/saffron-and-nukes.shtml

 

Boys on a school field trip to Imam Square in Esfahan, Iran

http://www.uncorneredmarket.com/photos/picture/6449169843/

EMPIRE OF THE MIND

“The deeper, reflective, humane Iran is still there beneath the threatening media headlines.  Iranian cinema is one of the most remarkable phenomena of the country since the revolution [1979].  Banned from the themes of violence and sex regarded by Hollywood as indispensable, Iran has produced a cinema of unique poetic artistry and universal appeal that has won many international prizes.  [Some of these films are] The Apple, 10, Taste of Cherry, The Circle, Blackboards, and Colour of God.  Many of these films develop subjects dealing with the mistreatment of women, the vulnerability of children, the effects of war, the distortions of Iranian politics and society, and other themes critical or tending to be critical of the Islamic regime.”

“Iran and Persian culture have been hugely influential in world history.  Repeatedly, what Iran has thought today, the rest of the world (or significant parts of it) has believed tomorrow.  At various stages Iran has truly been an Empire of the Mind, and in a sense it still is—Iranian culture continues to hold together an ethnically and linguistically diverse nation.”  [v]

PEOPLE OF IRAN/PERSIA

 

Old Town in Yazd, Iran

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/travel/narrative_travel_writing/saffron-and-nukes.shtml

 

“Being American makes you the most popular kid in the village” – 2008.

Rick Steves shares his experience in Iran, where “the murals are mean, yet the people are friendly.”

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/beyond/iran.htm

 

“Locals – quick to smile for the camera of a new American friend” – Persepolis, Iran

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/beyond/iran.htm

“Woman in bookstore gave me a free book.”

         “The most treasured souvenir of a trip to Iran:  memories of its people.”

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/beyond/iran.htm

 “Those who act kindly in this world will have kindness.”  Islam.  Qur’an 39.10

“Be kind to one another.”  Christianity.  Ephesians 4:32

“The world stands upon three things:  upon the Law, upon worship, and upon showing kindness.”  Judaism. Mishnah, Abot 1.2

“Iranians find Americans as interesting (and confusing) as we find them.”

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/beyond/iran.htm

 

 A Charity box is on many street corners – contributions used for social needs.

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/destinations/beyond/iran.htm

“You will not attain piety until you expend of what you love; and whatever thing you expend, God knows of it.”  Islam.  Qur’an 3.92

“Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  Christianity.  II Corinthians 9:7

“Whether we bring much or little, it matters not, if only we fix our heart upon our Father in heaven.”  Judaism.  Talmud, Berakot 17a

IRAN BY DAMON LYNCH

http://www.pbase.com/dflynch/iran&page=all

“Iran is an extremely beautiful country in which to visit, make friends, and photograph.”

http://www.pbase.com/dflynch/iran&page=all

HANDMADE PERSIAN RUGS

 

 http://www.mprugs.com/

 

Handmade Persian rugs and carpet are among Iran’s major exports.  Persian rugs have been “woven into the fabric of Iranian history, religion, society, and culture for more than 2,500 years.” “Iran is the genesis of most motifs, patterns, and traditional colorations produced in rugs throughout the world today.”  –Susie Beringer

http://www1.american.edu/ted/persian-rugs.htm

Nomadic Couple – Village of Aghdash, Iran

Nomadic Life – Aghdash, Iran

Nomadic Couple in Aghdash, Iran

Nomadic Life – Tending sheep

Nomadic Life – Washing Wool – Aghdash, Iran

Aghdash, Iran

Aghdash, Iran

THUS ENDS MY TOUR OF PERSIA/IRAN

Little did I know when I decided to seek the beauty in Iran and its people what a fascinating journey it would be.

 

WE ARE TRULY ONE WITH ALL THAT IS!

“Open to all forms ”
Ib’n Arabi
(Sufi Poet, s. XII)


My heart is open to all forms:
is a pasture for gazelles,
is a cloister for Christian monks,
a temple for idols
the Kaaba of the pilgrim,
the tablets of the Torah,
and the book of Quran
We acknowledge the religion of love,
and whatever direction they move their ways;
the direction of Love
is my religion and my faith.

 —-Rumi, the Poet of Love

 

“Djalal Rûmi ad-Din was born in September 1207, where today’s Afghanistan. Rumi is considered the greatest Persian poet of all time. His vast work, comprising 70 000 verses, is compared by scholars to the greatness of Shakespeare, Dante and Beethoven.”  [vi]

PART I

https://pathwaytoascension.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/getting-to-know-the-beauty-of-iran-its-people/


[i]   Michael Axworthy, A HISTORY OF IRAN: Empire of the Mind, copyright 2008, page xii.

[iv]   Axworthy, page xii.  Some call the language of Iranians “Farsi,” but this is controversial.  See:  http://www.iranian.com/Features/Dec97/Persian/  for additional information.

[v]   Axworthy, pages 293-294.

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