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Saturday, August 19, 2006

IRAN is the same PERISA

I assume that situation in Iran constantly leave for a long time like today (Iran nuclear program was in UNSC and a war potentially being a big menace for Iran , also a hard liner government be in power, and like 20 years ago Iran have tension with world but everything is still calm ) .with this situation what must be interesting for a foreigner to visit Iran as a tourist.

please remember I assume that everything is calm and there is no war and chaos like Iraq ;)

Iran is among top ten ! countries which have potentially more interesting points in tourism industry,but with all of this Iran has only 0.3% of all money in tourism industry.

And my question :

Q: what must be interesting for a tourist for visiting Iran?

please answer these question and write any obstacle you think is in Iran for foreigner tourist?

I think I could guess some obstacles for foreigner tourist in Iran, for example :

  1. Iran government is very strict in issuing visa for many citizen of "not friendly countries" .
  2. many limitation in Iran (law or culture of Iranians!?) restrict tourist e.g alcoholic drinks are banned in Iran...
  3. many of people especially in western countries only have an illusion vision about Iran
  4. and ...

maybe it was not a relevant post to what happen these days in the world.but I really ask you answer the question and help me complete these list because it is really important for me and especially one of my friends.



chas said...

I think it's simple Yasser. Your culture treats women badly. Now I guess you could counter this by listing 1001 ways that Western culture treats women, but what tourist is going to visit Iran when their women get to cover up in a big black sheet. And it's really too bad because Persian women are some of the most beautiful in the world!

Brando said...

Top 10 Countries? or is it Top 10 for potential tourism?

I'm sure there's some pretty good hiking in the mountains, but I wouldn't want to be a hostage for 444 days. If we could work out some sort of compromise, I might be up for it. Maybe I could get a tour of Natanz, and maybe be a hostage for about 2-3 days. That way everyone wins.

Katalan Saar said...

Hi, let me introduce myself to you Yasser. I'm Katalan Saar (First name) from Kiryat Motzkin. You're English is very well and hopefully you'll improve!
I think you know there's the oldest Synagogue in Iran. And of course the culture is attraction too. But, as long as the terrorism roll on Iran almost no one would come.

Anonymous said...

Chas -

No woman visiting Iran has to wear a big black sheet. Check your facts, or better still, go there and find out.

A headscarf is required, yes. A chador, no.

And the women are just as articulate and clear in their opinions as women anywhere else.


zaphod said...

If I came to Iran I would want to see... SO many things.
Mountains, meadows, birds, mammals, fishes.
What flowers grow there?

If I had your E-mail address I would send you a picture of a mountain I was near just yesterday.

We could have a picnic in one of your meadows. I could learn about the good people that live there.

But I would not come. It breaks my heart to tell you why because I think we should be able to play together.

Simply put, because of what the president says and how the mullahs behave. I guess that means the government in general.

The things I read about in the human rights watch. And why do I even know the name Evan prison when I'm half a world away?

I guess we'll know more about what to expect on Wednesday.

chas said...

anon, I said that THEIR culture treats THEIR women The chador comment was a bit over the top. But if Iran has no tourists, they only have themselves to blame. All we have heard for 25 years is "death to America" and "death to the west." Is this a place I would want to visit and spend my money??

Anonymous said...


You're right - I didn't read your post correctly.

But isn't it the differences in cultures that draw tourists? I agree the chants of "Death to America" are off-putting. But nobody who actually visits Iran is exposed to that. "The guest is from God" is the standard phrase, and the people behave that way provided you respect their laws and customs.

The sheer depth of the culture, its ancientness, overwhelm you far more than the religious oppression. And it's Iranian women's strength that has, in large measure, kept the worst of that religious oppression at bay.

Of course that might not look great on the tourism website: "Come see how our supposedly downtrodden women keep us in line..."


chas said...

Edward, I agree with what you say about going to another country to see its "differentness." I suppose I am showing my own insularness of being an American in that I feel that if I were to go oversees I would have a target painted on my back. I'm afraid I would have this feeling in much of Europe as well.
Best Regards

JohnM said...

I've worked in Saudi, UAE, Egypt, Turkey and Morroco, but not Iran. I think I have a little experience of what might make a country attractive or not to tourists.

I understand Chas's comment and whilst I have sympathy for it I doubt whether it makes any difference for the average tourist, whose primary concern is for their personal experience and security.

I also doubt the idea of ignorance as being of primary importance. Most westerners are aware of the fact of Persian history but not of detail. This compares to Greece - in both cases the average tourist knows that the country has a past but not the extent. That fact doesn't affect Greek tourism.

I would draw your attention to the experience of Turkey, which started to attract western tourists in the 1980s. In the early days the idea of western beach wear or alcohol consumption was considered scandalous to locals but given a choice between enforcing local codes (risking rejesting tourism) and deliberately turning a blind eye to western behaviour, they chose the latter. Local tolerance has grown over the years. A side effect is that twenty years later, young Turkish people who were brought up in the tourist spots or in Istanbul, dress and act like westerners albeit not to the same licentious degree. Radical Islam has no attraction to these people.

I would suspect that the Iranian rulers understand what "baggage" is being brought along with western tourism.

matt said...

Yasser, I think the biggest problem is the IRI. I know that Iranian culture is extremely rich and has no problem with women. Cyrus the Great had the first (correct me if I'm wrong) declaration of human rights way back when. I just couldn't visit Iran now in good conscience, knowing that while I'm enjoying my time there that people are languishing in prisons for challenging the system or afraid to speak out or I'm giving my money to a government which suppresses its own people's freedoms, freedoms which I take for granted every day here in the US. Cheers man

monicar said...

I wouldn't wear a headscarf OR risk being hung/stoned if I were to be abused by a man. (Respect for women? Please. The women are articulate I am sure but what they have to say doesn't count for much, does it? Especially if they have been abused.) I certainly wouldn't risk my daughters' safety by visiting your country.

We work very hard for our money and save for our travel. It is not safe for westerners (or women, whether western or Iranian) in Iran.

Your leaders have brought your country to this. Policies that bring wealth and progress are scorned. Your economy is going to continue to suck if change is resisted. It is as simple as that.

Narges said...

Hi Yasser!

I'm an Iranian girl who lives in Tehran, and I have my own blog (follow my link if you like) to write about life here. What I want to say is WOW! Afarin!!

If I received so many conservative, illogicall or simply flaming comments, I don't think I'd keep enough motivation to write! But you do! And you keep your posts respectful and reasonable. This is great. Well done!

People who come to my blog are fortunately more open-minded, but then again, talking with an already open minded perjavascript:void(0)
Publish Your Commentson is easy. What's difficult is to try to talk some sense into the closed minded ones!

Keep up the great weblog, and always remember that you will make a big difference with each of your posts :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Yasser

I have to agree with Narges. There are alot of inflammatory comments from people who really don't know of what they speak. Iran is not safe for Westerners... oh please! I am a western woman who has been to Iran three times. I met other westerners there and the general consensus seemed to be that Iranians were very, very westerner-friendly.

Case in point 1- On my first day out on my lonesome in Tehran, I stupidly got into an unmarked taxi in Tajrish (didn't realise I should have only take marked arjans sp?) and three taxi changes later, arrived at my destination, with a free bottle of water from my taxi driver's car boot for good measure.

Case in point 2 - Later that week, I ran onto a metro carriage as it was leaving, only to realise it was the men's carriage. Several men stood up to give me their seat and then an old man made sure I got a arjans from Mirdamad and made sure i paid the driver in front of him to avoid being fleeced. Such help would have been nice on my trip to the US, where people generally barked at me, whenever I asked for assistance.

Case in point 3 - many, many Iranians speak English and are so excited to have a native speak in their shop or general vicinity that they jump at the chance to practice a few phrases with you.

Travelling in Iran is like travelling in any other country. Yes, you have to wear a headscarf and a manteau (coat) but you can make it your own and it gives you a small taste of one of the nuisances that Iranian women have to deal with every day. And yes the stares from men can become a little much sometimes, but I never felt any hostility at all from anyone.

Yasser to answer your question - yes, my first visa was hard to get, I had to demand to talk to the ambassador and appear to be on the verge of tears before I was granted my visa.

Regarding the alcohol problem - really, there's no alcohol in Iran...?

I think people are just generally scared, because they only know what they have been fed by the media. When I came back home, people were amazed at my photos - "I thought they all lived in mud huts" - scary I know. Since looking at my photos, lots of my friends and colleagues are keen to go.

Keep up the good work. Now I'm off to check out Narges's blog.

brando said...

It doesn't sound like much fun.

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