Iran is a massive slab of Middle Eastern territory sandwiched between dangerous frontier of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the East, and Iraq to the East. Iran is a nation that suffers a serious image problem brought about by the tumult of its adjacent countries and bad international press, that is, sadly, at times true. The stigma of its official name Islamic Republic of Iran may effect on an amateur traveller some shuddering. But rest of the world perhaps remains mystified. Ever heard of Persian colours? This is a famous runner for Iran tourism promotions, and by being here in this vibrant nation of gold, red, and blue hues would enlighten the traveller as to why. Surely, anybody has heard of the Persian Gulf, where many battles were waged, or the blockbuster 300, which made waves in Iran more for the politics of the movie than the breakthrough in cinematography that it is. Just don’t cross to Iran via these aforementioned borders, or a mighty danger you’re getting yourself there.
GEOGRAPHY & CLIMATE
Iran is one of those countries one needs to take for what it is, that is the “Land of attractions.” Iran is nothing like a sand dune with uninteresting land features, where political distress and violence are exclusive past times. The vast landscape of the 18th largest country in the world by territory with all sorts of natural scenery, offers warm arid deserts, cool humid forests, even cooler snow-capped rugged mountains, and flower-filled plains, all 1,648,000 km2 of Iranian territory. The Mt. Damavand is the highest point of the country at an altitude of 5671 metres, an ordeal and an excitement to trek. To be found in the Middle East, 35 40 N, 51 25 E, the climate is so diverse in terms of region: the heat and cold extremes of north summer and winters, respectively, and the subtropical climate along the Caspian coast. The high time to enjoy the beauty-laden nation is springtime (or fall) during which weather won’t be a concern, just the visa, which most nationalities can acquire at the airport for a validity of no more than a week.
PEOPLE & CULTURE
Persians (or Iranians) refer to the modern population of Iran, specifically an ethnic group, as one might look back at its ancient name “Persia”. These people are an ancient and mysterious civilization like Egypt and China, and relevant a nation as the super powers United States and Germany, to which it was linked to for Hitler’s third Reich ideology and perverse use of “Aryan supremacy”. In truth, the Iranians are an especially sophisticated and intelligent people, who are taking baby steps toward riding with the world. A current issue however is how much of their traditions they are willing to give up to catch pace with the outside world, but with a literacy of around 80% of the population, we know they are well on their way to opening up. Persians are the dominant ethno-linguistic group that signifies more than 50% of the 70 million people, of which around 80% is the PERSIAN-speaker (also FARSI) demographic-one language out of more than 70 others. ENGLISH is a language of priority to business matters, particularly, and knowing how to speak English is synonymous to “literacy”. Also, children, as young as 7, learn the language, as English is, after all, the global language.