On my fourth month long trip to Iran in September 2018, I had the opportunity to extend my visit to areas further away from the well knows touristy areas, such as Golestán, Tabriz or my lovely Kurdistan. I traveled slowly and more attentive to my surroundings.

Iran is only five hours away by plane from Europe and that seems something so far away, unaware, is the country that makes me feel more at home besides Morocco.

In these terrible days in which there is talk of war, revenge, attacks, destruction of Persian culture, etc. I can only think of the dozens of moments and places that live within me, in everything good that I find whenever I go.

I don’t want to talk about politics, how common enemies make us, where hate, ignorance and fear are at ease on this painful planet.

Because Iran has a lot more than it is, and it goes from crying to laughter in a matter of seconds, because if something characterizes them it is their resistance and their desire to continue living and enjoying.

On this fourth trip I lived one of my best experiences during my visit to the city of Tabriz, capital of the province of Azerbaijan and famous for its exquisite carpets.

I met Mina, translator, writer and teacher of French and English, who invited me to stay in her family home. Strong, brave woman, who barely reaches the age of thirty, has great wisdom.

I arrived very early in the city after a long bus trip from Tehran, it was already cold autumn and when talking to her she told me to go directly to her house where we could have breakfast.

As soon as I arrived they welcomed me as one of their daughter, the breakfast deployed in the Persian way, on the carpet, eggs, fruits, jams, pastries and vegetables.

As soon as I sat down Mohsen, the father, asked me;

Are you honest? So much firmness made me doubt, I said «I think so.» Then he answered me, I will treat you as the friend of God.

And this declaration of intent gave way to one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.

Fatemeh Mina’s mother did not stop smiling, beautiful and lovely woman who did not stop giving me foods throughout my stay as if I was a little girl. She is like a magician that takes her hat pulled out and there are thousands of delights ready to give me however I was getting over loaded that I could not be able to fit all to my backpack.

Leila Mina’s sister and her nice and intelligent daughter Sarah, accompanied us at many times, an entrepreneur and strong woman with a decent successor, open and vital daughter, the same age as my son and who already speaks several languages.

Mina was also part of the family, the best friend of the family, from whom they possibly got the name for my friend, funny and witty, who answered the phone as if buying shares, with a family that in turn opened the doors for me and a grandson with beautiful blue eyes, who showed us his beautiful garden with his glass of tea analyzing everything with expert eyes.

We visited her mother-in-law who she looked after like a mother and lived an experience like all those in Iran, always extreme.

She told me the terrible story of his son, who died after the war with Iraq due to the damage of chemical bombs after surviving the battlefield.

Then as usual, he gave me everything new I had at home, gifts for my son, along with candies and cucumbers (delicious, never missing in any basket).

Meanwhile, she apologized for gifts she said they were poor, when in life nobody gave me anything so valuable.

After the tears we laughed out loud with the last detail that she had prepared ..

For several days, I enjoyed the greatest hospitality you can think of. They took me to the city, its parks, restaurants, mountains, mausoleums, mosques, orchards and neighborhoods. I enjoyed the art, the music and the gastronomy, the whole family organized to take care of me.

We visited Kandovan, a town reminiscent of Cappadocia, where we made seasoned purchases for endless Tarof moments, where sellers refused to charge us everything we bought.

Huge jars of honey, nuts and sweets. Moshen insisted again and again to pay, and to give me the same as he bought, while we had tea after tea in endless talks.

Until they reached an agreement and managed to pay in this wonderful rite of gratitude and bargaining in reverse.

I remember how Moshen’s back hurt, he moved with a chair in his hand with which he could sit and rest to relieve himself, pain that you could only guess in some gesture of disguised pain among all his smiles.

His complicity with his wife and daughters disarmed you, always with a smile, with a beautiful word, with a precious sense of justice

Sarah surprised me with her increasingly daring jumps and pirouettes. Open and witty. We had conversations of the most interesting, and from a very young girl a traveler.

Recalling all those moments for this text, I have a knot in my stomach because of the helplessness and sadness I have of everything that is happening. Innocent victims of the war industry.

The moment of the farewell was a bittersweet mixture, they gave me flowers that I put on my hair for the last photos.

Everyone took me to the station, I kissed Moshen’s hand, while he hurriedly pulled it away, with tears in his eyes. What tenderness of this wise, expressive and judicious man who always greeted me and greets me with an «I love you».

After saying goodbye with long hugs, I began to cry inconsolably on the bus, deeply happy and sad for the end of my life.

I was dreaming of my fifth trip, which I hope will be very soon, if the winds of hatred and the war bells finally go out.


Iran dooset daram.

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