Thursday, May 20, 2004

Iran, a peaceful land, embraces visitors

:: Xinhuanet - English ::: "BEIJING, May 21 (Xinhuanet) -- 'Why Iran at this time?' asked a border officer at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Somewhat taken aback, we guessed he must be wondering why we would risk our lives to visit a dangerous place near Iraq, where there is bombing and killing almost every day.

Baz, a kindergarten pupil, is perhaps the youngest friend we made in Iran. She and her little friends were visiting the mausoleum of Hafiz, a great Iranian poet. [Wang Hao]
But Iran is not Iraq. As soon as we got to Teheran, we found we began a process of repeatedly negating our preconceived notions.
Wherever we went in Teheran, Esfahan and Shiraz, we found ourselves among very friendly people. They smiled at you when passing in the streets. Boys clustered around us, asking us to take another photo. Girls, all wearing black or dark-blue scarves and gowns, gazed at us with their big, beautiful and curious eyes. Our friends had told us Iran is, in fact, a safe and peaceful country, and we did certainly get that feeling. "

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