Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A travel book on Iran

Mirrors of the Unseen: Journeys in Iran, Jason Elliot (2006) Picador

It was only recently that my stroll in a famous bookshop took me to the travel section, where I came across a recently published travel guide. It gave quick summaries on most countries in the world: a short description of what each country looks like; for example what’s their national dish, language, climate, etc. I started looking through the pages of the book till I came to the section on Iran. I was very surprised to see under the most popular car it was written Peykan (a car produced in Iran in late 60s that was designed based on Hillman Hunter). Based on my personal experience the information was at least 25 years out of date!

I’m now reading “Mirrors of the unseen: Journeys in Iran”
and find it quite refreshing that the image portrayed of Iran is more relevant to the present time. To get a flavour of the book, Here is a copy of my favourite paragraph:

“As night fell we found ourselves in the great maiden. At least a hundred Families had migrated there and were gathered on carpets and cushions along the whole length of the square. Children were everywhere and playing between the flowerbeds and borders while the adults were laying out platters of food and samovars and priming paraffin lamps and puffing on water pipes. It was an unexpected and to me touching sight and I asked Ramin what occasion had brought so many people into the city’s main square. The answer had never occurred to me: they were having dinner.”

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