My First Visit to Iran – Shiraz

Shiraz is a large city in the south of Iran, and the capital of Fars Province. Its early roots are perhaps 4,000 years old. I flew on a short flight from Mehrabad Airport in Tehran to Shiraz (flights are cheap in Iran, and distances can be long and time-consuming by road), and stayed at the […]

My First Visit to Iran – Esfahan

My limited preparatory reading told me that although Esfahan’s roots go back more than 4,500 years, it was really during the Safavid Era that Esfahan came to prominence for which it is still famous. It was Shah Abbas who moved the capital of Iran from Qazvin to Esfahan, invested heavily in his new capital, and […]

My First Visit to Iran – Tehran

This is series of several posts about my first visit to Iran. On the 2nd of June (12 Khordad) 2011 I arrived at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) flying with now-defunct British Midland Airways, arriving at almost 4am. I stayed at the Laleh Hotel which is roughly in the centre of Tehran. I had emailed […]

Death of an ant

Sadface and the other piglets were living in a semi-bucolic world. To one side, where they mostly stayed, was an orchard behind a wire fence with a hole large enough for all the piglets to scramble through. There was the road, of course, and its human-created dangers in the form of fast moving machines and […]

Sadface and Cyclops

Sadface’s best friend was a black and white cat called Cyclops. They often played together. They were both young skinny kittens of about the same age. Cyclops had his own house, constructed under a heap of branches. He would often repose nonchalantly in his den. Other times he would leap out, run down and greet […]

Learning Persian in London

I recall reading an article in a newspaper or magazine about Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid empire, several years ago. Then, around the same time, I chanced upon an article somewhere else about Adam Ölschläger, or Olearius, a 17th century German scholar who had travelled to Persia (as Iran was often known then) by […]