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Iran Tourism

Iran: a shining example of great people

Jon-Paul Chevalier  Dec 26, 2008

It was Mark Twain who once said, “Never let schooling get in the way of a good education.” Well, I was educated by none other than the government and the people of my newest and fondest travel destination: Iran.

While attending the first annual Iranian Tour Operators Conference, which took place on November 24th- 27th in Tehran Iran, I had my eyes opened to the finest example of a government's effort and its peoples natural hospitality, all working together in complete synergy to promote a dialogue among civilizations through cultural understanding and communication.

The people of Iran are among the most dignified, friendly and respectful people in the world. Through their actions, they have shown a great desire to be understood. By traveling through Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz and Kish Island as an American, it is obvious to me that Iran is a friendly, peace-loving country and a place of tolerance and understanding. These facts about Iran, along with one of the richest histories in the world, and four travel seasons, make Iran a must on any traveler's to-visit list.

After touring Iran for seven days and spending the last two on my own in Tehran, I found Iran to be a country, proud of its history and sincere in desire to be understood and to participate on the world stage. There is one particular story from my trip to Iran that I wanted to share. While being treated wonderfully by government officials and by people everywhere I went in Iran, I had the pleasure of striking up a conversation with a 20-something-year-old man from Tehran. After an exchange of conversation and the overwhelming effort on his part to welcome me to his county he ask me a very candid question which caught me completely off guard. “Do you think, I’m a terrorist?” he asked.

I was shocked by this sincere and heartfelt question and my only response was “Of course, not”. For the next four days, I spent all my free time in the company of this man. On the last night, he took me to one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen called Jamshid Davallu Park located at the base of Kolakchal Mountain in the Niavaran District of Tehran. I spent my last night in one of the parks traditional restaurants eating traditional Persian food sitting on traditional Persian rugs and smoking a traditional Persian hookah, with my new Iranian friend. Americans can learn a lot from the people of Iran, especially in terms of sincerity, hospitality, understanding and communication.

To get helpful insight into Iran and the Iranian people, as well as a perspective on the land of Persia suggested reading would be "The Ayatollah Begs to Differ" by Hooman Majd (

Iran: a shining example of  great people

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