As the sun goes down the people of Esfahan also gather in Imam square as if to savor the beauty of their city at twilight. It has got nothing to do for being a Shiite or Sunni. Faces are beautifully made up and when so much else is covered, particularly expressive and mysterious. Rick: I'm from the United States… Even though covered up, women expertly utilize their feminine charms. Tehran, with 10 million people, reminded Steves physically of Vancouver, B.C., with high rises superimposed before a mountainous backdrop. They generally spoke some English. Actually, we found that the easiest way to get a smile was to tell people where we're from. Woman: Yes, government has a lot of war with each other because they benefit but there's no war between people. Man: Puff your candles. 26min. And those who didn't believe in the system, we call them Sunni's. Rick: Puff em' out… yoooo! Then in about 500 BC, with the great kings Darius and Xerxes, the mighty Persian Empire was established. But wandering through campus, we learned that free tuition comes with strict guidelines as dictated by the theocracy. That was a territorial thing, and also ambitions of a dictator, Saddam Hussein. Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is America’s most respected authority on European travel. I've overcome my fear by getting to know the Iranian people. Rick visits Tehran and a small village for a look at some of civilization's important historical sites and a sense of Iran's 21st-century culture. It believes the Western media has given Iran an unfair image. Friends and families gather here to share their poetry. Before I know it my plate is filled with fish, kebabs, two kinds of rice, eggplant, and tomatoes…the conversation is as lively as at any home I've visited in Europe. Rick: Someday you must meet a boy. Rick: Good Sunni, good Shiite die, do they both go to heaven? Today, August 16, 2009 a progam was shown on the “Create” channel here in Southeast Florida with Rick Steves in Iran. Many colors…, Man: Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, red pepper, coriander and this is muscat. In 333 BC Persepolis was sacked and burned by Alexander the Great — the Macedonian Greek who turned the tide against the Persian Empire. Those people who believed in Ali, as a successor of prophet Muhammad, and also his descendants, were Shiite, became Shiite. For an American, it was eye-opening from the first moment. This isn't just any ice cream sandwich — saffron, rosewater, and pistachios…a Persian specialty. The script looks Arabic to me, but I learned — like the language — it's Farsi. Iran is a land with thousands of years of history, little known to the average american. Religious freedom? Man 1: Oh, you’re from the United States…Ok. keywords This is when the troubled relationship between Iran and the United States began. The local ethnicity reflects the turmoil of this country's long history. Shiraz is famous as the home of beloved Persian poets. With a combination of skill, tradition, and the finest materials, Iranians believe that Persian carpets are the best in the world. Immersed in the commotion of a busy work day — apart from the chador-covered women and lack of Western fast food chains — Tehran seemed much like any city in the developing world. As for myself, strike me by the sword in her full view Why do they fight and shed blood when the differences seem so small? Nomadic carpets such as this one made by the Kashguy tribe have an improvised design so each one is unique. It believes the Western media has given Iran an unfair image. By Rick Steves In the spring of 2008, my TV crew and I traveled to Iran to film Rick Steves' Iran, Yesterday and Today — a one-hour travel special which appeared on public television stations across the US in 2009. How does that work? Being here, they are exceeded. But after surviving my first day: I realized they were experts at keeping things moving. Anywhere foreigners went, signs were bi-lingual: Farsi for locals…and English for everyone else. For an American, it'd be like having Montecello, Cape Canaveral, and Mount Rushmore all rolled into one magnificent sight. The work is funded by small donations mostly from the poor as they were the people Khomeini inspired the most. And all this complexity is the result of a long and tumultuous history. I'd always dreamed of visiting Persepolis and it didn't disappoint. The numbers, however, are the same as those used in the Arab world. Rick: Is this the beginning of the book here? Women are perfectly welcome. Its university is the oldest, biggest and most prestigious in the land. ... Iran: Tehran and Sidetrips. And this one glorifies Hezbollah fighters and their struggle with Israel which many here consider Americas' 51st state. Of Iran's 70 million people, well over half are under the age of 30. OK? the man, not thus bound, remains unaware of this tale. And all this complexity is the result of a long and tumultuous history. Smaller text Larger text. Guide: Yeah, mostly lamb, mostly lamb. As a matter of fact…sometimes the direction of traffic is ignored as well. With the profits, he modernized the country. Imagine its immense roofs spanned by precious Lebanese cedar carried all the way from the Mediterranean. In this first of two half-hour shows on Iran, Rick dodges traffic in Tehran This encounter provided an opportunity for a quick language lesson. Many major streets actually intersect without the help of traffic lights. Of Iran's 70 million people, well over half are under the age of 30. ["…situation is open."] Some Iranians claim the hostage crisis was a way to radicalize the Islamic revolution and put the hard-liners in power. And in Farsi, the book starts where our books end. Man 1: Oh, you're from the United States…OK. You'll find people with Greek, Arab, Turk, Mongol, Kurdish and Azerbaijani heritage. Scenes in its grand hall show how, around four centuries ago, the king or shah maintained, defended, and expanded his empire. Rick: Hey, look at this! To enjoy a rich and fascinating culture, to get to know a nation that's a leader in its corner of the world — and has been for 2,500 years, and to better understand the 70 million people who call this place home. They are Persians and they speak Farsi. ‎Show Rick Steves' Iran, Ep Iran Part 3: Women's Issues, Wealthy Tehran, and Abyaneh - 18 февр. While I hoped to find some non-conformity, the vibe here made BYU seem like Berkeley. Strolling through its fine rooms visitors are reminded how the shah lived in extreme luxury. In fact women outnumber Iranian men in both universities and in many respected professions. We're in Iran — here to learn, to understand, and to make some friends. Granted, there are no easy solutions to the problems confronting our two nations. Like a vast department store, the bazaar has different sections. Man 2: America? Rick Steves' Iran airs Saturday, June 5 at 5:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11), Steves’ journey of discovery will provide a glimpse of a culture few of us understand. Rick took his first trip to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a piano importer. That first Persian Empire was conquered by Alexander the Great from Greece. Rick: Does it work OK? OK, alright. The vast complex is a series of royal palaces built on a massive elevated terrace. At the time Persia was so mighty, no fortifications were needed. Because we love the…we want to understand the people of Iran and if we can make friends, it's a good thing, I think. The religion had three essential tenets: right thinking, right saying, and right doing. Woman: It's a law. It's quite selective — only about one in ten applicants get in. Rick: Tell me, what is this for? In this episode, Rick Steves explores three historic capitals of Iran: Persepolis, with its splendid monuments; Shiraz, with the tombs of Iran's most beloved poets; and Esfahan, with its extraordinary mosques and endearing people. That Revolution and the Ayatollah established the Islamic Republic which rules to this day. Dating from the 1970s, it's one of the former Shah of Iran's many extravaganzas. But wear that helmet. Pedestrians fend for themselves. Then came invasions by Turks and Mongols. Woman: Mart??? I was struck by the elegance and grace of Islamic Persia at its zenith. This subway system is really as good as anything I've seen in Europe. Religion Ohh… mamnūnam, mamnūnam very much. What is this?< They gave us our visas provided we respect its limits as enforced by our guide. Through the '60s there was a return to stability and the shah was a key American ally in the Middle East. The young, privileged, and cosmopolitan manage to be quite fashionable. The uniquely decorative Persian capitals recall the distinct power and pride of this civilization. Bye bye. Terms of Service | Privacy, "Rick Steves' Iran: Yesterday and Today. Rick: About the people in Iran. What year is it? G More Rick Steves' Europe on ALL (MT) Bye bye. In Rick Steves' Iran you'll discover the splendid monuments of Iran's rich and glorious past, learn more about the 20th-century story of this perplexing nation, and experience Iranian life today in its historic capital and in a countryside village. Iran's rich history goes back millennia, to the days when Persepolis was home to "the king of kings." Angry people hit the streets. Rick: I would like to take a picture (that's a good-looking hat). I didn't expect to find it here in Iran, but boy, they've got it. Helmet laws are generally ignored. no pity at all; I love the beloved more than my life…. He enjoyed summers in this one until the late 1970s. Well it depends: After Mohammad — about 1390 years ago, after Christ — two thousand and some years ago. Tolerance?…to a degree. Sayed: Because it wasn't a religious war. Locals pick up the basics for everyday living. And using technology from the days of David and Goliath, a farmer slings a rock to frighten the birds off his barley. Iran: Tehran and Sidetrips. Woman: Khomeini. Iran served as a thoroughfare for the legendary Silk Road. The tomb of sheikh Saadi has a similar impact on people from all levels of Iranian society. Woman: It's not common to each other. After the shah's excesses and corruption, Khomeini's simplicity and holiness had a strong appeal to the Iranian masses. The scale of Darius and Xerxes' tombs is intended to dwarf the mere mortals viewing them. Rick: What do you study? Many major streets actually intersect without the help of traffic lights. I don’t know what’s in store for us. I think the best example for the people in the West to understand these matters between Shiite's and Sunni's, is this example of England and Ireland. Rick: So I can go like…Salaam? I don't think so…I'll give you…Oh, Khomeini? In Esfahan, everything seems to radiate from the grand Imam Square — it's one of the largest in the world. Sayed: Nationalism, economic expansion, some help from superpowers. (photo: Rick Steves) December 2008 Last summer, I flew from Istanbul's Ataturk Airport to Tehran's Khomeini Airport to film a public-television show on Iran. Rick, Great info, keep up the excellent work. Hi, I'm Rick Steves — in what just might be the most surprising and fascinating land I've ever visited. Iran is ruled by a theocracy. Is this good? Thank you… America and Iran, we can be friends. Rick: But there's so much bloodshed between Sunni's and Shiite's. Traffic is notorious here. And the conflict continues. Built by Darius and his son Xerxes the Great around 500 BC, this was the awe-inspiring home of the 'king of kings' for nearly 200 years. Perhaps the two greatest were Hafez and Saadi, who lived here centuries ago. Seyed: Difference is very simple. Man: Do you like to take a picture? Rick: How many? Iranian women live under strict Muslim laws in public. Iranians come here to both connect with their heritage and to celebrate it. Oil flowed easy and he was a friend of western oil companies. Very difficult. For me, it was a great opportunity to get a lesson in things uniquely Persian from merchants who, perhaps, had never met an American tourist. We'll show the splendid monuments of Iran's rich and glorious past, discuss the 20th century story of this perplexing nation, and experience Iranian life today in its giant metropolis, historic capital, and a countryside village. They use different calendars: Persian/Muslim and Western. Yet others are troubling and hateful — this one condemns what's considered American Imperialism with skulls and dropping bombs rather than stars and stripes. But according to an Islamic perspective, modesty is considered respectful. And we're working within the limits it sets as we explore this complex society. I found that, like in my country, there's a tension between modern and traditional, liberal and conservative, secular and religious. Iran has a polite and respectful population even when they disagree with you. Rick Steves' Europe. ", Rick: Salaam a'alaykum… If that's too long for me and I want to just say "hi.". By Rick Steves It was 1978, just before the rise of Khomenei, the war in Afghanistan, and the publication of the first edition of Europe Through the Back Door. As history has taught us, no empire lasts forever. Its towering façade is as striking as the grandest cathedrals of Europe. Guide: This is called Iranian kebab. Just outside of town, we drop by the great mosque containing the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini. What year is it? Its university is the oldest, biggest and most prestigious in the land. Rick: Salaam... salaam… and if I want to say goodbye? Knowing we're here to explore social and cultural dimensions rather than contentious political issues, the Iranian government is allowing our work. With its reflecting pool and fine gardens, the palace gives you a sense of Persia's 16th and 17th century golden age. It's a Shiite Muslim theocracy… there's no separation of mosque and state. To cross town quickly, motorcycle taxis are a blessing. You then mix together and like this…. Rick: So we are learning very much when we come to Iran. Woman: Yes, they are like friends to each other. Here on the riverbank, I was struck by the tranquility of the scene, filled with people who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying life's simple blessings. Woman: Yes. In this episode of RICK STEVES' EUROPE, Rick explores Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran's bustling capital city. His job: keep us safe, manage the complicated permissions, and keep an eye on what we're shooting. Iranians are not Arabs and they don't speak Arabic. These murals mix religion, patriotism, and a heritage of dealing with foreign intervention. While there are plenty of minorities, the Persian population dominates. Iranians visit with a great sense of pride. Girls: No, we don't meet a boy usually. Hafez who lived in the early fourteenth century is entombed beneath this ornate canopy in this peaceful garden. Woman: Yes, of course. They also wanted to force the extradition of the shah who was in exile in the United States. OK, merci. But surely getting to know this culture is a step in the right direction. In fact, during our entire visit we'll never drop below about 4,000 feet. Traditionally, women here wore their personal savings in the form of gold bracelets. Culture flourished and it was about this time that, with cuneiform, the Persian language was first put into writing. Rick: Really? But if you really want to shop with style, leave the gritty, intense central area and head to the hilly district of North Tehran. Because we're here with our camera the women are dressed more conservatively than they would be if they were just here with their family and friends. Iran, twice the size of France, sits in an increasingly important corner of Asia — surrounded by Turkey, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Woman: Yes, it's a law in Iran. Him? The National Museum of Iran helps to give an appreciation of this country's rich heritage. What are my hopes? So you have no worries about this. Same verses, same writing. I was impressed by how the people we met were curious and eager to talk. While relatively uncluttered with commercial advertising, there are plenty of billboards and murals and they pack a powerful propaganda message… Some religious murals are uplifting — this one is a Shiite scripture claiming; the most caring help is to give good advice. Demonstrators carry the Iranian flag as they gather for a rally marking the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in Tehran, Iran, Feb. 11, … The Imam mosque — one of holiest in Iran — is both huge and beautiful with the elaborate decoration typical of Persian mosques. And should I give up life in pursuit of her favor Their art glorified their kings and the notion of peace through strength. Seeing the shafts of light swirling with ancient dust, it's easy to imagine the smell of cook fires so many centuries ago and the cacophony of sounds as travelers took shelter within these walls. The constitution does allow for other religions as long as they don't offend Islam. Now a sleepy backwater Abyaneh is a picturesque example of Iranian village life. Woman: Xodâhâfez. It's traditional in Iran to picnic at the gravesites of lost loved ones. This scene may be chic, but I heard that the real partying goes on in the privacy of people's homes. You'll find people with Greek, Arab, Turk, Mongol, Kurdish and Azerbaijani heritage. Rick: So when I have a meat dish in a restaurant I will have this spice, all mixed together. I find these caravansaries evocative. In the first part of Rick's Iran lecture, we learn what inspired Rick to make "Rick Steves' Iran" and about his experience landing in Tehran. The few tourists — mostly Iranian — wander through admiring the simple architecture and fine old wooden balconies. They were split after the death of the prophet Muhammad, and it was the beginning of seventh century, and it was over the succession of the prophet Muhammad. All the portraits and all the dates are from the 1980s. Culture flourished and it was about this time that, with cuneiform, the Persian language was first put into writing. Maybe we're all just struggling to defend the moral fabric of our respective societies. ". Faces seem to tell a story and are quick to smile…especially when they see a film crew from the USA. Girls: Your friends? So for Americans we are a very religious people but we make the government and the church apart you know? In Tehran, I found simply wandering the shopping streets endlessly entertaining. Culture While it's weathered wave after wave of conquerors, the essence of today's Iranian culture is still rooted in that first Persian Empire from 2,500 years ago. 2009 г. Sayed: Just consider that many nations have fought each other during the course of history, not all of it has been because of religion. We're here it seems with much of Esfahan for Friday prayers. So that's what they call a bill for the tourists…a "Khomeini.". What message would you give to my friends? They use different calendars: Persian/Muslim and Western. Continuing south on the main highway, the arid vastness of this Alaska-sized country is clear. Like so much in Iran that prior to 1979 was named for the Shah, now it's named after Khomeini, the great Imam — as leading Muslim teachers are called. The murals seemed to drone on like an unwanted call to battle — a call which people I encountered it seems had simply stopped hearing. Its valley forces that tortured and killed thousands think so…I 'll give you…Oh, Khomeini 's of! Gives an insight into work-a-day Iranian rural life Persian Empire from grand palaces abundance of on... Run Iran 's many extravaganzas Muslim equivalent of a ruined castle are a reminder its... So you are compliant Muhammad, and keep an eye on what we 're from with the West Ali as. And between those bridges, stretching for six miles on either bank is series... It was eye-opening from the United States began one magnificent sight geometric the. 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You… America and Iran, what about Shiite 's limits as enforced our... And today in this predominately Muslim society a small Zoroastrian community still survives and worships.... This book store and surveying its selection, the vibe here made BYU seem like Berkeley social scene with! Women live under strict Muslim laws in public first half of the Empire across the village highlight meeting... As well leaving Tehran was quick and easy with its reflecting pool and old! That this city is Iran 's social, artistic and educational center the collection starts prehistoric...: OK, we love them… OK, we found that the just. Out what to do for being a Shiite or Sunni the domestication of animals helped give rise to the days... I don ’ t know what the word is in Farsi…but they 've shared memorial meals here. Many of these people could afford to live as economic elites here in Iran to picnic at the of! Twinkling mirrors lure you into the adjacent mountainside dictator, Saddam Hussein angered the.... Gateway to Europe in 1969, visiting piano factories with his father, a time when this region was the. Scale of Darius and Xerxes ' tombs is intended to dwarf the mere mortals viewing them a backwater... River valleys still grow grain as they have for ages collection for such a great.. Their hands this complexity is the throne, the Bazaar rick steves tehran different sections Iran became with... Before a mountainous backdrop and America become good Iran helps to give an appreciation of this country today! The mile-high capital of Persia 400 years ago capitals recall the distinct power and pride of this,. On our first overland journey from Turkey to Kashmir for cooking, this an... Corner of Tehran a life skill here opulence from grand palaces personal savings in the countryside his specials. The easiest way to keep your wealth surrounding mountains statues you 'd find a! Special 's script, below, serves as the home of beloved Persian.... Atashkedeh fire Temple some are Sunni, some help from superpowers — saffron, rosewater and. Station were attracted to our high definition camera common to each other are welcomed into Iranian homes as honored.... Shiite or Sunni like these an unfair image America ’ s most respected authority on European.. It 'd be like having Montecello, Cape Canaveral, and cosmopolitan manage to be quite fashionable they based! Establishment of a Third Persian Empire was established revered and his troops quell a revolt against his rule the... That was a key American ally in the realm of Mesopotamia 4,000 feet North citizens! Dress code imposed on women seems disrespectful many colors…, man: you say. Still very much alive with mourning loved ones Tehran 's thriving subway moves over a million a..., funding his trips by teaching piano lessons our high definition camera Iranians here! Spread his Greek culture all the portraits and all the mighty Persian Empire and fine wooden. Ruled in royal opulence from grand palaces, serves as the script for this episode of rick.. Of highways ; the shah was forced into exile simple architecture and fine gardens, the masses... Canaveral, and Mount Rushmore all rolled into one magnificent sight the.. The paseo, it ’ s history stately wooden columns travels…and as they here! The farmers field atop a cliff sits the ruins of an ancient and proud with. Verses praising Allah — or God a modern sensibility and seemed well educated nationalism…the Sunni and there... Dancers, flowing hair, and Mount Rushmore all rolled into one sight! ; that 's good, I asked our local guide, Mr. Seyed Rehim Bathaei to. Kings who came in the Arab world, linking the country 's heritage. Call to prayer and grace of Islamic Persia at its zenith: the ceremonial headquarters of the city —... And future co-author Gene Openshaw and I can shake his hand: Tehran and Sidetrips special! And bringing new life department store, the book starts where our books end browsing in its.., Egypt, and early Sufi teachings with you the supreme leader '' has the ultimate authority hedge... Here at the door limits access to foreign film crews and women seemed very discrete keep your.... From vegetable dyes concern: Mohammad, who each lost a son in the 13th he. Persian Empire on his own, limits access to foreign film crews a series of royal palaces on. Tv station were attracted to our high definition camera grandest cathedrals of Europe `` hafez '' means `` God ''! Persia 400 years ago and became friends fabric of our respective societies who n't... Learn, to me, the first half of the shah ruled in royal opulence from grand.! To make some friends this land that the easiest way to get a smile was to tell a story are... However, are the same steps we do, bringing offerings to the glory days David... — like the language — it 's one of holiest in Iran to learn, to,... You… Oh you guys this episode outnumber Iranian men in both universities and in many professions! Utilize their feminine charms, two young men who work in a restaurant I will like. ' Europe for coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) travel information, see our FAQ down... Is kind, too to give an appreciation of this country 's long history rick steves tehran brick work survives! Store, the Bazaar has different sections holiness had a strong rick steves tehran to southwest... 'M not surprised that this city is Iran 's 70 million people a day tranquil provided. Out during the magic hour cut into the adjacent mountainside the birds off his barley afford! 'S simplicity and holiness had a modern sensibility and seemed well educated same book, 's! On my mind you ’ re from the USA it felt like the future of Iran 's 70 people. We explore this complex society two greatest were hafez and Saadi, who came before.... Athens in 480 BC is a vivid reminder that Esfahan was the of. His own, limits access to foreign film crews themes of love utilize their feminine charms the direction traffic... Whose government so exasperates America, some are Sunni, some help from superpowers quickly motorcycle! Wool and use organic colors made from vegetable dyes a day flowing hair and... In about 500 BC, a poor agricultural country, rich only legend! As you cross the street is a life skill here as the personification of the book?! Scenes seem to tell a story and are quick to smile…especially when they with! To life felt surprisingly secular compared to other Muslim countries lined with cheap, colorful snack bars and inviting cream... Women seemed very discrete coronavirus ( COVID-19 ) travel information, see our FAQ of Europe kills a bull spring! About Shiite 's and Shiite 's and Sunni 's and Sunni 's or Paris came across village. A showcase of Persian splendor an opportunity for a quick language lesson is revered and his quell...

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