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A Teaspoon of (لیمون) Zest

Relishing and zesting the beauty of cultures in the Middle East and South Asia.

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Iran

Traveling around the mountains of Iran, Part 2: Masouleh

Back to the mountains we go! And this time to Gilan Province, in northwestern Iran. This is where I went on a road trip with two of my friends, and where we decided to visit the popular Iranian tourist spot and gem, Masouleh.

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Traveling around the mountains of Iran, Part 1: Imamzadeh Dawood

It seems like only yesterday that I was traveling around the exciting landscapes of Iran. But the reality is that it has already been 6 months since I came back! Because of the persistence of the cold weather in Sweden this spring, I have been thinking a lot about the trips that I took to the mountains of Iran. Those sudden escapes from 27 degrees (Celsius) and balmy sun to snowy and cloud-covered mountain tops. Here are some of my memories from those trips!

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Happy late Nowruz!

Happy late Nowruz to all those who celebrated! Whether you celebrated in Iran, Sweden, the US, or India, I hope that you’ve had a nice start to the beginning of this Persian New Year. Nowruz is officially celebrated in 17 countries around the world (Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Georgia, Kurdistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), but in today’s global world, also by people around Europe and the US.

Here is a small sample of Nowruz traditions, explained through short videos and pictures!

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When you need just ONE more video on everyday life in Iran

Discover Iran in 2 Minutes, by Mandy Tay, gives a nice and artistic view of Iranian society. The video starts and ends with short film clips, but also covers snapshots of anything that one could associate with Iran: the varied landscapes and cities, the Islamic and colorful architecture, the people, and even the bus stops! We see (groups of) friends on motorbikes, welcoming faces, and smiling couples. The filmed clips give us a sense of an Iran that is not only beautiful, but also free and filled with laughter.

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Beautiful video on everyday life in Iran

Iran ~ A Journey Within is a lovely short video by Mohammad Tabrizian, showcasing 5 cities across Iran. Presenting everything from laughing children and friends, couples holding hands, and giant chessboards, to famous Iranian landmarks, artifacts and city landscapes, this is the ultimate video for a little window into contemporary Iranian society!

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Learn how to make Iranian sweets (video)

Curious about how to make the Iranian sweet dumpling ghotab (qottab)? Then take a look at this video by online Persian recipe guide Aashpazi!
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Qom, the city of blues (photo essay)

Have you ever heard of the color ‘Persian blue’? Well, I am fairly sure that it was first invented in the city of Qom, Iran. Qom is a city roughly 3 hours southwest of Tehran, famous for its religious and historic significance – and filled with the color blue. It is the city of the marvelously blue Fatima Masumeh Shrine, commemorating the pious sister of Imam Reza, and a meeting point for pilgrims from all over the world. Here are some of my thoughts on the city!

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Some sites, parks and flowers in Tehran (photos)

We may not often think of Tehran, or Iran, as a home of many flowers or parks. But that is where we are wrong. Because Tehran is nothing but a green city. There are streets, of course. And highways. But there are also little parks everywhere around the city – and I mean everywhere. Around every corner, you will find a small oasis with trees, green and yellow benches, decorated with chatting old men. And where you can’t find a park, you will at least find flowers. I just happen to be the type of person who often enjoys the surrounding area more than the actual sites, so forgive me for focusing this post more on flowers than on towers. Here are some examples of the parks and flowers that I spotted around the city – and just a couple of notable sites.

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Happy Shab-e Yalda!

Happy Shab-e Yalda to all those who celebrate! Yalda is the night of the winter solstice, and is celebrated with a big feast in Iran and by Persian communities around the world.

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