Our fantastic trip to Iran has sadly come to an end.
After four weeks Narelle's head scarf or 'Imams helmet' as we nicknamed it is now permanently off...we are now relaxing in the very unusual and rare (for us) surrounds of 4 stars in Abu Dhabi.
Lastly as a fittingly end this blog we would like to clear up a few western ideologies about Iranians and our travels in Iran:
- Is Iran safe to travel in? It certainly is and we did not have any issues what so ever. Narelle and I have travelled near and far and it's rather uncanny that the two most sanctioned places in the world (Iran and North Korea) are the two countries where we have felt the safest and most welcomed. We have consistently felt safer here in Iran than what we have at times in our own city of Canberra. Like anywhere in the world one should follow the rule of never put oneself in situations they can't immediately back out of.
- Are Iranians all violent or terrorists? Totally US, Israel and UK (CNN and BBC) driven propaganda. From south to north and east to west we have met nothing but normal peace loving people who want a good life for their family and friends. Just like us!
- Are all Muslims bad? Are all Christians or Catholics bad...! Yes there are bad apples everywhere but the vast majority of people are just normal people who want to freely practise their religion while detesting violence and war.
- Do all women wear black chadors with a tiny hole to see through? Hell no...these are govt imposed restrictions on tight clothing and head scarfs but other than that Iranians are extremely fashionable people. Dare I say it but they are actually more fashionable than the majority of Australians.
- Do all Iranians detest the west for the imposed sanctions on the nuclear debate? Absolutely not...!!!! In fact every single Iranian whom we had this conversation with totally agrees with the sanctions imposed by the international community. Quoting an Iranian: "put an arrow in the hands of a crazy man and he has the ability to do crazy things, put the same arrow in he hands of a sane man and he will use the arrows material for good".
- Will there be a war? The people hope not but as many people have said to us this is totally in the hands of one person. I got the feeling that most Iranians actual see war as a way to break the supreme leader's shackles on the population.
- Do the police bother westerners? Absolutely not, unless you are doing the wrong thing. Our bags were searched once and the very kind policeman then apologised and proceeded to say have a wonderful trip in Iran.
- Do Iranians treat westerners with suspicion? Absolutely not! They are very open, friendly and highly educated people who are naturally intrigued by the world outside of Iran. They loved seeing photos of our family, friends, country and home town. They are very hospitable people and if you are holding a map expect someone to immediately help you.
- Travelling in Iran as an devout atheist? No issues at all and the people, although intrigued as to my religious beliefs or lack there of, don't try to convert you. I have had more mormons at my front door try convert me in the last six months.
- Would I come back to Iran? Absolutely, the first opportunity we get we will be back in this land of endless smiles, handshakes and hellos!
END OF OUR IRANIAN BLOG...we hope you have enjoyed our blog.