Iran
Meydān-e Ḩar

Here you’ll find travel reports about Meydān-e Ḩar. Discover travel destinations in Iran of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

4 travelers at this place:

  • Day26

    Op de nationale televisie van Iran

    February 4, 2017 in Iran

    Op een avond in Teheran liep ik door de straten op zoek om wat vers fruit te kopen. Ik kwam langs een sishacafé en werd uitgenodigd om mee te roken. De mannen nodigden mij uit om de volgende dag met ze mee te gaan naar een wedstrijd van Persepolis tegen Tractor Tabriz.
    De volgende dag werd ik opgehaald en het bleek dat ze vrienden waren met de broer van de aanvoerder. Voordat de wedstrijd begon gingen we naar een vijf sterren restaurant om de spelers te ontmoeten.
    Toen we naar buiten liepen vanuit het restaurant stond er een cameraploeg die vroeg of ze een interview konden afnemen. Ze stelden mij een paar vragen en daarna gingen we naar de wedstrijd.
    De dag daarna, ik was inmiddels in Maleisië aangekomen, kreeg ik berichtjes van verschillende vrienden vanuit Iran dat ze mij op televisie hadden gezien. Het bleek dat ik een interview heb gegeven aan het meest bekeken programma van Iran waar gemiddeld vijf miljoen mensen naar kijken! Heel erg gaaf en een prachtige afsluiter van Iran!
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  • Day100

    Iranian stories 4

    April 10, 2017 in Iran

    Head scarf, Hijab, Chador, Burka – street fashion in Iran
    One of the things that most most people were curious to know about my trip and that at the same time seems to hold back a significant amount of them from actually traveling to this amazing country, is the dress code enforced on Iranian women and every women entering the country.
    I got asked several times by good friends: “How was it to wear a burka during your trip?” When I then show pictures of my travel buddy and me and during our trip and of my stylish Iranian friends, they all have to admit that the street style has become incredible modern and the regulations pretty liberal.

    A piece of cloth - Whats the difference?
    There is a variety of veils worn by women in muslim countries and communities around the world. How much of the woman's body has to be covered, is depending on the country and its (religious) rules, but also the status, lifestyle and self-image of the woman wearing it.

    The niqab is covering the head and face but leaves the eyes exposed. It usually flows down to the mid-back and to the mid-chest at the front. It is common in many Arab nations, especially the Arab Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Yemen and Oman. It is also increasingly common in South Asia: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

    The hijab is type of scarf covering the head and neck, but leaves the face uncovered. It is common in many countries; from Indonesia and Malaysia to Egypt and among many Muslim women living in the West.

    The burka covers the full face and body and compared to the other veils conceals the most. The face is completely covered and a mesh cloth covering their eyes. The cloth allows the woman to still see, but leaves the eyes hidden. It is mostly worn by Afghan and Pakistani women.

    The chador, worn by many Iranian women when outside the house, is a full-body cloak, basically a big piece of cloth. It is often accompanied by a smaller headscarf underneath. It is held in place under the neck by hand. Black is the preferred color in public, but women often wear colorful versions at home or at the mosque.

    In Iran most girls and ladies, especially in the metropolitan areas, simply wear a scarf (often in bright colors or with modern prints). It is wrapped loosely around the head and neck, so that the back of the neck and head stay covered. The scarf is combined with a manto, a long-sleeve coat or blouse. 
    You also see hijabs, as part of the girl's school uniform and work attire of women in governmental positions. Here usually black or dark blue versions of the hijab are common. In smaller towns, more conservative communities and when entering a mosque or shrine women wear the chador.

    Getting used to the scarf
    Sure it felt a bit strange when the flight attendant on my flight to Tehran announced, as soon as the plane hit the runway on Tehran airport, that women by law have to cover their head and arms.
    It also has been very amusing to watch other female passengers too carefully covering every piece of skin and knot their scarfs underneath their chin like grandmothers.
    My artsy neighbor on the plane helped me out and showed me how to sling the scarf around head and neck, so it looks quite cool and still meets the requirements.

    Before flying to Tehran I looked at some of my Iranian friends' social media profiles and checked some Iranian fashion blogs to find out what I could bring with me.
    I packed some of my shirt dresses, longer tunics and some loose dresses as well as some matching long skirts, leggings and harems pants and added a set of light and colorful scarfs.
    During the trip, I just mixed and matched them based on my mood and the weather conditions and the planned activities for the day.
    After less than a day I got used to the headscarf, moved confidently and freely through the streets of Iran and mostly even found it useful as a sun protection.
    Based on some travel books I read prior to the trip, I was prepared to get stopped and my dressing style corrected by the police. I was sure that with the wind, our movements, my gestures or a bag or camera strap, would move the scarf and dress into the wrong place, expose a bit too much skin and would bring me into trouble.
    In three weeks I didn't have a single encounter with a police officer. But occasionally some ladies in chadors gave us the evil eye in smaller towns, but we never really found out why.

    Iranian fashionistas
    Iranian women are known for their beauty and they definitely have got style.
    Foreigners often believe that, as the government forces a dress code on women, they would all look the same and not attractive.
    But nowadays women and fashion designers play with these restrictions. The mantos come in all colors and shapes and often the cuts emphasize the female body rather than making it disappear behind a sheet of cloth. The scarf is placed further and further at the back of the head and often just seems to balance there, revealing most of the face, hair and neck.
    In Europe I often notice a trend towards reduced colors, pastels and classic shapes and sense a lack of courage to wear bright colors and unique cuts. It regularly happens that I think to myself, that a woman could wear a bit more color, one that matches her personality and complexion better than the current color trend. Iranian girls on the contrary seem to love colorful clothes and accessories that enhance their faces and eyes. It is definitely fun to watch ladies walking around in the latest street fashion and get inspired.

    The chador trap
    I got used to the scarf quickly, but made a fool out of myself wearing the chador. 
    When visiting a shrine or other sacred site, even tourists need to cover themselves with a chador. At the entrance of such a place, you are handed a sheet of fabric that looks more or less like a table cloth with floral or 80s style prints. Before entering the holy place and during the whole stay, you have to throw it over yourself and hold it in place underneath the chin.
    When we went to see the Shah Cheragh in Shiraz, I got a white piece of cloth with small green flowers on it before joining a guided tour. But the this piece turned into a real challenge - no matter how much I focussed on keeping the fabric in place, I either stepped on it or it got entangled in my camera strap. 
    Things got even worse when we stopped next to a fountain to follow the instructions of the guide. The loose ends of my chador got caught by the wind and started to float on the water. Two elderly ladies observed my struggles, apparently felt sorry for me and not only got me back to the correct dressing style but also introduced me to the right way to hold it in place.
    Everything seemed to run smoothly now, till I managed to somehow knot the chador, the strap of my handbag and the one of my camera together and almost strangled myself, much to the amusement of everybody around.

    A feminists side note

    Iran has been one of the highest ranked countries to visit on my bucket list, one that I a, really interested in and curious about for many reasons, but unfortunately the rulers of that country define a dress code for women – locals and foreigners alike.
    This restrictions got me into passionate discussions with friends who couldn't understand how I could travel to a country that forces it's female citizens and tourists to cover themselves and at the same time be a feminist. They blamed me for undermining the women's fight for autonomy.
    I am less than thrilled about these limitations forced on women and fight for women's freedom to wear whatever suits them and they feel comfortable with and support everybody who does so too. One option could have been to not travel to Iran at all until the limitations are lifted. I decided to go with the second – to visit Iran and follow the rules as loosely as possible.
    I so much wanted to get to know it's people and explore it's rich history, art and culture, even if that includes that I have to cover my head and elbows.
    The scarf and manto, still let me do everything I expect from clothes to allow me to do – I traveled and moved freely, I could express my style and personality and it even protected me from the influences of the weather.
    And visiting the country gave me the opportunity to discuss the female perspective on the dress code and a variety of other issues with the ladies there.
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  • Day98

    Iranian Stories 1

    April 8, 2017 in Iran

    The quest for a travel buddy or the Austrian-Australian Confusion

    The Iranian Connection:
    Through all my student and professional life I constantly got to know Iranians. They just seemed to be everywhere and I found it easy to connect with them - I worked with Iranians during my first career in telecoms, started to talk with a guy at the airport who happened to be Iranian, sat next to a guy at a film festival in Portugal who was also Iranian and is now one of my close friends, worked as a director of photography for an Iranian director... My friends already started to call me the "Persian magnet".

    During my film studies and later work at a film festival I got to see loads of Iranian movies. So Iran, its people, art and culture were for years close to my heart and I always loved the sound of the Iranian language (called Farsi) and the rich Iranian cuisine.

    It was therefor natural that I always dreamed of going to Iran. After all my positive experiences with Iranian people, I just wanted to see this country and experience the life there.

    For the first time I planned to travel to Iran six years ago. But the political situation was never really easy, the application for visa time consuming and sometimes just life came in between.

    Don't get stopped by obstacles anymore:
    In 2017 I finally didn't let myself be held back by media, visa application processes, and other obstacles and was determined to travel through Iran on my own. The political situation became a bit more liberal over the past four years, visas can now be obtained in advance or at the airport (as visa on arrival) and little by little hostels are opening all over the country to host international travelers who want to experience the country on a budget.

    Social media and several travel networks offer support and people share stories about first-hand experiences there. Several airlines again started to fly directly to Tehran, for a reasonable price.

    The only thing that was missing now was a travel companion. I have travelled alone before but wanted to share the experience and also responsibility for the organization of the trip with someone likeminded.

    Traveling to Iran – are you crazy?
    I started to talk to several of my friends and work mates over half a year before the actual trip. But finding a travel partner appeared to be far more difficult than expected. First, getting three weeks off is difficult these days; a lot of employers hardly let their employees off for two consecutive weeks. Second, a lot of people are still scared to travel to Iran, even more with the refugee crisis at hand (for some reason these two are connected for them).

    Media, existing stereotypes and deeply rooted fears often win over the stories of people who have traveled that beautiful country already.

    But I was determined to go on the trip to Iran and to travel with somebody.

    There are several networks and apps available online now, but the Lonely Planet forum was one way for me to find a travel buddy. Although it would be a kind of "blind date", it would also be a chance to meet people with a passion for traveling.

    A post with a rough outline of the trip and my preferred travel style was mainly answered by Indian guys and some Iranian locals in the beginning.

    The information I received about traveling with a travel partner of opposite sex to Iran varied – friends told me to not risk it and rather travel with another girl; online I found several stories of unmarried couples, friends and travel buddies visiting the country without any issue.

    I wanted to be on the safe side in that aspect and also found it a bit more convenient to stay with a female stranger in the same room than with a male one.


    Finding a good match is never easy:
    Finally I got a reply by an Australian lady, who seemed to fit:

    "Hi, I am hoping to fly from Australia into either Jordan or Iran and have the same sort of itinerary in mind. I don't like package tours and have researched public transport in Iran - trains and VIP buses look good. But also happy to hire a car and driver. I am 52 single lady who is fit and healthy. Oh... and very easy going."

    I was stunned how quickly we talked about actual itineraries and how much research she had already done too.

    After a few messages and whatsapp chats we were sure that we wanted to travel together and already tried to organize flights and visas. It took another few weeks and nerves till we finally had our visas confirmed and flights booked.

    We agreed to meet in a hostel in central Tehran and travel together from there onward.

    After my adventurous trip to Tehran, the first thing I saw and heard from Aleena, my new travel buddy, was a rough "Good Morning" and some wild hair and half open eyes at 5am in the "See you in Iran" hostel bed.

    A few hours and a bit of sleep later, we finally got to know each other in person and set out to explore Tehran together.

    There is always a chance that you don't like the other person or have nothing in common. I had a plan B in that case: We would either just share the room and spent the day alone or with other travelers or even go different paths after the few days in Tehran.

    But from the first moment on we got on so well and seemed to complement each other.

    Austria or Australia?
    During my trips and studies abroad, I got used to answer "We don't have kangaroos in Austria, but you might know Sound of Music or Mozart", when people ask me where I am from. Traveling with an Australian got the Australian-Austrian confusion to a next level.

    Iranians love foreigners and you constantly get asked about your home country – by random people, young couples, shop keepers and whole groups of pupils.

    After we briefly introduced ourselves, people usually looked at us buzzled. The next question usually was: "Are you mother and daughter?" (that's not the charming one) or "Are you friends?" And then "But how is that possible?"

    When we then told the story of how we met and what brought us together, they are even more buzzled.

    After two weeks, several thousand kilometers traveled together, nights spend in hostels, in a nice hotel bed and on the floor in a nomad's house, after a taxi accident and some Aussie lessons, I can just recommend the laid back Aussies. They make an incredibly good travel buddy match.
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  • Day221

    TEHERAN

    August 10, 2017 in Iran

    So while my thoughts revolving around her our flight departs in time. Let's go to Colombo via New Delhi. The flight is not that comfortable because of many turbulences.
    Somewhere between Iran and Indian Ocean the captain announced that we are turning. The left front window is cracked and we have to land in Teheran. Just for the time to repair the window. Six o'clock in the morning, we arrived at Teheran... On the airfield we got breakfast before we were brought to the terminal. All the time some guys from the embassy and Indian airlines were around to inform us about the procedure. Almost no wifi or other possibilities to contact my family in a proper way. During the whole day we got told our plane is already on the track to Teheran.
    The good thing, now I was in Iran. The bad, got no stamp in the passport.
    Boarding time is 19:45h and everything seems to be well. So we could leave right on time at 20:15h. The airline has got other plans with us. After ten o'clock we departed. The captain told us it's because of a safety reason but most of us already knew the want to safe the costs for a hotel room. At 3 o'clock we arrived in New Delhi and everyone is tired.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Meydān-e Ḩar, Meydan-e Har, باغشاه

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