Monday, August 31, 2009

Ramadhan Sights of Tehran

A Mosque in Tajrish, Tehran

Ramadhan (or Ramezan in Persian)…the month of the revelation of the Qur’an, prayers, blessings and benevolence, has arrived again.
In Iran, as in other Muslim countries, it is also the time of special ceremonies of inviting friends and relatives around for the fast-breaking spread, and sampling the exotic and delicious foods prepared by parents and grandparents.
In Iran, the holy month is celebrated in different regions across the country with unique ceremonies, traditions and preparation of special foods.
Talking about foods, last Friday while strolling along one of the busiest thoroughfare of Tehran, looking for some groceries for the day’s iftar, hubby and I were able to capture several images of Iranians preparing their favorite Ramadhan dishes.
Besides, it was also an opportunity to feel and share the atmosphere of the holy month in the city, once again. For Tehranis, it was something to look forward to during this time of the year when they would be able to choose and buy every kind of sweets and soups specially prepared for breaking fast and sahar (sahuur).
From the very popular Ardebil’s Aashe-dough and Aash-e-Reshteh, Iranian’s Haleem and Sholezard, sweet Zulbia and Bamieh, to Gilan’s Reshteh Khoshkar, one could easily be pampered with such a wide variety of choice and temptations.
Looking at them all, can’t help but brings back the good old memories, nostalgic feeling and atmosphere of our very own Ramadan stalls back home…!! How I wish one day we could be strolling along our Gerai Ramadhan in Gadong, Anggerek, Lambak, enjoying the festive air and savouring all the ‘ketaisan liur’…once again, InsyaAllah.

a busy intersection in Tajrish

Ramadhan shopping on a Friday afternoon

Aunt Layla corner...famous for its samanu...

samanu... a special type of sweet dish (from Khuzestan?) made from wheat germ,
also famous during Nowruuz

sahtoot...kind of redberry...

and walnuts...

Zoulbia...Iranian fritters, among the favorite confectioneries for
the fasting month..

and Bamieh, an oval-shaped sweet dough piece, deep fried
and covered with honey syrup

Goosh-e-Fil or elephant's ear, another variety of Iranian sweet,
covered with sugar powder

the popular Iranian sholezard

Aash-e Reshteh...perhaps the most common and popular soups for
breaking of fast in Iran
mixed with vegetable/oil and kashk (dairy product)

preparing another favorite soup...Haleem

also made of wheat, meat, lentils and spices. Also popular in some parts of
northern India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
Reshteh Khoshkar...a conventional cookie of Ramadhan in Gilan province...

...made of rice, flour, sugar, walnut, cardamon, cinnamon, ginger and spice

slowly fried in hot oil or fat.

queueing up for reshteh khoshkar

sweet Iranian dates from Bam

anjir (black figs) from Lorestan

an occsional sight...a familiar fish from home...kembura or belanak

Tajrish mosque...also the site of the shrine of Imamzadeh Salleh,
brother of Imam Reza, the 8th Shia Imam

the mosque minaret..under renovation

the faithfuls and visitors offering their prayers and devotion

tombs of the unknown martyrs of th Iran-Iraq war

and women faithfuls...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kish Island

Recently during last January, I had the opportunity to accompany hubby on an official trip to Kish Island, in the southern coast of Iran. It was our second visit and familiarization tour to fulfill an invitation from the Iranian Tourism authority.

The exquisite Kish Island is one of the most beautiful islands of the Persian Gulf. With an area of about 91 square kilometers, the island is located 18 kilometers off the southern coast of the mainland Iran and 300 kilometers from the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.
The island lies like a pearl across the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf and is a heaven of peace and tranquility fringed by sandy beaches and coral reefs vivid with colorful fish. It has a calm and beautiful coast. Kish soil is made of coral with a silvery color dazzlingly shinning under the sunlight.
The virgin and unspoiled nature, the beautiful shores and the greenery seemingly create a floating panorama of colors against the backdrop of azure waters of the Persian Gulf.

Kish must be one of the most visited islands in Iran. Each visit seems to promise a new discovery. And our last visit to the island proved to be no different. During our visits, our host kindly took us for a tour of some of the main attractions of the island including the coral reefs, the ancient city of Harireh, the historical port, the qanat or traditional water reservoir, the famous Greek Ship, the green tree complex and of course the island’s famed and popular shopping centers.

It is indeed a very enjoyable and relaxing place to have a great time and a break away from the hustle and bustle of Tehran. The trip really brought us the peace and tranquility that we needed most. All in all, Kish Island offers a stunning variety of cultures, scenery, sports, duty-free shopping and entertainment for the discerning visitors.

turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf

Honar beach park

recreational boats

recreational pier

against the backdrop of azure waters...

Kish...a coral island

a shoal of anchovies...


educational facility...

Harireh ancient city...over 1000 years old

palatial house...belonging to Ilkhanid and Timurid eras

another historical remnants

central courtyard...presumably roofless

remnants of Harireh congregational mosque

historical port...built on coastal coral cliff

rock-cut stairs...

facilitated easy carrying of loads on porter's back

ancient bay...

Kariz-e-Kish...qanat, unique in the world with 2000 years antiquity...

17 meters below the earth surface, with 3000 meters length of tunnel


Banyan trees...up to 600 years old, from India

the oldest and most glorious...

located in the Olympic complex

entrance to Dolphin Park and birds garden...

gigantic Greek ship, Baghoo village...

ran aground in 1966, after voyage from Iran bound for Greece

entrance to Dariyush hotel

view from the seaside...

designed from persepolis...

Hossein Sabet, the proud owner

Kish city shopping complexes

Paradise shopping center

with some exclusive brand items...

trailing the tourism conference