The true face of Iran

The true face of Iran

“Get off!” the man shouts, pulling on our car door handle. “Get off! Get off!” he yells continuously, the only English words in the stream of incomprehensible Farsi. “Get off!” he screams, grabbing a shotgun from the hands of a soldier standing next to him. “Get off!” his saliva spatters the side window of our […]

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Guardian angels with Kalashnikov

Guardian angels with Kalashnikov

A long corridor flooded with cold fluorescent lights. We are sitting on metal chairs attached to the walls. Time after time, armed men in uniforms pass us by. Huddled over laptops open on our laps, we try not to attract anyone’s attention. At the police station in Quetta – the capital of the Pakistani province […]

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CHAPTER 19 – NEW YEAR, IRAN

CHAPTER 19 – NEW YEAR, IRAN

The next encounter at the Visa Application Centre at the Indian Embassy in Tehran is tough, but we come out of it victorious. In a week, we are to collect the visa. Meanwhile, we are changing the hostel into a cosy flat of our CouchSurfing hosts – Mohammad and Raziye. The lady of the house […]

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CHAPTER 18 – TEHRAN, IRAN

CHAPTER 18 – TEHRAN, IRAN

As a woman, the first thing I must do after entering Iran is to cover my head with a scarf. Iran is the Islamic Republic, which means that the country is under the official rule of religious law – Sharia. Iran is ruled by Supreme Religious Leader Ali Khamenei, who issues Sharia-compliant decrees and makes […]

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CHAPTER 17 – GANJA AND SHAKI, AZERBAIJAN

CHAPTER 17 – GANJA AND SHAKI, AZERBAIJAN

The first longer journey outside Baku takes us through the rusty steppes. Rather than the vegetation, they are full of oil rigs. Machines stand scattered along the road. Their metal necks bend over and over again in a continuous fortune mining ritual. The platforms are a sight so common on the oil-rich land of Azerbaijan […]

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CHAPTER 16 – YANAR DAG, AZERBAIJAN

CHAPTER 16 – YANAR DAG, AZERBAIJAN

6 AM. A large parking lot by the Baku Bay. Our homebulance sways uncontrollably in powerful gusts of wind. It is still not too bad today. The wind reaches “only” 70 km per hour. Two days earlier, it was over 100. No wonder Baku is called “The Windy City”. We finish our coffee before it […]

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