Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A City of Roses and Nightingale - Shiraz, Iran

"How did the rose ever opens it's heart and give the world all its beauty" - Hafez
Hafez Thomb under the dome
There is no direct flight from Sanandaj, Kurdistan to Shiraz. We had to fly via Mehrabad Airport, Tehran to get to Shiraz. We were informed of the tight security check at the Kurdistan airport and as expected, each and everyone of us went through the body check. Although we were escorted by many Iranians colleagues, it did not change anything and being foreigners, we adhered strictly to their procedures.

It was a relief that our flight was not canceled or delayed. After we boarded and just when the plane was about to take off, my Iranian friend raised his hands in supplication, looked at me and he said, "Make d'ua that you will land safely in Tehran!" and he chuckled. Jokes aside, there is truth in his words. Most of the aeroplanes in this country are old and aviation accidents and incidents are many; at least more than a dozen in the last decade.

As the airplane touched down in Tehran - Alhamdulilah, I was glad that I arrived in Tehran in one piece! We then took our connecting flight to Shiraz. A city of roses, poets and nightingales - that's what Shiraz is known for and this means I should not miss Eram Garden, Hafez and Saadi Tomb. Shiraz is an interesting city but unfortunately we had only three days and two nights before leaving for Isfahan.

Iranians are generally very passionate about their poetry and even my Iranian friend was always with his earphone plugged neatly into his ears. He listens, he honors and he recites them by heart! It was scorching when we arrived at Hafez mousoleum but that did not stop the locals and foreigners from visiting the place. His tomb is surrounded by beautiful garden of roses and other flowers. Scent of sweet roses filled the air. We approached the marble coffin under the dome to pay respect. My friend touched the cold marble and put his palm on his breast...as a gesture of honoring the most celebrated Persian Sufi Master and Poet. 

Hafez laid to rest in the marble coffin
Decoration under the dome
Hafez Mausoleum 
Bagh e-Eram  - Garden of Paradise
Eram Garden

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