Monday, November 5, 2012

I bid farewell to Shiraz - Iran

Part of the tile-work at Syed Amir Ahmed shrine

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate
from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or 
fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among stones. 
-Charlotte Bronte-
Many people failed to see the fact that there's always another way of doing things, another side of a story, another side of the arguments or other opinions, different from their own. Hence, pre-judgement or judgement is made in ignorance.

When I visited Syed Amir Ahmed shrine (the brother of Imam Reza) in Shiraz, the pure intention was to visit the tomb of a religious man and I had no other ulterior motive. At the entrance of the shrine all our cameras and bags were taken and we were given a wide piece of cador to cover ourselves completely from head to toe. It seemed that what we were wearing wasn't enough to qualify us to enter the shrine. As we entered the main hall of the shrine I was utterly surprised by 
the beauty of the shrine,  the grandness and the glittering cut glasses on the ceiling.

Beautiful tile-work
A lady approached us and spoke in Persian. Maryam who was sitting next to us translated the lady's question. In an unfriendly tone she questioned our presence there, "What motivate you people to be here?" Through Maryam, I sincerely told her that my intention was just to visit the shrine of a learned man and that's about it. She continued talking to Maryam and for the next few minutes the lady was staring at us constantly and Maryam who felt uncomforatble about the situation requested that we leave. I left the shrine with a strange feeling of not understanding her predicament. 

Shiraz public library
By noon the sun was blazing and we thought it was best to return to the hotel and get some rest. Late afternoon, we visited the University of Shiraz and Eram garden. Again another event happened in University of Shiraz when the security chased us and stopped us from taking pictures around the university. Perhaps the fragility and the broken relationship with other countries has resulted in this situation. We stop taking pictures and proceed to Eram Garden and of course I'm legally allowed to take pictures of flowers there!

After we bade farewell to Maryam, we took a cab to the airport to catch our flight to Isfahan. At the security check, again my camera was taken for close scrutiny and the battery was removed. The lady officer was asking me, what was it and I explained that my camera's battery is slightly big. They asked me to install the battery and showed them the pictures that I have taken. Luckily, I have not taken any pictures of government buildings. Satisfied, my camera and I was released. Glad we were done with the airport security. What an eventful day we had in Shiraz!
Shiraz from the university's hill top
After this photo we were chased by the security and instructed not to take pictures
The old Quran Gate
Entrance to the shrine
A round about in the center of Shiraz
Street in Shiraz
Kids at Rahulloh bazaar
Traffic in front of the bazaar
Shiraz airport
Syed Amir Ahmed's shrine from the entrance

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