Iran Diary: Day Nineteen-October 28, 2009

Isfahan

 Our destination this morning was the highlight of Isfahan, Naqsh-e Jahan Square.  During the Shah’s time it was known as the Shah’s Square.  Since the revolution its official name is the Imam’s Square. During the last 400 years this glorious square has seen its name changed at the whim of the regime in power at the time.  I wonder if one day it might be named for the people of Iran.

This vast 22-acre space, bordered by grand mosques and palaces, is in the center of Isfahan.  Built during the rule of Shah Jahan (1598-1629) the buildings display the considerable skills available to the Safavid Dynasty. It is the world’s second largest square, only exceeded by Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  Compared with Tiananmen Square, which I visited in 2000, it conveys a peaceful feeling.  The splashing fountains, and well-manicured trees lining the paths as well as the Isfahan Bazaar that adjoins it, give it a park-like, human-oriented feeling.

After lunch we passed by the Science Museum, which had a display of dinosaur statues before the entrance.  According to our local guide in Iranian schools they teach that evolution is only a theory and that all kinds of creatures were specially created by God.  I thought that sounded very familiar—a similar belief is taught in some American schools.

Our local guide wore green prayer beads wrapped around his hand and wrist.  When I asked if he were very religious he answered that he wears them because he is a member of the Green Party.  It  is a sign of allegiance.  He was amazingly frank about his views on politics.  Later during our free time I walked back to the Imam’s Square by myself.  On the way I ran into him with two friends.  They were walking very fast and discussing something very seriously.  I wondered if they were headed to a Green Party meeting.

Imam Square イマーム広場

Beautifully trimmed trees 美しく刈り込まれた木

Entrance to a mosque モスクの入り口

At the former harem of the Shahs—a music room to please all the senses 歴代皇帝の元のハーレムー五感を楽しませる音楽室

The world of Scheherazade 千夜一夜の世界

At the Grand Bazaar グランドバザールで

Lunch at the Sheherazade restaurant シェヘラザード レストランでランチ

The Science Museum 科学博物館

Computer books sell well コンピューター関係の本がよく売れている

Despite heavy censorship by the government, Iranian filmmakers produce highly praised films. However some of the most accomplished filmmakers have left the country 政府による厳しい検閲にも関わらずイランの映画製作者達は賞賛される映画を作っている。しかし何人かの才能のある監督達は国外に移住した

Soft ice cream looked awfully good ソフトクリームが美味しそう

This morning I focused on the delicious flatbread (Sangak) 今朝は美味しいフラットブレッド(サンガク)に集中した

 

 

About YASUKO

She lives and works in a small beach community in Southern California with her spouse John. As an artist she has wandered around in several media (kimono painting, oil painting, drawing, installation, etc.) but has settled down to photography for the last six years. She also wanders around different countries, regions, and cultures to see life from many different angles. She has started this blog with not-so-good English, rusty Japanese and a lot of guts.
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