Two groups of foreign tourists from European countries recently visited the historical attractions and cultural heritage of Khuzestan province.
According to the report released by IRNA, 47 tourists from Spain, Italy, Germany and Switzerland arrived in Susa to visit its archeological sites , museum, the city of Shahi and Acropol Hill.
Reza Chenani, the head of Susa’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department, said the tour guides of the department inform tourists about the history of the ancient resorts of Susa.
He noted that the presence of foreign tourists in Susa provides an opportunity for introducing the civilization and history of Iran.
The tourists travelled to Haft Tapeh archeological site and Chogazanbil Temple, which is registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. They also visited Daniyal-e Nabi’s Shrine.
Susa is one of the oldest cities in the world. Excavations have established the existence of urban structures about 4000 BCE, and it is reasonable that the town, situated between the rivers Karkheh and Dez (one of these is the ancient Eulaeus), was already the political center of Ilam in the fourth millennium. A castle on a steep hilltop dates back to this period.
Age of Infancy
By Allama Muhammad Iqbal
The earth and sky were unknown worlds to me
Only the expanse of mother’s bosom was a world to me.
Every movement was a symbol of life’s pleasure to me
My own speech was like a meaningless word to me.
During infancy’s pain, if somebody made me cry
The noise of the door chain would comfort me.
O! How I stared at the moon for long hours
Staring at its silent journey among broken clouds.
I would ask repeatedly about its mountains and plains
And how surprised would I be at that prudent lie.
My eye was devoted to seeing, my lip was prone to speak
My heart was no less than inquisitiveness personified.
Power of Heart
Whatever comes out of the heart is effective
It has no wings but has the power of flight.
It has holy origins, it aims at elegance
It rises from dust, but has access to the celestial world.
My love was seditious, rebellious and clever
My fearless wailing rent through the sky.
On hearing it, the sun said:
‘Somewhere there is somebody! ‘
Pickled Red Onions
Red onions, 650 grams (peeled and thinly sliced)
White vinegar, 4 cups
Tarragon, 2 tablespoons (dried)
Coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon
Angelica, 1 tablespoon (crushed)
Nigella seeds, 1 tablespoon (optional)
Red hot pepper, 1(dried)
Salt, 3 tablespoons
In a small bowl, combine dried tarragon, coriander seeds, crushed angelica and nigella seeds.
Pour vinegar in a non-reactive pot, place on the stove and bring to a gentle simmer on medium-low heat.
Stir in the spice mix, add the red pepper and let it gently simmer for about five minutes.
Place the sliced onions in the pot with vinegar and spices, add salt, gently stir with a wooden spoon, simmer for another seven minutes.
Remove from heat and let vinegar cool to room temperature. Pour the onions and vinegar into a clean and dry glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Make sure all ingredients are covered by vinegar. Add more vinegar, if needed. Close the lid tightly. Store it in a dry and cool place. This pickle is ready in three days.
Health Benefits of Onion
The onion, which derives its name from the Latin onio and French oignon, is highly valued for its therapeutic properties, which are associated with its pungency.
While all onions are healthful, yellow onions are ranked as the most healthful as they are the most pungent, followed by red and then white onions.
Onion is rich in calcium and iron, and has moderate protein content. The iron in onion is easily absorbed and, therefore, commonly prescribed for anemia by natural health experts.
Barg-e Jahan & Afjeh
Tehran’s Rural Attractions
Barg-e Jahan and Afjeh are villages located in Lavasanat in Shemiranat County, Tehran province.
Lavasanat is a Middle Persian word that means “Mount Blade of Sunrise” or “Mountaintop of Sunrise”, which refers to Mount Damavand in the middle of the Alborz Mountain Range, IRIB reported.
The villages are 27 km away from the capital Tehran.
Potteries discovered in Barg-e Jahan show this mountainous village is one of the oldest in Lavasanat.
Residents of this village are Muslims, speak Farsi and work mostly in the fields of agriculture, gardening and animal husbandry.
Wheat and barley are the main agricultural products, while walnut, apple, apricot, cherry, sour cherry and peach are its main gardening products.
Locals also produce dairy products such as milk, yogurt and butter, in addition to honey.
Barg-e Jahan Village
Barg-e Jahan Village has a dense residential texture. The older houses are mainly built of stone, adobe, clay and wood. Besides thick walls, these old houses have roofs covered with wooden beams, tree branches and thatches.
Some of them, however, have been reconstructed and sport gable roofs. The older houses usually have a single floor while newer ones have two or more floors.
Gardens and orchards with abundant plants, trees and flowers lend a lively atmosphere to these houses.
Barg-e Jahan offers magnificent sceneries of the surrounding heights, gardens, farms on the river bank and attractive pathways.
It is one of the most beautiful villages of Tehran province and is a tourist resort for thousands of travelers, especially during spring and summer.
Barg-e Jahan River stems from the surrounding heights and, after reaching Roudbar River, flows into the lake of Latyan Dam.
This river, with a length of 10 km, adds to the beauty and freshness of the area in the neighborhood of the village.
On the north of the river and in the western part of the village, there is a huge rock 45 meters higher than the lands on its south.
The hill was apparently used for taking shelter at the time of invasions or any other dangers. This rock and the hill are surrounded by gardens.
Barg-e Jahan Village is ideal for picnics and those desirous of a rural trek. Three km to the north of the village, there are remnants of a castle called Qal’e Dokhtar at an altitude of 2,720 meters.
There is a cave on the heights north west of the village that is about 30 meters long and is known as Zendan Khaneh Laar.
In the western part of the village is the mausoleum of Imamzadeh Esmaiel, one of the grandsons of the seventh infallible successor of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Imam Mousa Kazem (AS).
The former building of the shrine was 700 years old and it was made of stone and thatch. However, the building was reconstructed and now has a square plan, with a conic dome covered with gables.
Pilgrims frequent this mausoleum during spring and summer. The mausoleum is also a tourist spot due to its rural and verdant surroundings.
Afjeh is also located in Lavasanat. Most of its old residents are active in horticultural or animal husbandry activities. The youth, however, travel daily to Tehran for work in other fields.
The nomads of Lar area come to this region for animal husbandry during some seasons of the year.
On the way to Afjeh Gorge, one can see barns for keeping cattle. From among the historical attractions of the village, mention can be made of an old public bath dating back to the Safavid period, which is still in use.
The village is one of the starting points for those who want to climb the 3,200-meter-high Saka mountain peak and other neighboring heights.
Dasht-e Havij (the plain of carrots) is one of the most beautiful attractions of this village that is 2,400 meters above sea level.
According to historical evidence, a great section of the lands in this plain were used for planting and growing carrots.
Today, however, such farms are not to be found in this plain and farmers cultivate other crops. Most gardens are full of cherry trees.
Mountaineers travel to Dasht-e Havij for reaching the peaks of Qolle Rizan, Parsoun, Atashkouh and Mehrchal. The plain greets visitors with profuse greenery in early summer and a snowy river stream in winter.
It will be also very interesting for tourists and travelers to see the attractions of Afjeh’s northern valley.
Thousands of tourists visit the valley during all seasons, which is also favored by many mountaineers.
Remnants of a Safavid caravanserai can be seen around the village, beside waterfalls on its way.
Handicraft Exporters to Attend Shanghai Expo
Iranian handicraft exporters, who are members of the Union of Handicraft Producers and Exporters, will participate in Shanghai’s Jewelry Exhibition.
Announcing this, Manouchehr Janati, the head of Iran’s Union of Handicraft Producers and Exporters, said participation in international expositions is among the objectives pursued in the current year.
He noted that Iranian jewelries, which are decorated with precious and semi-precious stones, will be displayed in the Shanghai expo scheduled for May 10-13.
The official noted that delegations of Iranian handicraft producers and exporters will be sent to Japan and Indonesia in the next two months.
Janati said problems for packaging handicrafts presented in foreign exhibition persist, noting that proper packaging causes the price of handicrafts to go up.
“Iran exported more than $719 million worth of handicrafts in the last Iranian year (started March 21),” said Yahya Rahmati, the deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO).
The official noted that $300 million and $500 million worth of handicrafts were exported from the country during the year to March 2011 and March 2012 respectively.
He noted that the weight of handicrafts exported last year rose by 62 percent year-on-year.
Rahmati said the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the US, Canada, Cameroon, South Africa, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Hong Kong are the main destinations of Iranian handicrafts.
A travel program titled “Persia Astronomy Tour” will be held in the coming autumn by South Korea’s Embassy in Tehran.