Many of us would love to go travelling seeing places different from our own - westerners want to visit the east, easterners want to visit the west, and everyone and everywhere else in between.
Ever thought about visiting Iran? Decades ago, Malaysians were not allowed to visit certain countries. I remember China was one. Can't imagine that happening, can you? Malaysia was fighting Communist insurgency then so that explains. At that time, Chinese immigrants made up almost half the Malaysian population and many still had ties with families back in China. They couldn't meet up but were able to communicate through mail.
Others forbidden countries included Cuba, Zaire (now Congo) and South Africa. Today, Israel remains the only country Malaysians are not allowed to set foot on. We know this only because the country name is printed on our passport. However, if you are part of a (Christian) pilgrimage group, for instance, you will be able to obtain travel documents for the visit to Israel.
Back to Iran.. Stumbled pleasantly upon a couple of videos on Iran.
The first one shows life in Iran before 1979, i.e., during the time of the Shah of Iran. It's a good 7-min down-memory lane for Iranians or Persians - Iran used to be known as Persia.
The caption below the video on You Tube reads:
This video (I created) reflects Iran during the time of the Shah when it was a modern, relatively free, and a progressive nation with a blend of western and traditional values which made it a gem in Eurasia. These are a selection of photos from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.
Background music is by Iranian singer Googoosh
Enjoy the memories..
This other video is a documentary showing Iran today and a glimpse into Iran's rich history. It's almost an hour-long but truly a good watch for armchair-travelling or if you harbour thoughts about visiting Iran one day.
I find both videos positively insightful.
Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations - going back to 2800BC. Iran is not part of the Arab world. Their language is not Arabic but Persian. The people are friendly and the ladies beautiful and the people mix freely among themselves and visitors. Families spend time together going on picnics in the parks. Beautiful mosques. Historical sites to explore. Sumptuous Iranian food. World-renowned Persian carpets. And more..
Btw, did you know we have Iranian food in Kuala Lumpur?