As a woman traveling alone in Iran: From Tehran to the Persian Gulf and almost to the border with Azerbaijan, Nadine Pungs explores how the country really works beyond Western stereotypes. An excerpt.
"Do not breathe out. The moral guardians do not torch long. If they get you, you're delivered, "Karim tells me, before I make my way inside the Imam Khomeini airport.
He laughs. I am not laughing.
Muhammad and Mila made us feel ", we read in the exclusively very good reviews of our couchsurfing hosts in Yazd. The first impression is positive, but soon we realize that something is wrong ...
Tehran. A small word for a big city. Many times I have already heard the name of this place, for the most part in a negative context. So I'm all the more excited when our night train from Tabriz enters the Tehran railway station.
Tomorrow we will leave for Iran! The backpacks are packed, the tension rises. Never before did I have to change my clothes for visiting a foreign country. Did I think of everything? Anticipation mingles with excitement ...
Ghom is a religious and arch-conservative city. Bookshops with theological writings are as common here as Starbucks stores in New York.
Ghom is the most conservative city of Iran. Here women wear only chador and even toddlers are shrouded in headscarves. Ruhollah Khomeini, the later leader of the Islamic revolution, studied here. Here we are a guest at Maryam. The young, lively woman lives with her family somewhere in the center of Ghom. For generations the strictly religious family has been linked to Islam. Maryam's grandfather, her father and many of her uncles studied theology and work as mullahs, Islamic religious scholars, in various institutions at home and abroad.
Shiraz is the cultural center of Iran and is considered a city of fine arts and beauty. Here we stroll through the historic Vakil Bazaar and marvel at the pink Nasir al-Molk Mosque. Here we drink wine with Hafez and Goethe and enjoy the green oases in the gardens of the city.
In an opium cloud we reach Shiraz, the city of fine arts. Ashkan and his friends are at home here. In their shared flat, the young men resist the repression of the outside world in just under 40m². Here is gekifft and Hochprozentiges tipped down the throat. Here are the thoughts free! - regardless of the will of the powerful.