My new weekly travel series on PBS’s Tehran Bureau…
In Iran, press

My new weekly travel series on PBS’s Tehran Bureau…

Aug 3, 2010

Thank you Tehran Bureau! Week 1:  Zahedan Week 2:  Bam Week 3:  Bicycling across Iran Week 4:  Kurdistan Part I Week 5:  Kurdistan Part II Week 6:  Sufi Dervish Ceremony Week 7:  Road-tripping in Kurdistan Week 8:  Turkmenistan Week 9:  Couchsurfing with Hezbollah

In Iran

Holidays In Iran

Oct 10, 2009

As many of you know often when I travel I do so by way of couchsurfing, meaning that I sign on to stay with complete strangers in an effort for cultural exchange and understanding.  This past summer couchsurfing invited me to give a talk at a bookstore about what it is like to be a traveler ...

In Iran

Images of Happier Days in Iran

Sep 20, 2009

Just came across a few great images of Iran from my 1st trip there in 2007.  That visit was pre-website/blog…  spent a month hitch-hiking & taking public buses around the country- often staying with people I met in the street or on public transport.  May be one of the last places on earth where you can do that?  ...

In Iran, press

after a long pause…

Jul 16, 2009

Hi, Have not blogged in a long time for probably obvious reasons- while in Iran i knew that was a no-go.  In Lebanon & Syria I did not want anyone there to be able to track me or know where I was- call me paranoid ; )  I feel i have to address a few questions ...

In Iran, press

Yours Truly on CNN & ABC

Jun 24, 2009

On 6/20/2009 I was abducted by a militia group, the Basij, in Tehran.  They thought I was a spy.  Here are some CNN & ABC links: I blogged about Tehran for CNN CNN news artticle about my abduction & detainment CNN Live interview with me on June 24, 2009 ABC interview segment & link: Good Morning America segment ...

In Iran

The Bus to Zahedan

Jul 31, 2008

above: last photo I snapped as a “free woman” (without police escort) in Zahedan, Iran At 6AM Mr. Akbar & I flagged down a bus from Bam to Zahedan.  Even though I was never alone in Bam (due to security reasons, see: kidnapped Japanese tourist story below), i was told by Mr. Akbar that the bus may be my ...

In Iran

Where am I again?

Jul 27, 2008

I left the mountainous Northwest of the country- headed to the Caspian sea which was lush- a lushness which hypnotizes any living being after only seeing brown, red and grey for so long… THe green was fluorescent, lighting up paddy fields- just like the ones i love in SE Asia.  Odd to see it here in Iran- what seems ...

Zurkhaneh: “house of strength” roooaaaarrrrrr!!!

Jul 24, 2008

I went to a Zurkhaneh session in the town of Ardabil a few nites back.  Zurkhaneh is an ancient ritual which i can best describe as a cross between whirling dervish, mosque prayer, aerobics, and weight lifting.  I am happy that the elders let me watch as an “honorary male”  ; ) It was captivating & the participants & ...

In Art, Iran, Sufi

On my way to find the great Sufi master… meeting a new Guru, covered in plaster

Jul 11, 2008

Picking up where i left off, one of my new friends in Tehran, a photojournalist, tipped me off to a man here in Kurdistan who could introduce me to the Dervish (Sufi) order here & see if he could get me a rare coveted invite to a private cereony.   I followed the directions to the Sanandaj museum ...

In Iran

Adventures in Kurdistan Part I

Jul 9, 2008

I decided to come down to Kurdistan sans bicycle since it is a more “unknown” part of Iran.  Some friends back in Tehran expressed concern in my going becasue they believe Kurdistan is full of drug dealers & rapists.  Guide books do not say that however, and i knew much of my well-intentioned friends perceptions are colored by the media here & their portrayal ...

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