When doing my research on Iran before this Middle East trip, there were two particular cities that particularly caught my attention. Yazd is one of them. Being the centre of Zoroastrianism and the main religion of some of Persian great empires, Yazd is the city I would not want to miss. Even though I would be spending only a few hours in Yazd, I wouldn’t mind taking a bit of detour, just so that I can catch a glimpse of Yazd. Upon traveling around Iran for few days, I came to realize that indeed, I made the right decision to come all the way from Esfahan to Yazd. Zoroastrianism has been one of the defining elements of Persian culture.
Category Archives: Asia
After dinner, Ikmal and I join Majid to discuss about Shia, the most misunderstood branch of Islam, merely because the majority of Muslims in this world are Sunnis. Our intention in starting such discussion is not to try to convince the other party that his view is wrong, but merely to know and understand Shia from a Shia's perspective.
Our tour around the Imam Square continues to Ali Qapu Palace, which is unfortunately closing earlier than we expected. This used to be the place where Shah Abbas entertained his noble visitors and foreign ambassadors
We arrive in Esfahan just after the call to a morning prayer. I managed to sleep a little bit during the 6-hour long train ride. It was noisy and bumpy, but this was expected as I was too used to the comfort of European trains. But I'm happy that I'm in Esfahan now! I've always wanted to go to this city, which is the former capital city of Persia. When I think of Iran, Esfahan is the first thing that comes into my mind. The famous Square is the reason why I am drawn into this place.
The minute we step into Sharaf El Islam Restaurant we know that this is indeed a perfect place to taste authentic Iranian foods. My host, Reza, recommended me this restaurant located right inside the Grand Brazaar of Tehran. The restaurant is packed with Iranians and the tables are arranged very close to each other. The place is quite narrow and it is quite tricky to find a place to sit.
Today will be the first day that I will see and explore Tehran. It will also be my last day in Tehran, as I will be taking a night train to Esfahan.
It was only a year and five months ago when I first stepped my foot in KL, with nothing but my luggage, a tourist visa, and the hope of getting a job. After only a month, I landed myself a job in a middle-sized IT company and tried my best to build my life here from scratch. At that moment in time, my journey in Malaysia had – more or less — started. I have to admit though — itRead more
After what seems like the most boring 15-hour transit experience ever, my plane arrives in Tehran. I am finally here, in Iran. Today, 17th of December 2011, marks the start of my Middle East trip. The trip that I have always been waiting for. One dream can soon be checked off the list. I feel excited, thrilled, and nervous at the same time. Yes, I am alone here, at this moment. One part of me screams that I am insane. What am I doing in this totally strange place alone? The other part of me applauds myself for having the courage to do this. Well done, you have finally conquered your fear!
A friend once told me, “Their language is the same as ours. Their culture is similar too. Why do you still need to adapt?” Ooooh, yes! I still need to adapt and I’m struggling with it. Culture shock is inevitable, even for a person like me who have lived in 6 different countries across 3 continents. Living in a new country is like starting your life all over again from scratch. Finding new friends. Getting acquainted with a new culture.Read more
It’s been years since the last time I had a “major” trip. I did New Zealand during my last year in Australia. I did it as part of my official farewell to the continent. It was one of the most memorable trips that I had ever done. New Zealand’s natural beauty was not like any other places I had ever seen (mind you, I hadn’t explored Indonesia yet!). After that amazing trip, I vowed to myself that I would doRead more
* Disclaimer: This post was written in October 2010. So a lot of things, including KAUST policy, might have changed. About a week ago, I got a chance to visit the campus of King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. I had always been wanting to visit KAUST, but as the university was closely guarded, it was impossible to go there without knowing anyone who lived in the campus. Lucky for me, during an IndonesianRead more
About two years ago, I wrote a post about the Saudi government’s plan to abolish its infamous sponsorship system (kafala), which has been constantly criticised by human rights groups. The plan to cancel the system was immediately welcomed by many people. However, two years have passed and nothing came out from it. In the beginning of this year, it was announced that the possibility of cancelling the sponsorship system had been ruled out. The government argued that it’s not easyRead more
So delighted I was to have the chance to spend this year’s Eid in Jeddah! It all seemed perfect when my whole family reunited again. It felt ages ago when we spent our Eid together as a family. As for me, this was my first time to be with them during Eid after 6 years (straight!) of absence. I just couldn’t imagine spending another Eid without my family. So when the opportunity came (i.e. I had to come back toRead more
(Read the Part 1 first) After successfully got a good deal for the room, we dropped dead to sleep. We were just tooooo tired! I blamed the World Cup Final for this! 😀 We hadn’t had a good sleep until that afternoon. We were even woken up by a knock on a door and were asked whether we wanted to join for the snorkelling but we refused. We needed a good sleep. Come back tomorrow 😛 . We woke upRead more
(Embrace yourself, this is going to be a loooong post!) Yes, I went to Indonesia last June. It was honestly a sudden decision. Mom had been bragging me about coming back and I kept on resisting; hoping that I could plan an escape to somewhere in Europe. After days of "yes" and "no", eventually, I decided to go back. This vacation was a bit different than my previous ones. My lovely traveling buddy, Jessie, was spending her vacation too inRead more