You may have seen hints of doubt and shock on your friends’ face after telling them you were planning to visit Iran. But allow me to take you on a journey to see what actual Iran is like, so you and your family can free your minds of all the worries, and fall in love with the Iranian culture instead.
Myths About Iran #1: Iranians hate Americans and
One of the most prominent characteristics of Iranians is their hospitality. While it may be true that the government has not been taking the friendliest stance towards western countries, Iranian people live in a world immersed in western fashion, Hollywood movies, video games and fast-food restaurants. They take absolute delight in telling you all about their fascinating country and would love to hear all about yours too. They will ask a lot of questions, and take a lot of selfies, as they bring you to every beautiful corner of the town, just to make the day that much more memorable.
Myth #2: Iranians are Arabs
Confusing an Iranian with an Arab can really make their blood boiling, so make no mistake with this one. Iran is a vast country made up of many different ethnic groups, the biggest one of which are the Persians who are Indo-European people who have managed to retain their language and national identity through decades of cultural invasion. After Persians, we have Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen and Turkic tribes. Iranian Arabs represent around 1.5 million which is 2% of the Iranian population.
Myth #3: Iran is not safe
Former travelers say otherwise! “I have traveled to a number of countries and never felt as welcomed as I did in Iran.” This was among many reviews left by travelers vouching for Iran’s safety: “You will feel safer in Iran than you do in some places in the U.S. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming.” The truth is that no matter where you go in Iran, most people do not have any other intention than to help you. As we mentioned before, Iranians love visitors and would do anything in their power to make you feel as welcome as possible. Even if you are afraid of seeming alone, you will soon realize that there are other tourists much like yourself all around. Just relax, and watch both sides carefully when crossing the streets.
Myth #4: Iranians are radical Muslims
Islam is the official religion of Iran and the basis of its constitution. Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism are among other welcome religions. Iranian people come from a rich culture of freedom and acceptance, keen to learn all about your beliefs, and guaranteed to respect them. They are quite fond of Persian poetry and sing old, satiric Persian songs in their get-togethers. Iranians also love partying, and are the most radiant dancers you will ever see; taking their chance to groove anytime they hear a beat. You will soon realize that they are much like yourself; kindhearted people trying to live a simple life, partaking in all forms of earthly pleasure pursuits. So put the bias aside, and prepare to be surrounded by joyous and free minds.
Myth #5: Women’s Hijab is Burqa
The local dress code for women is pants and shirts with long sleeves that can cover your arms and come down to your thighs. You must also wear a headscarf that covers about 80% of your hair. Within these limitations, women are free to be as stylish and cutesy as they wish! Since most women do not want such limitations, you will find that they remove their headscarves the first chance they get, so just follow the footstep of other women around you. You will never find anyone wearing “hijab” in the beautiful, secluded natural sights that we have.
Myth #6: Iran is all desert
Iran is actually home to many natural wonders; surrounded by enormous mountains in the northern and western areas, lush forests, golden sandy, and rocky beaches, crystal waterfalls, and vast deserts. You can hike up the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran, looking down you will see cotton candy clouds beneath your feet, veiling the dense wilderness, and beyond it, all are the turquoise hues of the Caspian Sea; a miraculous sight incomparable with any other. Damavand, Tochal, Alam-Kuh, and Sabalan are among other popular hiking destinations.
Myth #7: Getting an Iran visa is too difficult
Can’t wait to experience the magic? One of the most widespread myths about Iran is that getting a visa is a grueling process, but contrary to popular belief, getting an Iran visa, booking flights, and smooth travel planning is the most effortless they have ever been. With 1StQuest’s Iran Visa application, visa acquirement has become easier and faster than ever before. Just a couple of clicks and you can find all the answers to your questions, and the solution to any problem.
Read also: How Many Days to Visit Iran?
By Niloofar Ghaemi