Iran is Great

Cristian, Audrey and their two children Emilia and Lucas passed through Iran on their way to India, and as a result of an incident, were forced to stay for a bit longer than they had planned. They decided to travel and explore. And to their amazement realized that Iran’s manufactured negative image abroad does not correspond at all with the reality they encountered. As things turned out this family of four from Europe enjoyed Iran and the hospitality of its people so much that they decided introduce the true Iran to whoever they could. And that’s why they started a campaign called Iran is Great.

Part 1:

TIME CODE: 00:00_05:00


On a beautiful spring day and few days after the Persian New Year Nowruz, nothing would be more joyful than strolling around the magnificent city of Tehran, a city with mesmerizing beauties, surrounded by mountains and capped with blue sky and scattered by clouds. A city with millions of homes and people and of course many untold stories. A seductive megacity that welcomes guests even from thousands of kilometers away. I’m expecting one, a guest, a good friend who was a stranger a few months ago when I met him for the first time in Yazd. We are meeting again today at the heart of Tehran, next to the symbol of freedom, Azadi Square.

Cristian Ivan and his multinational family, with a vehicle that represents a nation too and I, with lots of questions that hopefully will get answer, while I am hanging out with this family during the last days of their trip in Iran.

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “We have traveled so far to many countries, I can’t name all of them. I just name the regions. To Asia, Africa and Europe. My wife “Audrea” is from France. I’m originally from Romania but we met each other in Germany while we were both studying. Well, the story goes. We met, we fell in love, we married, we got children and here we are on our extended honeymoon.”

“WhenI studied economics in Germany but I never really worked in that field so I had different jobs and tried to make a living but I was not happy yet, so when we decided to have a change in our lives so we decided travelling and learning about us, about the world.”

Interview [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “So they are travelling in our family. We started 4 years ago. Before that my husband and I were working full time a lot. I was a teacher in middle school in Germany and taught French. And during that time my kids were in the kindergarten being taught by other women. So one day I thought something is not right. We wanted to make a change and that’s why we thought about travelling round the world because we thought that we wanted to spend more time as a family together and travelling is the best way to learn for us and we learn the best from life itself.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “Christian?”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: Yea?”

SOUNDBITE [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “Would you like to eat anything?”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “What do you have?”

SOUNDBITE [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “Pancakes

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Oh, great thank you. May I have some?”

SOUNDBITE [English], Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “Yes, sure.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Yum!”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Travelling in a caravan was the best idea that could happen for us because we carry our home with us and we are always at home while travelling elsewhere.”

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Hello Mr.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Man: “Hello, where do you come from?”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “I come from Europe.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Coming to Iran this thing happened in Karaj, The only mistake we made was that we left our car unattended and with valuable things obviously seen from outside. We spent the night at our friends. That’s when the burglars broke into our van and stole our passports, the very important documents for us. Our trip, our further trip to Pakistan and India was not possible anymore.

I was so sorry that these people who warned us against coming to Iran were getting their satisfaction. Like: you see? We told you about that. We told you what would happen. And … Well, ah… we thought they were right because this bad thing happened. We didn’t think of similar things or identical things happening elsewhere. It happened to us several times that things got stolen from us.

Of course we were very sorry and we were and very sad when that happened.

But then again we thought maybe that’s fate. Maybe that’s how it supposed to be. Then somebody found out about our story and made it public. On Facebook, on newspapers… Many people knew about us and they were approaching us on the street, telling us how sorry they are for what happened and well that changed our mood somehow and said well so many people are so sorry about us. So maybe they were just to idiots who broke into the car but 70 millions of nice people in Iran.”

Our plan of going to India evolved crossing Iran. We received warnings but we ignored them and we thought we should be able to make it somehow.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “We get lots of invitations for tea which we accept and a lot of times these invitations for a tea extends to launch and dinner and then you have a table full of foods and many dishes, Three or four dishes, sweets, a lot of fruits and traditional sweets and we enjoy that because everyone is so warm and sometimes they call they call their extended family to come and eat with us and even a lot of times they want us to sleep over and it’s very difficult to refuse such invitations.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “We had some trouble retrieving our passports. I mean to apply or new ones because we had to go to the Romanian embassy and then to the French embassy and then to the German embassy.”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Excuse me sir, Where is the French Embassy?”

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Man (Passerby): “It’s on Neauphle-le-Chateau Street. That’s it, over there.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “And the more, the longer we stayed here, the more we started thinking about how nice this country is despite what happened. We forgot that. We applied for new passports. We had a chance to receive a generous visa extension of three months.”

TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00

SOUNDBITE [Persian], Colonel Hossein Rezvani, Head of police Residency Department: “Cristian Ivan and his family entered Iran with their own car and got a 30-day tourist visa to cross Iran and go to Pakistan. Their goal was to travel around the world and they also picked Iran to pass through. When the incident happened and they lost their documents, they decided to travel around Iran and see the culture first-hand until they retrieve their travel documents. The Cristian Ivan approached us and asked for visa extension so they could reach something beyond their initial goal and visit different places in Iran. We did our job and extended their visa so they will have some good memories when they leave our country.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: We have this big van, we could put some posters on it, like we thought about a logo and it was the most appropriate. Luckily this website was free. we are trying to change, if we can, we’ll try. It’s a try. An attempt to change the way this country is perceived abroad.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “Cristian, you told us about the project but what’s the story of your car.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Yes, the design of the car. Since our project is meant to raise the awareness about the Persian culture as whole, we wanted to have a Persian design as well.”

I was born and raised in a home with a lot of Persian carpets and then I moved to Germany. In Germany we don’t have carpets that much and when I came back to Iran, it was like coming home. I’ve seen all the homes here, they have carpets.

All the families use Persian carpets in their houses and we had a chance to see the carpets being made in Kashan. We’ve seen the way they are painting the wool, are dyeing the wool, very interesting, for our kids as well.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Are your carpets typical for a region?”

SOUNDBITE [English], Shop keeper: “We have different types.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Because I have not seen carpets like this one, or this one in the houses. Normally in the Iranian houses they have a flower in the middle.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Shop keeper: “Yes, Yes, in the tribes they like these kinds of Carpets. They were made 200 years ago. Up to now they make geometrical design.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “And since we love carpets that much, we also chose the background and the painting on the car as a carpet as a Persian carpet.”

It’s an eye catching design. People watch people see that. Like in the traffic you can spot the car and that’s what we are actually looking after.”

So we spend this time extensively here so we took advantage of this extension. We didn’t just wait for the documents for things to happen, we made things happen by travelling.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “Tell me about your favorite place in Iran.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Boy: Mmm…Shiraz…Tehran! Tehran!”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “Tehran?”

TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00

SOUNDBITE [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “We enjoyed going to the top of Milad tower. Well, looking at Tehran from above it was like looking at a whole country from a plane. This city is so big. It is big like, I would say, a sea full of houses, and we had beautiful view of the mountains surrounding the city and at the same time we could see thousands and thousands of houses from above. It is incredible to think that just a few minutes from there you can take the cable car and go skiing.”

“And after that you can even do shopping in the bazaar and eat something at the restaurant.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist:“Oh, look at this! Huge amount of people.”

“On other days, we enjoyed visiting bazaars, either the big bazaar or Friday Bazaar. I have never seen as many people as in Tehran’s Bazaar. It is so crowded and I will tell you why. Because it is the place to be. You can find anything you want like sweets, jewelery, clothes, carpets, you name it.”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “What’s this? Is it is an eye?”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Man: “It’s an eye bead.”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “What does that mean? Do you speak English?”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Man: “No”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “What do you call it in Farsi?”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Man: “It is called “CheshmNazar””

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “What is it good for?”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Man: “It is a Turkish Handicraft.”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Okay, it is from Turkey. I saw it there. I’ve been there too.”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Excuse me, my wife wants to buy something Iranian. Ah, everything is Iranian? For something like Chador, What do you call it? Manteaux, manteaux. How much is one meter? Ah, it’s written here? 5,500.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “The Gardens of Sa’dabad complex are also amazing in spring. There are wide green areas and flowers everywhere. One day here is not enough to see all the marvels of this complex.”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Hi, How are you?”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “Thanks I’m good. How about you?”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “thank you very much. I am very good. Welcome to this beautiful park.”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “This is Sa’dabadPark. Am I right?”

SOUNDBITE [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “You are right. I had forgotten its name. Thank you for reminding me.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “The Sa’dabad museum complex is a must see in Tehran. There are lots of museums here but I found the Sa’dabad complex is the most interesting one especially the Farsh and miniature museum. We could enjoy their traditional paintings and I was stunned by the fine details and the high precision in the paintings.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist:We had a chance to visit many cities we wouldn’t have visit before. And we went to many cities like Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Yazd which we enjoyed very much, we went all the way to the Island of Qeshm and then I had a sailing boat, we were able to sail to Hengam Island.”

TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “You guys visited many cities in Iran and there should be at least one city that you definitely want to go back to it.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist:“We have many favorite cities but I would say Yazd is our favorite city so far. It has a good combination of nice people, easy going atmosphere, nice architecture, the history and then the desert which we don’t have in Europe and we enjoyed very much being in a vast area like in Yazd “Daht-e-Kavir” I think.”

“We enjoyed visiting the old houses with their inner gardens and pools and also the rising “badgirs” from the roof tops are an amazing view and a masterpiece of cooling technology, long before we had those air-conditions. Even more amazing are the underground water systems, the so-called Qanat, and the big water reservoirs that you can find all over the city. After a look at the handicrafts and tasting the famous sweets we loved strolling around in the narrow alleys, it is so romantic.”

I think Iran has also more that only desert. They have two sea coast, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea and if you go to the north or many other places, they have green areas very nice, you feel like you are in Europe.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: What are the places that you love?”

SOUNDBITE [English], Audrea, Toursit: “We loves particularly the Island of “Qeshm”, because there were so many beautiful things in nature that we could see in such a small place. There was this salt cave. There was different small Islands like “Hengam” and “Hormoz” and we could also visit crocodile farm. There was a turtle beach where you could see turtles with their children and also many many different rock formations that you could see in the salt valley for example.”

Part 2:

TIME CODE: 00:00 _05:00

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: We traveled through Qazvin on our way to Tehran, now we are going back to Germany, to Europe. We stopped for one or two days in Qazvin and we discovered Qazvin from a different perspective because we didn’t stay enough when we came through at the beginning. So every time you come to a city, a new country you discover new things, so even though this is our second trip to Iran, we still have seen so many new things and I am sure there many more things to be discovered. That’s why we want to come back in a few months.”

Interview [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “When we entered and left Iran we thought we would just pass through Qazvin, but the city happened to be much more interesting than we expected. The bazaar architecture was astonishing and the “40 Sotoon” Palace was very beautiful with colored windows. The museum inside was also very interesting. The highlight there is a musical carpet which is something we have never ever seen before.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “So you have enjoyed traveling in Iran for Five months.”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Well, travelling through countries in Asia and Africa in not that easy. Things change fast without notice, so sometimes books are not enough, previous knowledge is not enough, so we ask other people, other travelers who have to the specific countries or cities and many of the nice things are not in the book maybe. Maybe they are somehow a few kilometers away from our main road so we wouldn’t see them if we wouldn’t ask people what to see and where to go.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “Did you face any other problem?”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “We are vegetarians which makes our life a bit more complicated in, let’s say, a country like Iran which is pretty much meat focused, but nevertheless there are so many dishes, so many delicious dishes we can eat here. Luckily there is plenty of vegetables anywhere to find, and my wife and I, we do the cooking. The children help many times like chopping vegetables and so on.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “What you said were personal issues but what about the project? Did you face any difficulties in that matter?”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “We started this project, knowing that we will not be able to finance everything by ourselves and the more support we get from other people the better this project will become and we have thought of making it an international project, so people from abroad, not only from Iran but many people from abroad can sponsor this project and become a part of the project. And we thought of PayPal of being a very easy way of transferring money. Well, we have two transfers of like five Euros, not so much but then the third time we got a payment our account was blocked for some reason the PayPal found out that this money was going to a project, a campaign, an informational campaign about Iran and they blocked our account. At least twice police searched out house in Germany. We have a house in Germany and hey have searched, they have like, a letter from the court allowing them to break into our house and they have searched everywhere and then they did it twice and one of the neighbors told me about that. We have contact to her and she told me about that. She went to the police officer and she got a business card from them, a telephone number. We called him. In response we wanted to know what happened why they searched our house, and they were saying yes, you started somehow a project in Iran. We want to know what kind of illegal things you are doing there. So we were very shocked about hearing that because once they were somehow offending us accusing us of doing something illegal just for being here, but on the other hand I feel sorry for this beautiful country, because they assume that somebody coming to this country is automatically a criminal and they have the right to search their house for that. My telephone has this feature of recording the voice.”

TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00

Conversation [German], Police and Ivan:

“- Hello my name is Christ

- Hello Mr. Christ, my name is Cristian Ivan. A couple of days ago you were in our home. Yes, Yes, in Espenau. Some days ago the police was at your place and my colleagues were concerned because you and your children were on a long term trip towards Iran, that you are doing illegal things in those countries, therefor we asked people in your house. We particularly found the confirmation on the internet as well that you are actually on a cultural trip or whatever you want to call it. Now we shouldn’t be concerned about that, Should we?

- You should not be concerned. I am not either.”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “This is very high ranked official in the police so we would expect him to have a bit of, you know, education, knowing something about the country, not just assuming that being here makes us criminals. Unfortunately this is what most of the people in Europe think about Iran. So this is not just one person. I would say okay this is just one, only person. But many people think like that and that makes us even stronger in our effort to bring this project to Europe and to change the way Iran is seen in Europe. Because as I said Iran has a negative image unfortunately and I don’t understand why, because we spent a lot of time in Iran and we have no reason to believe what we were told. We never before had experienced such a big discrepancy, such a big gap between what I was told by media or by government or whoever and what I found in the reality, I found in the country and Iran is a very good example of that we fund exactly 180 degrees opposite of what we expected and we expected that because we were told, in the West, unfortunately Iran has a bad image and I’m trying to understand who is interested in spreading this bad I mean wrong information about Iran and well somehow we try to swim against the flow and we are going to try to bring a positive image. We don’t know if we are going to be successful but our project is not something you can quantify, you say: oh, we have changed the opinion of two or three person. Even if one person will change his opinion about Iran, it’s already a success.”

Interview [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “Before I came to Iran I didn’t know anything about the country and when we arrived here we were so very welcomed and it was strange for me because people approaching us on the street and saying “hello, where are you from, nice to see you here and starting a conversation which was very strange for me and yes it was very nice and it was also very interesting to see some fashion here because the cloths are different and you see this different fashion and clothing.”

“Grocery shopping in a foreign country for me is an adventure. I find it very interesting to discover local products, to taste unknown fruits and even rediscover the taste of the fruits we have in Europe. Many of them have a totally different taste here. I obviously learn a lot of new words and I’m improving my language skills at the same time while doing the grocery. Buying bread in Iran was my favorite and best experience here because while waiting for the bread to be ready, you can really see every stage of the preparation, like they are making up the dough until the baking in the traditional oven.”

Also the way people queue into lines to buy the bread was completely new to me, like people who what to buy one bread make one line and people who want to buy more breads make another line.

It was for me the first encounter with Persian language I had, it was on the playground because the children with the blond hair, people love that and they are attracted to that and they started talking to me and that is how I got a little bit of first language course. Otherwise it’s a bit difficult for me because I try to remember words, I forget them, I still am studying the book and now I manage to have a conversation with people.”

TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: Well, every day is an exciting day, so we wake up and we are happy to have another day we can spend together, experience things.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: By the way, your children don’t go to school, do they?”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: Well, yes and no. their school comes with us. We are teaching our children ourselves. We are following a curriculum which we got from the French ministry of education. We are teaching them after the French curriculum and then after the German curriculum, because we carry books from Germany as well. We are teaching them languages, they learn Persian, English.”

Interview [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “I have also education in Montessori which is a way of learning for the kids which is very practical. They can touch things and experience things. So we try to do that in our schooling, to play games a lot, to taste different foods, to do different things.”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: The boy who didn’t want to wash his hair. Not Felfeli, not Ghelgheli, not even the little yellow hen. No one was his friend.”

“We are passionate language learners, so we use every single opportunity we have to learn languages, either a bit of English or Persian, no matter what.”

Interview [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: And for the travels we learned English, The kids learned English. Emilia for example, she learned English in those five months we were in Iran and we also get to learn some Persian in those five months.”

Conversation [Farsi], Children:

“- Where did you learn Farsi?

- I learned Farsi here.

- Here?

- Where are you from?

- I am from Iran! Why are you like this?”

Conversation [Farsi], Cristian Ivan, and his wife:

“- I think this was like a gift that I lived here for five months and learned Farsi. Our kids also learned many words in Farsi. Am I right?

- Yes, you are right.

- What have you liked best about Iran?

- I like Persian food a lot. I also like meeting Iranian people and having conversation with them, People are very …

- Very open?

- Yes”

TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00

Interview [English], Audrea, Tourist, Wife of Cristian: “We also have books that got from French school. This is most specific for Lucas because he is 7, the age when other kids go to school. So we have one time per-day. Six times a week. We have school session where we learn from the book. So we have mathematics, French, geography, a kind of history, sciences, biology, things like that. And Emilia, she is four so she is now starting to learn to read and write. But this is more free for her so we just follow her pace and when she wants to learn something we explain to her. I show her, but there is no program. We don’t force her to do something.”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: Our website, and our page in Facebook which is also called Iran is great. It’s our main way to communicate with people who support us or encourage us, people who give us recommendations about how to do this project. The project has not started yet in our eyes. It will start as soon as we leave Iran, because our purpose is actually to change the Image of Iran abroad not inside the country. We are still in Iran. In two days we will leave Iran and that’s when the real project will start. We receive messages from people virtually every day, not one or two but several a day. People see us on the street, people see our car and they are all sending us messages thanking us for what they are doing for them and this is again a big support, a motivation for us to keep doing it.

I remember a couple of months ago, in Isfahan, a lady approached us and she said welcome to our country. I wish when you go back to Europe please tell your friends and family that we are not a bad country, and those words touched me and I keep thinking about that. There is nothing wrong with Iran, I believe it is something wrong with us calling countries like Saudi Arabia or others our friends and then claiming that Iran is the axis of evil. It’s the fact that my wife and I speak almost every day about the friendliness and hospitality we received, we experienced here virtually every day and then when we think a little deeper we do believe that it’s something wrong with the Iranians, of course Iran. I read that in the 50s they had for the first time in their history a democratic chosen government and then several months later, we westerners, I put us all together, let’s say, we had the guts to come here and replace that prime minister who refused to give us Iran’s national resources, with a free and us-obliged king who then puts Iran’s oil at our disposal, and then after the Islamic revolution we westerners, let an eight year war happen whereas Saddam Hussein attacked Iran and we took side with Saddam Hussein. So there was the whole world against Iran.

We and Iraqis failed to win the war and later and until the present day we imposed sanctions on the Iranians making them suffer even more, and then here comes the big paradox we are facing, we are welcomed in this country like friends or family, after all this harm we have done to them, the Iranians still show us their best side. We do believe that Iran is great and our campaign is also to fix some of the mistakes our politicians made and still make. We wish that more people come to Iran and build themselves their opinion about this great nation, instead of being manipulated, instigated or even brainwashed by the Western media and the politicians.”

TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “Cristian, do you think your project will be successful?”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “I don’t’ only think that our project will be successful, I know it. I know it already because of the reaction we get through our website and from the people on the street, they approach us and say, oh I know about your project, so they already know about us, so the word is spreading. But our main target is not Iran, is Europe. So that’s where we want to focus on, with our informational and emotional campaign.

So our project involves a long term, let’s say six months trip to Europe. We will try to promote the country, to inform the people there that they shouldn’t fear coming to Iran, it’s a safe country, it’s a nice country, has the most hospitable people we have met so far, delicious food and the list can go on and on. We’ll organize events in the big cities we are going to go through or maybe small ones as well. Show pictures from Iran, the pictures we made, the pictures we got from other people. Show movies and videos that we have done here. Actually make the Iranian culture, the Iranian people and their country known in Europe, because we lack information about Iran in Europe. I myself was very misinformed about the country when I came here.

Another thing that astonishes us was how much the Iranians know about us Westerners compared to how much we know about them. When we tell them we come from Germany, they start asking which city in Germany? Hum…by comparison, when we tell friends and family that we want to travel to Iran, they either ask where the country is or if we want to kill ourselves by visiting that country which is at war.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “After five months of travelling what do you have to tell us about Iran?”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: “Briefly, I would say, we have a wrong interpretation of the word hospitality in our languages, in our cultures. If you want to have the right definition of hospitality, you need to come to Iran.”

“But most of all I do have to admit that we enjoyed interacting people, this is something which is very easy here because the people are so open. Having it done in such a nice atmosphere like in the bazaar, like this one, or in a mosque or in an old city, that adds a bit of flavor to the whole story.”

SOUNDBITE [English], Interviewer: “You still believe that Iran is great, why?”

Interview [English], Cristian Ivan, Tourist: Why Iran is great? Because of the people, because of the food, because of the landscape, because of the culture, because… oh, I don’t have enough fingers to count all the reasons why Iran is great.”

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