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New College of California's On the Silk Road to Iran -February 16 to March 4, 2007

Iran, heir to the ancient traditions of Persia, is located at the crossroads of East and West. As one of the countries along the ancient Silk Road, Iran has always played a major role in world history because of its unique position geographically and culturally.

The Silk Road was created many centuries ago for the trading of silk and other goods between East and West and became an important channel for the transfer of ideas, language, literature as well as science and technology. As a result the road to Persia became a symbol of humanity’s desire to travel, to explore, and to learn from the diversity of the human experience.

The New College of California Study Tour to Iran

In the spring of 2007, Jerry Dekker, instructor of Humanities at New College of California, is leading another trip to Iran for students, faculty, staff and friends of New College of California. Jerry, fluent in the Persian language, has lived for several years in Iran and regularly travels to the Islamic Republic. The purpose of this trip is to follow in the footsteps of those who throughout the centuries have traveled to Iran in order to broaden their world perspectives. The itinerary will include the classical centers of Persian culture such as Shiraz and Isfahan, but will also explore the Zoroastrian and Islamic pilgrimage sites of Iran with visits to Yazd and the holy city of Qom, and important center of Shi’a Islam and cradle of the Islamic Revolution. This journey to Persia will focus on the cultural heritage of Iran with an exploration of the architectural splendor of Persepolis to the wonders of Persian art and architecture in Isfahan. Visits to museums, art galleries, mosques and discussions with Iranians from diverse walks of life will add to the richness of this travel experience.

The trip is organized in such a way that complements the student’s study of interdisciplinary humanities by developing insights into Islamic art and architecture, Islamic mysticism, ancient Persian civilization, environmental activism, Persian poetry, Iranian handicrafts, Islamic revolutionary theory and practice, as well as the Iranian response to globalization.

Four units of Humanities credit is available to registered students of New College of California as a Middle East Studies Elective. The Middle East Studies elective is a field workshop in the Middle East, which focuses on the student's selected emphasis in Islamic Art & Architecture, Islamic Studies, Persian Society & Culture, Environmental Studies and History, Cultures and Politics of the Middle East, etc. The units offered through this elective count towards the B.A. in Humanities and, in some cases, the science or art breadth requirement as well. Continuing Education Units can also be obtained through this educational tour. Financial aid is available for this study tour to Iran for those who qualify.

Information: For complete information on this trip to Iran such as itinerary details, trip costs, reservations or general questions, etc. please contact the tour leader, Jerry Dekker at:

New College of California
777 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110
Tel: (415) 740-4476 or email at:


... Payvand News - 10/16/06 ... --

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