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A Happy and Refreshing weekend in Rostamabad

By Syma Sayyah & Paul Sanford, Tehran

I had never been to Rostamabad, which is a town on the main road from Tehran to Rasht before last weekend.   It is a short distance after Roudbar and Manjil, which is famous for its strong winds and scorpions.  We went there to visit the Mother and Child Charity Foundation there and enjoyed the hospitality of Mr Fotovat, the foundation's head, at their guest quarters.

This trip was arranged by our dear friend Nader and his wife Saideh Ghods who started the well known and successful charity in Iran, Mahak (which deals with helping children who suffer from cancer and their families).  I was really impressed with the fact that the very top people from two extremely successful, independent and well known organizations in Iran could be so friendly and extend such cooperation towards each other's charities.  (May this be a lesson to all those who think cooperation is not possible in Iran.)

The weekend started by being picked up at 6 AM sharp by Nadir and Saideh and we drove off towards our destination after first picking up Mr Fotovat from his house which was on our way.  For one whole weekend we enjoyed great weather, lovely food and beautiful scenery.  May in Iran is one of the best times to travel and we hope to make sure that we do more travelling despite our busy lives.  Many of you may know that Roudbar which is about 270 kilometers from Tehran was totally devastated by an earthquake in June 1990.  It is famous for its olive groves, olive oil and related products.

During the weekend we did a lot of walking and on Friday drove high into the hills for a picnic.  We spread our sorfreh on ground and watched the beauty of our surroundings and listened to unbelievable happy birdsong.  While we were having lunch we saw a couple of eagles, not far from us, building a nest.  I am not a great outdoor adventurer but the works of nature and the natural world never fails to amaze me. We started a barbecue and enjoyed the chicken prepared by our host Mr Fotovat.  What touched me so much about him was his inner peace and gentleness as well as his firm and steady toil for what needed to be done.


We sat in the garden and had tea and fruit until late at night and watched the full moon as it came out of the cloud.  We walked across the fields and watched the flocks of sheep and goats go by at the top of the hills.  We were offered home made bread by Kolsoum khanoum who was making it in the open yard and were invited to Mr Ahmad and Parvin khanoum to have fresh tea in their open balcony.  We bought fresh natural eggs from a couple of farms and tasted the most wonderful home made fresh sheep yogurt I had ever tasted.  People in Rostamabad were helpful and friendly and their life, compared to ours in Tehran seemed simple and very healthy.

... Payvand News - 06/02/09 ... --

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