By Mahtab Farid, From Washington to Tehran
Nineteen year-old Nazanin, student in Tehran
majoring in industrial engineering enjoyed her time with her friends on a one
day field trip to the holy city of Qum. The trip was fully funded by her college
to educate young students about religion.
Nazanin is a hip young girl, who follows fashion like a religion, and is addicted to her laptop. She keeps in touch with so many of her friends in the US to keep up with the news in every imaginable topic.
By no means she is religious or believes in the current government of Iran, but as a blogger and a student her curiosity took her to the holy city of Qum.
Qum is located in south of Tehran or is about 96 miles drive from the capital city of Iran. Qum is known to have schools of theology and is the Mecca of clergy leaders in Iran.
This is Nazanin's diary of her one day trip to Qum.
I normally never participate in any of the religious rituals of our school, but as a blogger I was curios to take advantage of a field trip to the holy city of Qum which was paid by our college. Me and a group of my friends gathered front of our college early in the morning to get on the buses.
Warning!!! There was a bus for male students and another bus for female students. As soon as we got on the bus, we were served free breakfast, a muffin with milk. The driver was playing a religious CD which made us all very uncomfortable.
We immediately approached the driver and asked him to change the CD to hip hop music. He denied and then we asked him to stop the music.
As we were all sitting in silence, we noticed the driver started playing the hip hop music. Our group beamed in joy and got up to dance in the middle of the bus. The bus that was driving the boys noticed our bus and became shock at the fact that we were dancing and basically partying.
The fun has begun. As soon as the boy's bus got close to our bus, we started taking pictures, and they did the same thing.
It was about 11:30, and we have finally arrived. We approached the mosque called, "Masume."
Everyone was supposed to pray, however, only some of us prayed. The group met at 1:00 in the afternoon to have lunch.
It was after lunch that we all found comfort and pleasure in the outdoor area of the mosque. The outdoor area of the mosque was covered with large beautiful Persian rugs.
I have never seen so many clergymen in one place in my whole life. But I guess it makes sense, since Qum is the capital city of religious leaders in Iran.
Something that caught my attention was an area in Qum called, "Chahe Jam Karan." This place is a ditch which some believe the twelfth Imam that disappeared thousands of years ago is hiding inside. Many believers of this ideology come to this place in order to throw a note inside this ditch hoping their wish will come true.
Chahe Jam Karan
Even though I only took this trip as a curiosity but it turned out to be a lot of fun with my friends.
You could read Nazanin's blog, http://mydiaryfromiran.blogspot.com
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