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December Trip to Iran

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East December Trip to Iran

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1. Posted by nawwal (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y

nawwal has indicated that this thread is about Iran

Hello, my name Judd and I am 23, a recent graduate of University where I studied Middle Eastern Studies. I have been following the news for the last year or so about Iran and I have recently decided that I am going to travel to Iran to see the country and people for myself.

I have about two weeks vacation from work and I was thinking of flying into Istanbul and then getting a connecting flight to Tehran. I'd like to see the country, maybe buy a carpet or two and then go back home to the USA.

A bit about me. I have a Jewish father and an African-American mother. I am now an Orthodox Jew and thus I am not a Zionist and I'm not interested in being political. I'm just young and curious. I want to see and pray at some religious sites, the tomb of the prophets Esther and Mordechi, Daniel, etc.

I want to travel during the week around the country, visiting major historical sites of Iran and of all religions. I want to learn more about Shia Islam in Iran. On the weekends, I'd like to spend my Sabbath with a local Jewish community in any city that I may be traveling in. I don't speak Farsi and would need a local guide\translator.

I don't know my head from my bottom when it comes to trying to arrange such a trip. I'm looking for some guidance in trying to prepare. Anything you can suggest would be greatly appreciated.

J.R.
-snip-

[ Edit: Sorry, no emails in the forum please. Try the message center. ]

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

You are either very naive or a troll.

A practising Orthodox Jew in Iran! Are you mental? WTF did you learn in Middle Eastern Studies?

First, as a US citizen you will need a guide all the time. You are not allowed to visit the country on your own. Getting the visa will be a real problem too.

I went to Iran in August, and while it is a perfectly safe place to travel in, it is not a good place for a Jew who openly says he is one.

Iran and Israel are enemies, they have a constant silent war going on between them. The Iranian government openly supports the Hisbollah with money and weapons in a bid to overtopple the Israeli government. Any Jew is suspected to be an Israeli agent. It doesn't matter that you are Orthodox and not a Zionist, because the Iranian government doesn't care for such distinctions. They won't even let you in if you have an Israeli border stamp in your passport!

If you are determined to go to Iran, go as a secular US-American citizen interested in Shi'i faith. You will learn a lot about it, especially if you are fluent in Arabic. Don't tell anybody even that your father is a Jew.

Better outright forget about visiting the holy sites you wrote about, not to mention praying at them. Finding a Jewish family to host you will also be a huge problem. If I recall correctly, all Jews in Iran were forced to emigrate to Israel sometime after the Islamic revolution.

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 8, 2006 8:24 AM by t_maia ]

Post 3 was removed by a moderator
4. Posted by nawwal (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y

Quoting t_maia

You are either very naive or a troll.

A practising Orthodox Jew in Iran! Are you mental? WTF did you learn in Middle Eastern Studies?

First, as a US citizen you will need a guide all the time. You are not allowed to visit the country on your own. Getting the visa will be a real problem too.

I went to Iran in August, and while it is a perfectly safe place to travel in, it is not a good place for a Jew who openly says he is one.

Iran and Israel are enemies, they have a constant silent war going on between them. The Iranian government openly supports the Hisbollah with money and weapons in a bid to overtopple the Israeli government. Any Jew is suspected to be an Israeli agent. It doesn't matter that you are Orthodox and not a Zionist, because the Iranian government doesn't care for such distinctions. They won't even let you in if you have an Israeli border stamp in your passport!

If you are determined to go to Iran, go as a secular US-American citizen interested in Shi'i faith. You will learn a lot about it, especially if you are fluent in Arabic. Don't tell anybody even that your father is a Jew.

Better outright forget about visiting the holy sites you wrote about, not to mention praying at them. Finding a Jewish family to host you will also be a huge problem. If I recall correctly, all Jews in Iran were forced to emigrate to Israel sometime after the Islamic revolution.

There are some 35000 Jews in Iran and there is a differnce between Jews and Zionist, and I am not the latter. Also, I am an American. What does Israel have to do with me in that way?

Anyhow, thank you for your concern,
G-d Bless,
J.R.

5. Posted by Superwolf (Budding Member 25 posts) 10y

Quoting nawwal

Also, I am an American. What does Israel have to do with me in that way?

6. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 10y

Quoting t_maia

You are either very naive or a troll.

A practising Orthodox Jew in Iran! Are you mental? WTF did you learn in Middle Eastern Studies?

Come on!!!! Not all Iranians have feelings of hate against the west or Israel (most see it as a political thing). In fact most Iranians are great people. There is no hate among them.

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 10, 2006 11:05 AM by wouterrr ]

7. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

Wouterr, I did not say that the Iranian people hate Westerners.

I wrote about the official ideology and policy of the Iranian government, something totally different.

8. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Wow! I learn at least one thing, everyday, on this forum.
I did not know that Americans have to have a guide, at all times, in Iran.

Mel

9. Posted by rayani (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

Dear Judd,
I am a tour leader from Iran and I don't see any problem in your traveling in Iran. Last year I operated 5 american tour in Iran without any problem. There were some jews among them. In Iran you can also visit a synagogue for Sabbath. There is no problem in getting visa. But becuase you are an american you must take a tour from an Iranian agency.There are some jewish tombs in Iran such as Ester and Mordkhai in Hamadan, Daniel in Susa, Hayaghoogh in Tuiserkan, 4-prophet tomb in Qavin and cyrus tomb in Pasargadea.

10. Posted by Eden70 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

Dear Judd,

i just visited Iran in October, it was a wonderful experience very friendly people and helpful. hard to speak to them as I dont speak farsi either get a guid is the best thing. its a totally different country and culture thu am from the middle east but am sure you'll explore a unique culture. dont know what to advise you if you are holding an American passport !! but if you'll ever have the chance go for it dude.

best wishes ;)