Friday, January 23, 2009

Iran update

I was back in Iran in January for a week and a half, staying in Tehran. I was there both for Ashura (the main religious holiday, commemorating the death of Hussein, descendant of the Prophet) and also to meet with folks at Tehran University (not easily done). Here are a few random shots from the trip.

The view out my hotel balcony

Ashura--a re-enactment of the death of Hussein, culminating in the burning of his tent.

The old American Embassy, now controlled by the Revolutionary Guard. They let me snap a couple of pictures of the exterior wall, which includes the national seal, methodically chipped away.

American Embassy

My hotel lobby

Tehran University--there was a burial underway for individuals who had fought in the Iran-Iraq War (why they were being buried on the university campus, to which they had no connection, is a discussion in itself)

Bookstore of the Political Science and Law Department. I was surprised by the degree of reference material in translation from and in English, including the Oxford Dictionary of Politics.