Iranian / Persian Hospitality

Tourists come to Iran for the history. But what they end up remembering best is the Iranian / Persian hospitality – the unfailing talent to shower the visitor with unsolicited kindness.

It has happened to Saeideh and me all over this country, in cities and villages. Over and over, we were invited into the homes of strangers for tea, food and even overnight stays.

I think of Iranian / Persian hospitality as weaponized hospitality. It draws on thousands of years of unquestioned presumption that the guest is a gift to be cherished and pampered.

The kindnesses, the pleasantries, the non-stop instinct to provide the guest – these are hard-wired in the Persian psyche.

We document just a few of experiences in these stories.



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Iranian female photographing outdoors, Golmakan area, one hour outside Mashhad, Khorasan-e Razavi Province, northeast Iran. Copyright Ali Torkzadeh,

Tour of Iran’s countryside: full of surprises
The famous Persian hospitality on our weekend trip in northeast Iran

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Road trip to country home in northeast Iran

Persian hospitality and quick friendships are hard to avoid anywhere in Iran – especially when you’re in the country. On our weekend autumn getaway near Mashhad, we ate a lot of traditional food, we also visited the shrine of a local Shia saint who almost instantly answered my prayer!

Iranian road police, Travel Tour Iran Ali Torkzadeh Com 3363

Final thoughts on the road trip through northwest Iran
I've learned so much more about this complex land

The biggest risk of travel in Iran is not going to jail (or from getting shot or ripped off, as is the case in the streets of Europe and America). Here the risk is getting your gourd smashed in a traffic accident! Or at least think you’re out of your mind after witnessing what Iranian drivers are capable of. I’m in an incredibly beautiful land with people who are insane drivers but nonetheless have stolen my heart with endless kindness and generosity.

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