Iranian history represents a rich blend of legend, mythology,
recorded fact and living tradition. Several civilizations have risen in various
parts of the country at different times, each leaving its own impression on the
subsequent development of Iranian history.
Iran is a huge country of 1,648,000 square Kilometers with varying
ecosystems. From the tropical Caspian shore with its rice and tea plantations,
to the oilfields and sugar cane fields of Khuzestan; from the orchards and
wheat fields of the province of Azerbaijan, to the deserts of Kavir and Lut
with their oasis towns; from the central arid plateau, to the snowcapped Zagros
and Alburz mountains – Iran is a land of extraordinary contrasts. The mountains
are cold in the winter, the deserts hot in the summer, yet in spring and autumn
there is no more beautiful a place on earth. Carpets of wild flowers are
everywhere; little villages extend a shy welcome. This truly is God’s own land.
art or Iranian art has one of the richest art heritages in world history and
encompasses many disciplines including architecture, painting, weaving,
pottery, calligraphy, metalworking and stonemasonry. There is also a very
vibrant Iranian modern and contemporary art scene.
Iranian architecture or Persian architecture is the architecture
of Greater Iran that has a continuous history from at least 5000 BCE to the
present, with characteristic examples distributed over a vast area from Syria
to North India and the borders of China, from the Caucasus to Zanzibar. Persian
buildings vary from peasant huts to tea houses, and garden pavilions to
"some of the most majestic structures the world has ever seen".
Iran has several
handicrafts which have deep root in it’s culture. The most important
handicrafts which can be found in different parts of Iran are: carpet and
kilim, engraving and inlaid, tapestry, miniature, ceramic and pottery,
semi-precious stones (jewlry), manuscripts and saffron.
Iranian cuisine includes
a wide variety of foods ranging from Chelo Kaba (rice served with roasted meat:
Barg, Koobideh, Joojeh, Shishleek, Soltani, Chenjeh), Khoresh (stew that
is served with white Iranian rice: Ghormehsabzi, Gheimeh, Fesenjan and others),
Ash, Kuku, Polo (white rice alone or with addition of meat and/or vegetables
and herbs, including Loobia polo, Albaloo polo Sabzi polo, Zereshk poo, Baghali
polo and others), and a diverse variety of salads, pastries, and drinks
specific to different parts of Iran. The list of Persian recipes, appetizers
and desserts are extensive.
There are a
wide variety of different cultural activities going on in Iran and particularly
in the Capital, Tehran, almost every day. The more costly parts of these
activities are sponsored and financed by the government while the private
sector's contribution to cultural activities are also remarkable. For instance,
the government owns most of the theater halls while music tapes, magazines and
books are mostly produced by private sector.
a hot, dry climate characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short,
cool winters. The climate is influenced by Iran's location between the
subtropical aridity of the Arabian desert areas and the subtropical humidity of
the eastern Mediterranean area.