The Gate

One of my readers, Pardis, is a young woman from Shiraz. Recently, as we were corresponding back and forth, I reminisced about her home city of Shiraz. I had an uncle who had married a Shirazi girl and settled there to have many children. I had several bona fide Shirazi cousins, complete with that sweet Shirazi accent. For many years we would travel to Shiraz to visit with that side of the family for Nowrooz. We would go through what is called Darvazeh Qoran, or The Qoran Gate. According to an old Iranian tradition, the gate held a Qoran on top to keep those traveling under it safe on their trip.
We had such wondrous times in Shiraz, walking the tidy backstreets, visiting the monuments, enjoying the public gardens, and everyday at mealtimes, picking Narenj off the trees in the backyard to enhance the food on the table. The best herb and fruit extracts (aragh), paloudeh, noghl, and even cream puffs (noon khamehi) I ever had in my life was in Shiraz, or was it that everything tasted good when we were children? People of Shiraz are so warm, so welcoming, and possess such unique sense of humor. Shiraz gave me such beautiful childhood memories. I continued to travel there with my family until Nowrooz of 1978 (1357), which was the last time I saw Shiraz. During the years I lived in Tehran, I could have gone back many times, I suppose. I didn't go, primarily because there were other places I had never seen which beckoned me, but also because some memories are better kept as you remember them, clean and crisp and innocent, magnificent. Shiraz has many monuments for which it is famous, the most important one of which is Persepolis. For me, however, Darvazeh Qoran is the most memorable monument in Shiraz. The reason is that every time we drove under it, my father would whole heartedly pray and wish all travelers a safe journey, each time teaching us something valuable about our traditions, culture, and beliefs. When I think of Shiraz, this is what I think about, and I miss it tonight.
You can see all the pictures Ali Majdfar has lovingly taken of Iran here.


! said...

شیراز بسیار زیباست واقعا با نوشتتون موافقم

! said...

شیراز بسیار زیباست واقعا با نوشتتون موافقم

Nazy said...

Dear Exclamation!!!

You sure have a tough name to address! I have to hand it to you, though, you are original! Thank you for coming and for leaving this kind message. It is a beautiful city with beautiful people, Shiraz. In the West these days, most people know the name Shiraz as a type of red wine. A long time ago small plants of Shiraz grapes were taken to be planted in the Australian wine country, which now exports this wine all over the world, making the name Shiraz famous.

I remember it by entirely different reasons, as does anyone who has ever set foot in the city of poets, kings, gardens, and hospitality.

Be good Exclamation Jan. I hope you carry that element of energy and surprise that (!) exemplifies to me all day.

مانا said...

من چند بار شیراز را دیده ام ولی جالب ترین خاطره ای که ازش دارم این بود که سوار یه سرسره خیلی گنده شدم و بعد می ترسیدم که بیام پایین و پشت سرم صف زیادی از بچه ها تشکیل شده بود .هنوز اون لحظات توی خاطرم مونده .4 سالم بود.

Pardis said...

Salam Nazy jan,
Seeing and reading this post this morning was a big surprise for me. That was so nice.
Thankss...you made my day.
I love shiraz so much.I also believe in: "Hameye Iran Saraye Man Ast" for kind friends from other cities. Thanks Nazy jan,you're so kind and nice.
Best wishes,

mehran said...

I have never been in shiraz. i know it is shame, i hope one day soon

Nazy said...

Sala Mana Jan. Oh, that sounds like a traumatic experience for a 4-year old! I hope your other memories of Shiraz have been warm and reassuring just like the sweet people of Shiraz. Since you have gone back several times, I think they have.

My childhood was filled with accidents and mishaps on slides, swings, and see-saws (ala-kolang)! More than once I had to be carried from a swing set covered in blood, needing stiches! I even had a horrific accident on Luna Park's (Shahre Bazi) Go Karts (mini cars) when I was 14, breaking my chin, my lip,and injuring my face, getting stiches everywhere! I gave new meaning to the word "Tomboy." I certainly hope your Shaya is a better-behaved child than I was! Come to think of it, I am not such a well-behaved adult, either! Be good Mana Jan.

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Pardis, The Shirazi Girl! Thank YOU for triggering the memory of a sweet place filled with beautiful memories in me!

Thank you also for the picture of Nareng in Bahar Narenj! It's absolutely beautiful Pardis Jan! I will use it soon. Just looking at the picture, I thought I could smell those blossoms. You made me so happy this morning.

Nazy said...

Salam Mehran Jan. I hope you get to go soon, too. Every Iranian must see Shiraz at least once!
خوشا شیراز و وضع بی مثالش
خداوندا نگه دار از زوالش

Be good Mehran Jan.

Shobeir said...

was it that everything tasted good when we were children.... Whata sentenece! (Ba sholooh ast!).
I haven't seen Shiraz yet... I know it's a pity :).
Actually with sharing your memoir with us, u've tought me a lesson.
Praying whole heartedly for others.

Shaaz ziid

And to finish with a poem...
اگر چه شهر من اینجا و یار من اینجاست
به نام خواجه که شعرش صدای سبز خداست
به نام شاخه نباتی که همچنان زیباست
هوای منزل یار آب زندگانی ماست
صبا بیار نسیمی ز خاک شیرازم

shobeir said...

by the way the poem was from Hosein Monzavi... and u can see that the last 2 verses are from Hafez.

Aida said...

Salaam Nazi jaan,
Shiraz?My favorite city in Iran.I have some relatives in different cities and on one in Shiraz.However,the welcoming and comforting attitudes of Shirazian were such a way , I never felt I had no one there.I remember in summer 1880,I was so down,nothing and no one could cheer me up for a while,I got a ticket to Shiraz and was back the same day.That one day trip is unforgettable.Visiting Hafez,the gardens,even Shah cheraagh made my day and I was back full of energy.

BTW,I contacted Shahrzad studio dance to purchase the dance tutorial CDs.Many many Thanks for the info.

Nazy said...

Salam Shobeir Jan. I think there is so much to see and do in Iran. It is rather embarrassing how many of those things I have never done and how many places I have never seen. I was sharing with Mana not too long ago in one of her posts the places I want to go just in Iran in my lifetime.

Make sure when you do go to Shiraz, that you go with people you really like! When you go to Hafezieh and make a wish and open Khajeh's book, you should be near people who have respect for the same and who would appreciate the gift of wisdom and hope you will receive.

Thank you for sharing the poem from Zendehyad Hossein Monzavi. Khoda biamorzadash. He was an excellent poet. What is the name of this kind poetry, where 2 verses are borrowed from masters and more are added to it by the poet? There is a name which I can't remember now. I learned the concept from Soheil Mahmoudi on the radio, where he read many examples of it one night!

Thanks for coming again Shobeir Jan. I see that Exclamation (!) is your friend. It is always wonderful to see more members of your very intelligent group here. I am honored. Come again soon.

Nazy said...

Spontaneous Aida Jan, Salam! Thanks for coming back! I love the story of your spontaneous "self-healing" trip to Shiraz! What a remarkable young woman you are. Good for you my dear for going to a place you wondered about, even if for just one day! I have been to Shah-e-Cheragh. I like going to religeous sites because when people gather to pray, the atmosphere is really peaceful and soothing, regardless of the building and the religion practiced in that building. I have been known to find my way into churches here on Sunday mornings, just to be near people who are concentrating on peaceful and harmonious thoughts, something that always gives me energy afterwards.

I hope Shahrzad's CD's are helpful. Be good my friend.