History is made by mixing facts and interests

Today, I met Alibek Yeginbay, a historian born and grown up in Kazakhstan but has called Xi’an home for five years. Like me, he’s one of the doubters that Marco Polo actually took the trip as mentioned in the traveler’s book, The Travels of Marco Polo. Polo’s description of ancient …


Being a minority

Like a bird born in cage believing that flying is bad, a person born and grew up with given idea will believe that it is the only true idea. Traveling to places where I became part of its minority challenged me to re-question and redefine what constitutes to true and ‘truth.’


Thank you for reminding me what nationalism is about

So I met an Iranian PhD in history today. An interesting discussion for food of your thought. This person, of course, did not represent the whole Iranians. And what’s better is for us, Indonesian, to learn from this  🙂) Him: “Don’t you hate Dutch people? They killed many of your people, …


The most rewarding trip

Sometimes, it’s those people we didn’t plan to meet created the most rewarding trip. Bored with sightseeing, I let myself wonder around the west side of Isfahan old city and found myself sitting with Raha Abtahi in Bouroojeniha Passage of Isfahan Carpet Bazaar. Raha was a fresh graduate majoring in …


Wet Your Dry Soul in Shiraz

“My religion says it is important to have as many followers as possible and it is one of my duty to make sure it happens but, with you, it is more important to have a friend who will help me find the truth.” Seyyed Hamed. I came to Iran with …


Being majority is a responsibility

Yazd is one of the provinces in Iran with the biggest influence and practices of Zoroastrianism. From Chak Chak – where legendary princess Nikbanou were shielded by cliff walls from being captured by Arab troops – to Karanagh – where intelligent example of water-deprived community settlement was built by Zoroastrians …


Indonesia is not a religious country

“Why do people in Indonesia hate Syiah people?” This is exactly one of the questions that made me decided to go to Iran. Nasheema, my guide at Shah Cheragh Shrine, the shrine that commemorate the two brothers of Imam Ali, asked me at the end of my short visit during an ifthar. I, of …


Gates of all legacies

Twenty four years ago, in my high school library, I learned how the kings of Persia built their empire and made their legacy in the form of Parsa, the great capital of Persia. Iwas told today that it was the empire leaders – father and son and grandson – who continuously built the city greater than they …


Welcome to Iran

“The winner is one who losses for seven (people) and stands for the eighth (person)” Masoud. Arriving at this country with a mixed feeling. It’s hard to tell whether Iranian people actually made up the country; one thing my host, Masoud, said to me, “We make and are proud of …


The best place to fall in love is wherever you go traveling

A dear friend of mine told me to go traveling and fall in love. Later, I found her suggestion was logically appropriate, if not correct. You see, for something highly emotional, like falling in love, I found the logical explanation when I was in Luang Prabang, Laos and Morotai, Indonesia. …