Two Wings of a Nightingale
Persian soul, Islamic heart
by Jill Worrall
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Iran is probably the most misunderstood country in the world, and its people are among the most feared. In this book award-winning travel writer Jill Worrall, with her friend Reza Mirkhalaf, a leading tour manager from Tehran, describe an Iran the world has forgotten about. Few people in the west know anything about the Iranian people beyond their current politics and religion. Two Wings of a Nightingale uses the threads of Iran's silk road heritage as a basis for a road trip travelogue. Many of the places visited have rarely been written about by westerners, and in writing this book Jill benefited from Reza's expert knowledge on Iran's history, religion, culture and architecture.
During their journey, Jill and Reza explore the caravanserai that were once a vital part of the silk routes that once crossed Persia, while also encountering many ordinary Iranians. In writing this book, Jill wanted to write about Iran in a way that would give readers a greater insight into the landscapes, landmarks and people of the country at a grassroots level. The title reflects the fact that they were two people of different sexes, different religions and cultures travelling together, yet keeping their travels harmoniously on course. It also refers to the many dichotomies of Iranian life. In the course of their travels, Jill and Reza visit the holiest city in Iran, Mashhad, paddle in the Persian Gulf, pass close by the borders of both Afghanistan and Iraq, stay with local families, play in the snow near Mt Ararat, pray in mosques, read poetry in Shiraz and eat ice creams in Isfahan.
- Exisle Publishing, April 2011
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