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Books & Films
Here we present the most exciting books and films. Save space in your travel bag. These books (and films) should be a part of you backpack.

One Thousand and One Nights and other tales from Iran

Iran is full of magic and legendary places, which have been origin for many great stories. These stories have fascinated people all over the world. They have been collected from folk tales of Persia (today called Iran) and later compiled to include stories from various other authors. Some of the tales are One Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin's Lamp, Sindbad the Sailor, and the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. These stories really turn you on, and so does the beauty of Iran.
By travelling around in Iran inspiration could be found for many good stories. The country's breathtaking nature, unique architecture, huge mosques, magnificent tombs, ancient fire temples, pulsating bazaars, nice tea houses, traditional music, beautiful parks and gardens, splendid art and artefact, colourful decorations and big carpets, boost Iran`s image of a fairytale country.


For they who have read folk tales from old times in Iran, would have the greatest experience to look around in the country. Perhaps on a flying carpet?


Two of the most popular cities are Esfahan and Shiraz. Esfahan is located in central Iran, and Shiraz in the southwestern part of the country. Both the cities have a fascinated story that dates back to the oldest time. These cities` nostalgic looks create a special atmosphere, and represent the timeless beauty of Iran. I believe this is the reason for that the good old Persian stories are kept living. 

Photo. Eman Square in Esfahan is an example of the timeless beauty of Iran that keeps the stories living.

Photo. Huge fortification in Shiraz is another example of the timeless beauty of Iran.

The story behind it it`s like a fairytale.

One of the most fascinating stories is told in "The Book of One Thousand and One Nights", also known as The book of a Thousand Nights and a Night, 1001 Arabian Nights, or simply the Arabian Nights. It's a piece of classic Arabic literature in the style of a frame tale.

The ancient Persians were a remarkable people whose civilisation and culture that influenced the history of the world. Takt-e-Jamshid,Persepolis in Iran is an example of thatIt was so great that the inhabitants hosted people from several places around the world, but so came Alexander the Great……. (see the coming movie which going to be released in November this year - 2004).

Photo. Takt-e-Jamshid, Persepolis, Iran

This ancient site is one of the greatest wonders in the world. It has a beauty, perfection and magnificence that stretch far in to the divine world.

By experience such a wonder it could be understood that this has been origon for many amazing legends and fairytales.

Shahryar (or Schriyar) (meaning king in Persian), king of an unnamed island "between India and China" (in modern editions based on Arab transcripts he is king of India and China), is so shocked by his wife's infidelity that he killed her. Then he became convinced that all women were unfaithful too, and this caused serious consequences for them in the story.

The tales from Iran is about historical events, love, tragedies, comedies, poems, burlesques and Muslim religious legends. Some of the other famous stories are "Aladdin's Lamp", "Sindbad the Sailor", and the tale of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves". The story about Aladdin and Ali Baba was made famous in the 18th century by a French orientalist, who had heard them told by a Syrian fairy-tale teller. The other mentioned stories are also translated in to western languages.

There are several sacred places and ancient wonders in Iran that could be experienced in atmosphere full of mystic and romance. It really turned me on! If I could rub Alladin`s Lamb to make a wish, I would certainly wish to travel back to Iran to see more of the country and hear some more fairytales.

Stein Morten Lund, 7 September 2004

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