Hafez tomb in Shiraz

I stayed with Hossein’s family in Shiraz, thanks to my friend @liflorence. Li met Hossein and made friends with him and the whole family. The family is so friendly and welcoming. Hossein and friends told me a lot about Iranian culture, we had the amazing Iranian dish dizi. I was so fascinated to see how well his sister could dance Zumba and how his friends are atheists and anarchists in a country where “most of the fun things that younger generation like to do (such as dancing, party, etc) are illegal”.


In the end when I said goodbye to Hossein, he told me that he hoped I choose a better country, not Iran, to visit next time.

Well, “a better country”. What is a better country then? I was asking myself. I left China 5.5 years ago for Belgium, to study and live in a “better country”, and since then, I’ve travelled to many “better countries”.

Iran is among a few countries I’d like to revisit, I would call it a better country. But of course maybe once you live there, things become complicated.

Sitar and Hafez poetry book in my couchsurfing home in Tehran

Even though the dictators try to ban the music and dancing in Iran, still you couldn’t find that many countries wherein people are more enthusiastic in poetry and music than the Iranians. I feel many Iranians have talent in this. I couldn’t forget on the night train from Shiraz to Tehran, a group of Iranian friends started to play guitar and the whole train started singing along. For quite a lot of people, poetry is part of their life and deep in their soul.

The Tomb of Hafez in Shiraz city is designed by the French architect André Godard, to memorize the famous Iranian poet Hafez. The site is probably one of the most visited places in Shiraz, yet it is somehow able to keep its gem and authenticity. Many tourists come pose and take tons of pictures, also many come here simply to sit down on the stairs admiring Hafez’s poetry.

The evening time is probably the best time to visit. A lot of local people go there to venerate the highest symbol of poetic expression. The place turned magical at evening.

One that was reading Hafez poetry at night.

记得在设拉子与Hossein一家道别的时候,他跟我说 “Joy希望下次你旅游可以去更好的国家玩。” 后来在德黑兰的西塔琴艺术家沙发主说的:“伊朗是个很美丽的国家,但是对我们来说,其实跟监狱差不多。” 这两句话我一直印象深刻,也一直在想什么是更好一点的国家。我5年多前从国内只身一人来比利时读书生活,这其间也去了很多“更好一点的国家”旅行。但是让我印象最深刻,还想再去的完全不是这些“更好的国家”,而是像伊朗这样的地方。


设拉子是诗歌的城市,气氛文艺又悠闲,在这里有著名诗人哈菲斯的墓。哈菲斯之墓是法国建筑师André Godard设计,顶部的马赛克非常漂亮。晚上来这里气氛很好,整个花园都会播放哈菲斯的诗,伊朗有很多诗歌爱好者,不少人晚上来这里吟诗。