You migh have known us by the name of "Neo-Cyrus-Tours" or very simply as Pourya and Rola! We are two Iranians, originally from the north and west of the country. Two years ago, we were settled in Shiraz, the cultural capital of Iran, to help discover the grandeur of the Persian culture to visitors.Those who have visited Persepolis, Necropolis, or Shiraz and the mausoleum of Hafez with us know that: what anmates us is to make relive the history of Persian Empire, and the culture of our country.We started to help foriegn toursists discover Iran, volunatrily, when we used to love in the north of Iran, Rasht. We were two students of English literature and we would invite travelers to our flat via Couchsurfing. It was a way for us to practice foreign languages (English and French). However above all, we wanted to get to know their culture better and and to transmit ours to them.These exchanges brought us so many things that we decided to quit our jobs to come to Shiraz and to start our cultural project.
Today, besides being officially certified tour guides, we continue our studies in the domaines related to tourism. Pourya studies ancient languages and cultures of Iran and Rola studies tourism management.We have welcomed more than 400 tourists since the beginning of our adventure in Shiraz. People from all ages and horizons, families with children, backpackers, etc. We would like to give to anybody, what ever their means are, the chance to discover our Iran.
Those who come to our place arrive here like tourists, but leave as friends. They become part of our "army of friends", an invincible army. You know that, you who are reading these lines and have enetered our house and life😉
What you do not here about Iran
Iran is a wonderland whose beauties are little known, vicitm of a negative image vehiculed bty the west since decades. Very often, iran is dexcribed as the country of Mollahs, associated with the nuclear weapon, and the violatiin of human rights. However, behind all these negative clichés lies a rich civilization with 7000 years of history.
Hardly do we hear talking about what is born or what has been discovered on this land: from the first universal empire founded by Cyrus the great; about his declaration of human rights, about Zoroastrianism, the first monotheistic religion in human history.Few people know the story of Avicenna or that of Khâyam, the persian scientists who revolutionzed the world of science, of poetry, and of philosophie.
And what can be said of the philosophical Persian poetry of Hafez, sa'adi, and Rumi who take you to a spiritual world; the ancient traditions of Iran and its local cultures, so unique and various.Beside these cultural aspects, there is also a breathtaking nature that makes of Iran a country of four seasons. The snowy mountains of Alborz and Zagros, the luxurious forests and the mangroves of the Caspian Sea, the mystical deserts listed on the world heritage of UNESCO.
Added to all that, those who have visited Iran can testify the warm hospitality of Iranian people.You are all welcome to our country.
Why does Iran and IranNameh need you?
Despite all these wonders, Iran remains little known, due to its geopolitical situation. Recently, Amercoan sanctions have paralysed Iran and have made the lives of Iranian people even more difficult. In the media, Iran is shown with so many dark clichés, without any disctinction between its people and government. To the point that the American president threatened Iran to hit its cultural sites, even though 28 of them are listed on UNESCO. The sites which give iran a true touristic potential, and which we feel responible to protect.
In these terrible times, intensified with the novel Coronovirus, there exists a duty for Iranians: RESISTANCE! for us, IranNameh, this resistance happens through tourism, to give back Iran its grandeur and also to help us make a living.We have called this project "IranNameh", in reference to "Shahnameh", the book of the kings, which tells the stories of Persian mythology.IranNameh is an hommage and a reminder of our culture.
The project: the first cultural house in Shiraz
Even before being guides, our project was obvious: opening a cultural house to let foreign tourists indulge themselves in our milenary culture. A place where not only visitors are welcomed like friends, but also where they could dive into their reading of Hafez, discover ancient games, handicrafts, and taste the local cuisine.
This cultural house is then two things: a homestay that can wellcomed visitors for several nights in its individual rooms and its little dormitories (six beds).But also and above all, this cultural house will be a place of life the heart of this last one being a library were everyone can read during several hours if they wish so, a collection of poetry or a book retracing the conquests of Cyrus. All of these while tasting a delicious tea of Lahijan or the faloodeh of Shiraz since we would also like to open a café. This way, everyone can can benefit from our cultural house bringing a part of their horizons and ideas.We have just found a big house with a big yard that is perfect for our project. It is located in the city-center of Shiraz, quite close to the gate of Coran and the mausolem of Hafez. The advantage of this place is that it is not only clise to the touristic center but also to the "real" city center. Walking from the house to the touristique center (20 minutes) the visitors can observe the authentic life of the people.
In this open and friendly space, we would like to organize some events, to discuss different cultural themes. An event on poetry, on ancient and modern architecture, or on Iranian cinema by watching Iranian movies. All of that, and never forgetting to have fun and sharing crazy luaghters😉
As always, we are always there to help you organize your trip and find all that you might need: a Sim Card, exchange office, next destination, booking tickets, etc. And those who know us know how much we are inexhaustible about these matters.
How we spend the budget
As explaiend earlier, we have already found the ideal place. A big house with two floors and several rooms, a big yard as the common space. Since always, we have been looking for this ideal place, and we have worked so hatd to find it, saving all the money we earned. Finally, we have reached our goal.
We have invested all our savings in the project, however with all that, it is not enough. The real estate system in Iran is very peculiar. We must pay a considerable amount of money as guarantee.
This is why we paid 3,000,000,000 rials for the guarantee. Sorry for all these zeros, but this is what the fall of Iranian currency has produced. This gurantee is equivalant to 20,000€ . We have borrowed so much money to be abale to pay this sum, and we need to pay back these loans.
We also need some money to buy furniture and beds to fill up this big house. Furthermore, the repairs and some small jobs are necessary: changing the curtains, adding a bathroom, decorations in a pure traditional iranian way, etc.To sum it up, we want to spend the collecetd money as following:
-50% to pay back a part of the guarantee
-20% to finance the repairs
-20% to finance the furniture
-10% to finance decorations and acessories
How to give the money
As you know, one of the problems since we are in Iran is not to have access to the international banks. We owe this idea of the crowdfunding project to our dear French friend, Daisy Lorenzy. Fallen in love with Iran, she has been living in Iran for two years. We met her in the north while we were working voluntarily. Since when, we kept in touch, we see each other regularly. She often comes to Shiraz for week-ends.It's her who leps us receive the funds for this project. The money will go to her bank account, and she will give us the money directly afterwards.
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Lorenzi Daisy Aurore
Pourya & Rola