A Canadian nurse who lead a tour to Turkey in April 2002
Mr. Hossein Lotfi
Silk Road Tours
Dear Mr lotfi,
I am writing to express my great appreciation for all your help in obtaining visas and making all travel arrangements for myself and my son in our past year of traveling back and forth from Canada to Iran.
In May 2000 my complete trust in you and your company was established.
My son and I wished to visit my Husband, who had to relocate back to his country to look after his widowed mother. After a frustrating month of trying to make my own travel arrangements , at one point my passport had been lost in transit when applying for visas from The Iranian Embassy in Ottawa, I was shocked and so pleasantly pleased when our visas were obtained through your office in a matter of days and all flights were booked and in place; impossible without your efficient staff and your kind concern for our welfare.
When the September 11,2001 disaster occurred I had already been scheduled to fly from Vancouver on the 15th. I contacted you immediately and was reassured that, after a wait of two weeks to give the airlines an opportunity to disperse all stranded passengers, my trip would be rebooked. I had complete confidence in having a safe trip due to your close contact with the Iranian Government and intimate knowledge of the political climate within your country. As promised I left October 1st, with increased security at all the major airports. The fear instilled by the "attack" decreased the number of passengers and it was disheartening to see the emptiness of the terminals. However upon my return two months later, I was pleased to see people sleeping along the corridors and in the waiting areas as is common while waiting for connecting flights, signifying a return to normalcy.
Over the span of the year that I have been visiting Iran it is wonderful to see the relaxing of the rules that govern the People. Women not only drive cars ( a feat that requires extreme skill and quick reflexes- I have tried driving there, only to find I cannot manage other than highway driving) but now can be seen on bicycles as well. In Mashhad, a city with devout religious denizens, mature women no longer wear their Chador over their Mantou (coat), although it is still required in order to visit the Shrine. As seen previously only in Tehran, hair is now beautifully combed and visible from beneath the scarves (Magnay) wore by all. It is not unusual to see a lace scarf draped symbolically over the hair and not fastened at the throat. Translucent and not the totally opaque stockings are being worn, subtle signs of desire for change. More and more women are being heralded into the work force not just for personal desire but also because of the economy. As is apparent every where in the world, it is becoming increasing difficult to provide the necessities for ones family.
No matter where one travels in this beautiful historic country the individuals, one has the great fortune to encounter, are kind and express a great desire to share. English is taught in the schools from a young age and everyone wishes to practice. Taxis are willingly paid for you in exchange for such a gift. A silent request for help to cross the street (definitely a skill that takes time to learn), results in an arm offered in support. Iranians are refreshingly child-like and openly honest in their desire for Western contact. Although one must be aware of the Extremists that exist, I never felt as safe or as cared for as I have walking the sidewalks of this great nation.
I am hoping my association with you and your company will be one of continued respect and a desire to fulfill the needs of both parties in what ever capacity we can in a joint effort to inform the people of the Western nations of the
beauty of Iran and the majority of its people and their desire for peace and growth and to be recognized as such to the nations of the World.