Home > Iran: Assassins, Emperors and Magi
Qazvin, Iran was once a major stop along the caravan route in the foothill of the Alborz mountain range; this region marks the entrance to the lands historically associated with Persia. A journalist describes the Persian history associated with sites in the region.
In Alamut a sect, known as the Nizaris, once lived; they were a Muslim sect, an offshoot of an offshoot of Shia Islam. The founder of this sect, Hassan-e Sabbah once lived high up in the mountains and essentially founded suicide bombing.
Tehran is a large city sitting atop the Alborz Mountain range and has tripled in size over the past several decades and is radically different than when the trader's caravans would travel along the Silk Road. Iran is the homeland of the strategic game of chess, which was invented in India.
Outside of the capital, a group of sportsman are practicing polo; this game originated in the Persian societies of the Middle East, which held the fastest horses in the world. A local polo coach talks about the sport.
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Alfred learns that Iran has a Silk Road Secretariat. Its representative in the northern city of Qazvin—Hooman Babapoor—explains that the government wishes to develop links between other countries along the illustrious road. Far from the city, at 2,000 meters above sea level, Alfred visits the ruins of Hassan-i Sabb?h’s fortress, founder of a movement known as “Hashshashins”—drug smokers and killers who gave us the modern word “assassin.” Then he goes on to Tehran, an astonishing city far from the clichés, open to other cultures. We learn more about it from the young skater Medhi.
Length: 26 minutes
Copyright date: ©2017
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