When most people think of Iran, they think of a hostile and dangerous nation. But this is not always the case. In fact, Iran is home to a large and diverse population that includes human-rights activists. In this blog post, we will interview one such activist and explore his journey into the world of Iranian saffron. From his experience as a human-rights defender to his work in promoting Iranian saffron, read on to learn more about this fascinating individual.
In 1979, Iranian social activist and human rights advocate Masoumeh Ebtekar immigrated to the United States. Ebtekar is best known for her work advocating for the rights of women and children in Iran, as well as her involvement in the Iranian Revolution. Iranian saffron farmer
Ebtekar’s long-standing advocacy work has landed her in hot water with the Iranian government. In 2011, she was placed on Tehran’s most-wanted list after she spoke out against human rights abuses by the Islamic Republic regime. Ebtekar currently resides in exile in Germany.
In this blog post, I explore my journey into the world of Iranian saffron. Saffron is a spice that has been used for centuries in Persian cuisine. It’s also an important ingredient in many traditional Mughlai dishes, such as Beni Gulbeni (a chicken dish) and Kheema Paani (a lamb dish).
I first became interested in saffron when I read an article about it on The Guardian website. The article mentioned that saffron is one of the most expensive spices on Earth because it requires a lot of labor to produce it. I was curious about how this spice could be so expensive and decided to do some research on my own.
It Turns Out That Saffron Is Really Expensive!
According to The Telegraph, “The average cost per kilo [2.2 pounds]
Preparation for the Journey
My journey into the world of Iranian saffron has been a long and winding one. I first learned about Iranian saffron in March of 2016 when I was studying abroad in Iran. I was reading an article about how the Iranian government is suppressing the saffron industry, which led me to learn more about this vibrant and important crop.
After learning more about Iranian saffron, I decided to travel to Iran and visit the country’s saffron farms. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience to see firsthand how these farms operate and what goes into producing this valuable spice.
During my trip, I also spoke with several human rights activists who work on behalf of persecuted minority groups in Iran. Their stories gave me a better understanding of the challenges that they face, as well as some ideas for how I can help support their cause.
Now that I’ve experienced Iranian saffron firsthand, I’m even more committed to working on behalf of marginalized communities around the world. Thanks for following my journey, and please stay tuned for more updates!
Arrival in Iran
When I first arrived in Iran, it felt like a different world. Compared to my home in the United States, Tehran was bustling with people and life seemed to go on forever. The streets were filled with car exhaust and the air smelled of electricity and sweat.
Despite this busy energy, I could sense an underlying sadness. Iranians are very proud people and they don’t easily show their emotions. But as I began interacting with them, I saw that underneath this veneer of strength lay deep wounds caused by years of discrimination and oppression.
Iranians are among the most religious people in the world, but they have been persecuted for their beliefs since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Amnesty International reports that there has been a consistent pattern of violations of human rights committed by Iranian authorities, including restrictions on freedom of expression, association and religion; torture and other ill-treatment; arbitrary arrest and detention; unfair trials; forced exile; and violence against women.
This repression has had a devastating impact on Iranian society. According to government statistics, nearly half of Iranian adults are below poverty line due to unemployment, lack of access to basic services such as healthcare or education and economic sanctions imposed by international bodies such as the United Nations Security Council over Iran’s nuclear program. Meanwhile, politically active citizens who do not fall into line with government policy face harassment, imprisonment or even execution.
Despite this bleak picture, there is also evidence that ordinary Iranians are struggling to cope with these challenges. In 2013
Entering the Country
Ashraf is a human rights activist who has spent the last few years of her life travelling to countries that have been listed as “human rights abusers” by Amnesty International. When she first started this journey, she was sceptical about whether or not she could make a difference in these places, but now she knows that it’s important to try.
When Ashraf arrived in Iran, the first country she visited, she was completely overwhelmed. The government there was really oppressive and there were very few civil liberties. However, she continued to visit Iran because of the people there. She found that they were so passionate about their culture and their religion that even though they were living in a difficult situation, they were still happy.
The next country Ashraf travelled to was Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is known for its strict religious laws and for severely punishing people who break them. This made it hard for Ashraf to do her work as an activist there, but she persevered because she knew that it was important.
Nowadays, Ashraf spends most of her time working on campaigns against human rights abuses in countries like Egypt, Bahrain and Syria. She knows that it’s not an easy task, but nothing is worth taking a stand for if it doesn’t mean making a difference in somebody’s life.
Visiting a Religious Institution
Since 2007, I have been an advocate for human rights and religious freedom in Iran. The Iranian regime is one of the most repressive in the world, and its government systematically targets any individual or group that it perceives as a threat to its power.
In 2009, I decided to take a trip to Iran to see for myself what life is like as an advocate for human rights and religious freedom. My journey took me from Tehran, the capital city, all the way down to the small town of Gonbad-e Kavous near the Caspian Sea. Along the way, I met with political prisoners, tortured dissidents, and ordinary Iranians who are struggling under a tyrannical regime.
The Iranian government is particularly intolerant of anyone who espouses a belief in non-Islamic religions such as Christianity or Judaism. Throughout my trip, I was harassed by intelligence agents and censured by officials from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for engaging in “sedition” against the nation’s secular government.
Despite these challenges, however, I emerged from my journey stronger than ever before— convinced that no individual or group can be silenced if they are willing to stand up for their beliefs. This experience has given me a new sense of purpose: working even harder on behalf of those persecuted around the world because liberty and justice cannot be enforced from behind bars or walls
Meeting with Political Leaders
When I was a human rights activist, I always dreamed of traveling to Iran. After all, it was one of the most notorious violators of human rights in the world. But when I finally got the opportunity to travel there in 2015, I wasn’t sure how my trip would go.
I had little knowledge about Iranian culture or politics, but I knew that I had to try and meet some political leaders if I wanted to have any chance of changing their behavior. So, before my trip even began, I researched as much information as possible about Iran and its leaders.
The first step was to find an organization that could help me arrange meetings with political leaders. My contacts in the human rights community suggested i contact the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI). They told me that iCHRI is a respected organization and that they would be able to help connect me with key members of Iranian society who could help me make connections with political leaders.
Once iCHRI agreed to help connect me with officials from Iran’s government, it was important for me to prepare for my meeting by doing my research even more. ichri provided me with a detailed briefing on Iranian politics and culture so that I would be able to hold myself and my discussions with government officials accountable.
Luckily everything went according to plan and within two months I had made four connections with high-ranking Iranian officials – all thanks to iCHRI! And through
In this essay, I aim to explore my human-rights activist journey into the world of Iranian saffron. I hope to provide a glimpse into how such an endeavor can be challenging and rewarding, as well as dispel some common misconceptions about activism in Iran. My intentions are not to demonize or glorify Iranian saffron; rather, they are simply to document my personal experience and feelings on the matter.