Wednesday, 10 December 2014

ABOARD TEHRAN EXPRESS


O' my Allah! Thou art the most attached to Thy lovers and the most ready to assist those who trust in Thee. Thou seest them in their concealments, knowest whatever is in their consciences, and art aware of the extent of their intelligence. Consequently, their secrets are open to Thee and their hearts are eager from Thee. If loneliness bores them, Thy remembrance gives them solace. If distresses befall them, they beseech Thy protection, because they know that the reins of affairs are in Thy hands, and that their movements depend upon Thy commands .

 
O' my Allah! if I am unable to express my request or cannot see my needs, then guide me towards my betterment and take my betterment and take my heart towards the correct goal. This is not against (the mode of) Thy guidance nor anything new against Thy ways of support.

 
O' my Allah! deal with me through Thy forgiveness and do not deal with me according to Thy justice.

 
From: Jaffer Kassam  
Subject: ALL ABOARD TEHRAN EXPRESS 

 
For years it was a no-go zone, locked in diplomatic disputes with the United States, which it famously decried as 'The Great Satan'.
But now Iran, which sparked one of the 20th Century's tensest diplomatic stand-off by taking 52 Americans hostage, is once more a popular tourist spot.
Tehran, the vibrant capital, is the final destination of a new luxury train trip from Europe to the Middle East, which also takes in Persian ruin sites like Isfahan and Persepolis.
And, according to the Golden Eagle Luxury Trains company, which has just launched its Jewels of Persia service, a substantial chunk of its customers are from the U.S.
The train journey, which costs around $40,000 per passenger, takes a 14-day journey from Budapest, Hungary, through eastern Europe, Turkey and into Iran.
Speaking to NBC News, one customer from Kansas said her family think she is 'absolutely nuts'. She said: 'There is no reason not to come to Iran, don't let what is perceived to keep you home.' 
 
 
 
 
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
All aboard: Despite a history plagued by conflict, Americans are now among Iran's most popular tourists. 
Here a train engineer loads a historic steam locomotive with coal as it pulls a Tehran-bound train into 
Nyugati Terminus in Budapest, October 15, 2014
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Luxury: Tehran, the vibrant capital, is the final destination of a new luxury train trip from Europe to the 
Middle East, which also takes in Persian ruin sites like Isfahan and Persepolis
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Decadent: The luxury train connecting the capitals of Hungary and Tehran had its maiden voyage in October (pictured)
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Cheers: Lunch is served aboard a historic Tehran-bound train as it leaves Budapest October 15, 2014
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Classic: The train, a set of luxury cars retrofitted from historic models to reflect times gone by, will take 
two weeks to wind through the 7,000 kilometre journey across the Balkans, the Bosphorus and 
eastern Turkey to arrive in Iran
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
A passenger looks out of the window of the restaurant car of a historic Tehran-bound train as it leaves 
Budapest headed for Iran. Many of the passengers buying ticket for the train are American
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Relaxing: Passengers survey the offerings aboard a historic Tehran-bound train as it leaves Budapest
The nation - full name the Islamic Republic of Iran - is run by a council of clerics, 
and has long been subject to crippling economic sanctions from the United States.
In 1979 relations between the two nations hit an all-time low when a group of 
Iranian students took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding 
52 Americans captive for 44 days. 
 
The rescue of group of U.S. citizens was recently made into the Hollywood 
blockbuster Argo, which starred Ben Affleck as a CIA agent who helped 
smuggle the Americans out of Iran and back to the United States.
As a result many may still believe Iran to be a perilous place to visit, but not so, says Tim Littler, the founder of tour operator Golden Eagle.
'We had more problems in Russia when we started 25 years ago,' Little said. 
'We went into areas where people were literally starving and we arrived in an opulent train full of caviar and sturgeon and fine wines.' 
 
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Tensions: In 1979 relations between Iran and the U.S. hit an all-time low when a group of Iranian students 
took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, holding 52 Americans captive for 44 days. A CIA rescue mission 
during the hostage crisis was depicted in 2012's Argo (pictured)
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Helping hand: Ben Affleck co-wrote, directed and starred in Argo, which touched on the 
tensions between the U.S. and Iran 
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Historic: The ancient Persian city of Persepolis, outside Shiraz in southern Iran, is among many sights tourists 
are now flocking to in the country
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Isfahan: This city is famous for its Islamic architecture, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Middle eastern wonder: Groundskeepers work amidst the ancient Persepolis archeological site
In an attempt to make tourists feel safer, the Iranian government, which has announced it would spend 
heavily to develop its tourism industry, said it would put military marshals on the train.  
 
The tickets for the first Golden Eagle train voyage sold out in 10 days.
Of the 109 passengers who traveled on the east or westbound legs of the two-week 
journey, 26 were American citizens. Bahman Zenhari, a marketing executive with 
Iranian tour operator Pasargad Tours, told NBC there had been a 350 percent increase 
for tour demands in Iran since last year's election, in which President Hassan Rouhani 
replaced the outspoken Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who consistently outraged the 
Jewish community by repeatedly calling the Holocaust a lie.
'When American tourists first came to Iran they would tell locals that they were 
Canadian, but not today,' Bahrain told the network.
Among the major must-sees is the holy city of Mashdad, Iran's second-biggest city 
after Tehran, and the central city of Isfahan, considered one of the most beautiful 
places in the world for its hand-painted tiling and magnificent public square.
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Breathtaking: A boy rides a bicycle through the main square of Isfahan, which considered one of the most 
beautiful places in the world
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Faith: Worshippers pray at the Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh shrine in Shiraz
However, while Iran may have become safer and more popular, the cultural 
differences are still very exacting. As per Muslim faith, all women are expected to wear 
headscarves, which can easily deter - and sometimes frighten - tourists. 
Houston man Joseph Cheavens and his wife were not so worried, though, taking the 
Golden Eagle Danube Express train for a vacation together, much to the shock of 
their friends at home.
'I just had an email before I left from a business colleague saying, ''You are going to 
a dangerous part of the world'',' he told NBC.
'Well, it's not dangerous.'
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Culture: All women are expected to wear headscarves in Iran as keeping with the Muslim faith
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
Passengers look out of the window of the restaurant car of a historic Tehran-bound train as it leaves Budapest
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
The train, a set of luxury cars retrofitted from historic models to reflect times gone by, takes two weeks to 
wind through the 7,000 kilometre journey across the Balkans, the Bosphorus and eastern Turkey to arrive in Iran
Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
A marching band greets a historic Tehran-bound train in Nyugati Terminus in Budapest

 परोपकाराय फलन्ति वृक्षा: परोपकाराय वहन्ति नद्यः।
 परोपकाराय दुहन्ति गावः परोपकाराय इदं शरीरम्।।
            
 
 
                                          ( hari krishnamurthy K. HARIHARAN)"
'' When people hurt you Over and Over think of them as Sand paper.
They Scratch & hurt you, but in the end you are polished and they are finished. ''
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great."- Mark Twain.
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