Pre-Convention Tour Kicks Off

Today, January 25th, 2017 the pre-convention tour took off from Homa Hotel in Tehran with around 140 Tourist Guides from 40 different countries. The six buses left Tehran at 7:30am and their first stop was Qazvin City where they visited Chehel Sotun and a 135 year old caravanserai. After lunch they headed to Soltaniyeh in Zanjan City and celebrated a cultural night with traditional music. The main convention inauguration will take place on Saturday January 28th with the presence of various Iranian and International dignitaries.

17th WFTGA Convention Survey NO.1

Dear tourist guides,

In a collaborative effort between Iran Federation of Tourist Guides Associations and researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Central Florida, we are conducting a social network analysis of the 17th WFTGA convention in order to describe current characteristics of tourist guides social network and also to examine possible changes in workload, social interaction, and community-based collaborations among tourist guides worldwide after attending the 17th WFTGA convention in Iran. The results of this study will benefit the tourist guides, WFTGA, and IFTGA. The results can lead to a more efficient convention in the future focusing on factors contributing to tourist guides social and career success.

If you are a tourist guide/member of WFTGA and will attend 17th WFTGA convention in Iran, we are inviting you to complete two sets of surveys about tourist guides you know. The first (current) survey will take approximately 10 minutes of your time and needs to be completed before the convention starts. Be tuned for the second (follow-up) survey at the end of the convention. these surveys are complementary and we really appreciate filling out both questionnaires.Your participation is voluntary. To compensate you for your time, participants will be entered into a drawing for Iranian valuable handicrafts.

We sincerely thank you for your cooperation. All the data collected through this study will be saved in a password-protected system and personal information will be coded to protect your identity. We will share the result of this study through WFTGA website. Please click on this link to go to the survey Web site (or copy and paste the link into your browser). Survey link

https://ncsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9XhdQItAiExRBt3

Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.

Ladan Ghahramani,

Project manager

Email: lghahra@ncsu.edu

Hamedan

Hamadān or Hamedān (Old Persian: Haŋgmetana, Ecbatana) is the capital city of Hamadan Province of Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 473,149, in 127,812 families.[2]

Hamadan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities and one of the oldest in the world. It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that it was the capital of the Medes, around 700 BCE.

Hamadan has a green mountainous area in the foothills of the 3,574-meter Alvand Mountain, in the midwest part of Iran. The city is 1,850 meters above sea level.

The special nature of this old city and its historic sites attract tourists during the summer to this city, located approximately 360 kilometres (220 miles) southwest of Tehran.

The main symbols of this city are the Ganj Nameh inscription, the Avicenna monument and the Baba Taher monument. The majority of the population is Persian; however, there is a considerable Azerbaijani minority.

According to Clifford Edmund Bosworth, “Hamadan is a very old city. It may conceivably, but improbably, be mentioned in cuneiform texts from ca. 1100 BC, the time of Assyrian King Tiglath-pilesar I, but is certainly mentioned by Herodotus (i.98) who says that the king of Media Diokes built the city of Agbatana or Ekbatana in the 7th century BC.”

Hamadan was established by the Medes and was the capital of the Median Empire. It then became one of several capital cities of the Achaemenid Dynasty.

Hamadan is mentioned in the biblical book of Ezra as the place where a scroll was found giving the Jews permission from King Darius to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. (Ezra 6:2). Its ancient name of Ecbatana is used in the Ezra text. Because it was a mile above sea level, it was a good place to preserve leather documents.

During the Parthian era, Ctesiphon was the capital of the country, and Hamadan the summer capital and residence of the Parthian rulers. After the Parthians, the Sassanids constructed their summer palaces in Hamadan. In the year 633 the battle of Nahavand took place and Hamadan fell into the hands of the Muslim Arabs.

During the Buwayhids, the city suffered much damage. In the 11th century, the Seljuks shifted their capital from Baghdad to Hamadan. The city of Hamadan, its fortunes following the rise and fall of regional powers, was completely destroyed during the Timurid invasion. During the Safavid era, the city thrived. Thereafter, in the 18th century, Hamadan was surrendered to the Ottomans, but due to the work of Nader Shah e Afshar, Hamadan was cleared of invaders and, as a result of a peace treaty between Iran and the Ottomans, it was returned to Iran. Hamadan stands on the Silk Road, and even in recent centuries the city enjoyed strong commerce and trade as a result of its location on the main road network in the western region of Persia and Iran.

During World War I, the city was the scene of heavy fighting between Russian and Turko-German forces. It was occupied by both armies, and finally by the British, before it was returned to control of the Iranian government at the end of the war in 1918.

 

ISFAHAN

Isfahan, the splendid capital of the Safavid dynasty during which Islamic philosophy flourished by the emergence of Isfahan School by Mirdamad and Sheik Bahaei and their students like Mulla Sadra, is known as the city of turquoise domes.

Isfahan, which is situated between the Zagros mountain range and the grand desert, was chosen as the capital more than once and is known as the cultural and civilization capital of Iran. It is also chosen as the Cultural capital of Islamic World in 2006.

Isfahan has become the sister city of 15 cities and is the host city for holding most of international conferences and seminars.

The inhabitants do business and art and organize industry to make a living. Isfahan is registered as the world capital of handicrafts in 2016; more than 10 handicrafts of which has received the Seal of Excellence from UNESCO out of 125.

It joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in crafts and folk art in 2015.

The Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city also has a wide variety of historic monuments and is known for the paintings, history and architecture.

The Zayande-rood River starts in the Zagros Mountains, flows from west to east through the heart of Isfahan, and dries up in the Gavkhooni wetland. The bridges over the river include some of the finest architecture in Isfahan. You may enjoy the performances of amateur singers while walking along Khaju Bridge.

Gaz, Poolaki and Sohan are the famous souvenirs of Isfahan which are widely served during Nowruz. You can try Isfahan traditional food such as Biryani, Goosht & loobia (meat and yellow peas), Khoresht-e Mast (yogurt stew), the strange mix of gooshefil, kind of sweet, and dugh, yogurt drink, and Halim Bademjan, a Persian dish made with mashed eggplant, are great choices to have while you are taking a leisurely stroll along  Zayande-rood River.

Isfahan is different in each season. During spring and fall while leaves change their colors, visitors will enjoy strolling through Chahar Bagh St. (the main street of Isfahan).

 

QAZVIN, The CITY OF WATER RESERVOIRS

A few kilometers away from Tehran, in the northwest of the busiest city of Iran, Tehran, small calm Safavid city of Qazvin is located at the foothills of the Alborz Mountains. Qazvin bears a strong resemblance to Isfahan that is why it is called the small Isfahan, became the capital of Iran during the reign of Shah Tahmasp before the transfer of imperial seat from Qazvin to Isfahan. Chehel Sotun Palace, Ali Qapu  entrance portal and destroyed Shah square foreshadow the style of Safavid monuments exemplified by the pavilion and portal structure in Isfahan.

Qazvin is a great choice for anyone who is interested in history and architecture. Jameh mosque of Qazvin, the oldest mosque of Iran, is constructed on a Sassanid fire-temple. Water reservoirs, which can be seen in various parts of the city, were being used to provide water for the whole city mostly during hot seasons.

Chehl Sotun palace which was built by the order of Safavid king, nowadays is a well-known calligraphy museum. It is a few meters away the first designed street of Iran, Sepah cobblestone St. This street leads to the only remaining building of Naderi royal garden, Ali Qapu.

A quick glance of each building let you be familiar with the history of the city, although you still need to know more about the city.

Strolling through the winding alleys of the great Saad-ol-Saltaneh Caravanserai leads you to a restaurant to try traditional food of Qazvin. Gheymeh Nesar is on the top of order of every traveler who wishes to try traditional food of this city. Diamond Baklava is one the best sweet pastry can be found almost everywhere. You may enjoy your evening tea with pieces of Baklava after a long day of sightseeing.

Qazvin is an appropriate choice to have one or two days away from busy cities, maddening traffic and enjoy time on your own. Although Qazvin is not on the wish list of every traveler but it is going to be included in the wish list of travelers gradually.

Explore Qazvin on foot: walk from Jameh Mosque to traditional water reservoir, from Cantor church, which was built by the Russians during World War II to ancient Sad-ol-Saltaneh Caravanserai. Apparently, Qazvin is where you can meet almost all your expectations.