Posted by Liz Nichols on Aug 28, 2018
Kris Ockenfels gave a photo tour of her trip to Iran.oo
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Vanessa Slattery and Kate Malkusak-- Outbound exchange students
Mark Ruggeberg-- Iowa City Downtown RC
Jenny Seylar-- Guest of Nancy Pacha
Katy Malkusak and Vanessa Slattery are off this week to their outbound exchanges, Katy to Spain and Vanessa to the Canary Islands, which is also part of Spain.  Best wishes to both exchange students on their year abroad!
We need a Can Do team to sort cans at North Dodge at 9 am on Saturday.
Amy Nicholson is hosting a salmon dinner for IAMOST Friday, Sept 14 at 6 pm.  Bring two salmon filets fixed your favorite way, or bring a side dish.
The next Month Opener will be Sept 10 at 5:15 pm at Mickey's Pub in downtown Iowa City.
There were many Happy Bucks for members returned from vacations and family duties, Tom Novak from Ireland and Sweden, Phil Peterson from Santa Monica, Myrene Hoover from Switzerland, Brian Adamec from a family friend's funeral in Milwaukee, Deb Galbraith from an adventure abroad that unfortunately led to a fall and a broken arm.
Kris Ockenfels took a two week trip to Iran in April and May and found the people warm and friendly, and history and beautiful architecture very inspirational.  She dispelled many myths.  It is possible for Americans to travel in Iran, but expect a long process to get a visa, and expect that you will need to travel as part of an organized group led by an Iranian.  Women must wear appropriate loose attire that covers the body and head completely.  The rules may be slightly less severe for tourists, but still must be followed in public places.  Expect that only cash is accepted; no credit cards will work in that country.
Iran has a very long history.  As Persia its history goes back 100,000 years.  The Bronze Age (4395 BCE) brought the invention of writing in Persia.  With writing came diplomacy.  The period of Persepolis saw a number of great rulers.  Cyrus the Great ruled over 40% of the world's population.  It was a period of religious tolerance.  In Iran the Muslims have ruled for about 1400 years.  In 1921 Iran modernized its society, but the changes occurred too fast for the majority and it led to the 1979 revolution and the restoration of the imams as rulers.
The tour covered a number of cities down the center of the country from Shiraz, to Persepolis, to Abarkook, to Yazd to Ifshan.  In Sharaz the highlight was the great Nasir al-Molk Mosque, sometimes called the Pink Mosque.  In Persepolis the Gate of All Nations, which is 2500 years old, has stood up to the elements very well. In Abarkook, the Agehazedeh Manor is featured on the Iranian money.  In Yazd, which is a desert city, the group watched body building, which is a national sporting activity.  In Ifshan there was another beautiful mosque and an enormous square called Naqsh-e Jahan.
One last stop was at Qom where the group saw the Shrine of Fatima Masemud.
Kris found Iran to be both safe and friendly, just as long as the Americans followed their guides rules.