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Six-week mini-semester abroad in Iran

Dear Friend,

Salam. My name is Ehsaneh Sadr. A few months ago, I got back from a two-year stay in Iran where I was working mostly with social aid programs to combat rural and urban poverty.

Going to Iran was a life-changing experience for me. I was born and raised in the United States and my mother was American so aside from loving 'ghorme sabzi' I really didn't have much of a connection with Iran. Although I never would have expected it, the events in my life arranged themselves quite neatly so as to practically force me to Iran. And I am immeasurably grateful.

I wish I could share with you all the lessons I learned in these two short years from the kindness, openness, and generosity of my friends and co-workers who went out of their way to ensure my comfort and happiness, the beautiful women dancing joyfully at a village wedding only to wake up the next day to a full day of hard labor^my surprise at Iran's technological advancements as I toured an industrial factory, the little girls in the slums of Tehran giggling as we played 'noon biyar kabab bebar', my awe at the depth and beauty of traditional Iranian music as my sittar teacher played his instrument, the inner stillness I felt meditating in the private room of an ancient sufi, the smallness and greatness I felt simultaneously as I sat in Persepolis reflecting upon my place in the history of this ancient civilization.

It is because of this desire to share these experiences with others that I have begun setting up a non-profit organization called Rediscover Iran whose goal is to create opportunities for Iranian-American youth to have direct contact with the Iranian people and their culture. This summer RI will be offering a six-week Mini-Semester Abroad in Iran where participants will engage in cultural and educational activities in addition to receiving language instruction. Some of the activities include:

- archeological dig
- living with nomads or villagers
- learning to play traditional Iranian musical instruments
- visiting industrial sites
- helping charity organizations
- travel to Isfahan and Shiraz
- etc.

In the future, it is my desire to offer opportunities for volunteer work in Iran in addition to internships, recreational tours, student exchanges, and other programs that will increase opportunities for interaction.

Ehsaneh Sadr
Rediscover Iran
13115 Ideal Drive
Silver Spring MD 20906
Phone: (301) 962-1581
Fax: (301) 933-0024


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