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On a beautiful spring day, in 2017, while we were trekking in the wild & untouched Mt. Zagros, we came across a nomadic family on one of the ridges. They were in the middle of their seasonal migration (kooch), and we were on a quest of seeking our roots. Quite overwhelmed by this surprising encounter, the moment they invited us to join their odyssey, we had no doubt that this was what we’d longed for. Ever since we heard about nomads, the indigenous people of Iran, we wanted to see them for ourselves and now they were our very hosts!
For the following 3 days, it was like we were out of this world; we were blessed with heavenly weather, clear skies and a gentle breeze, tasty organic food, living with the most authentic nomads, and experiencing the most natural, harmonized life.
However, something that was even more important & thought-provoking for us was the supposedly happy future the young men of the family were imagining for themselves if they’d abandon their nomadic life and move to the cities (especially Tehran, the capital).
– What if I sell my herd of livestock and move to Tehran? Can I work in your office? Cleaning or serving tea?
+ But why not stay here? What you’re doing is precious and worth keeping, don’t you think?
This conversation and some similar ones that we had with the nomads were like a wake-up call; A moment of epiphany that brought us a novel idea. For years, we’d been working on rural development projects, but on that specific day a deeper understanding occurred to us: Our nomads who were once proud of their lives, were thinking of abandoning their lifestyle and leaving our national heritage behind! That’s when the idea of empowering them occurred to us.
Back in Tehran, for weeks, we were all contemplating & consulting anthropologists and other related specialists worldwide to find out how we could help preserve one of Iran’s main cultural heritages. Finally, we came up with a social business idea: IRANomad Tours, to benefit both the nomads & adventure-culture travelers. Now, we are almost certain that our true calling is preserving our nomadic heritage through sustainable tourism.
Our odyssey is still going on and we continue to be on it as long as the nomads do. Instead of the vast sea & a beaten boat in Greek Odyssey though, there is this mighty Mt. Zagros in an ancient Persian soil, herds of livestock, children of Zagros, and us.
We, IRANomad Tours, the first sustainable nomadic tour operator in Iran, try our best in: