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On a very beautiful spring day, in 2017, while we were having one of our amazing trekkings in the wild & untouched Mt. Zagros, we came across a nomad 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 these indigenous people, the moment they invited us to join their odyssey, we had no doubt that this is what we’ve longed for. Ever since we’ve heard about our nomads; the indigenous people of Iran, we always wanted to see them for ourselves.
For the following 3 days, it was like we were out of this world; we were blessed with heavenly weather which in Zagros means clear skies and a gentle breeze, living with the most authentic, rarely visited nomads, and experiencing the most fulfilling life: a nomadic lifestyle. However, something that was even more important & thought-provoking for us was the happy future the young men of the family were imagining for themselves if they’d abandon their nomadic life and move to Tehran.
– 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 and make more money? What you’re doing is precious and worth keeping, why not keep it?
This conversation and some other small talks 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 leaving our national heritage behind.
Back in Tehran, for weeks, we were all thinking & consulting with anthropologists worldwide to find out how we can help preserve one of Iran’s main cultural heritages. Finally, we came up with a social business idea: Iran Nomad Tours to benefit both the nomads & adventure-culture travelers. Now, we know our true vocation is preserving our nomadic heritage through sustainable tourism.
Our odyssey is still going on and we continue to be on this odyssey as long as the nomads do. Instead of the vast sea & a beaten boat in Greek Odyssey, there is this mighty Mt. Zagros in an unforgivable Persian soil, herds of livestock, children of Zagros, and us. We, Iran Nomad Tours, the first sustainable nomadic tour operator in Iran, who seek to:
– make these people & their ancient heritage known to the world
– show the world the ancient roots of Persia
– tell the world ‘the nomads are the best legacy of Iran’