Iran Civilization's Ancient Trailblazer
Iran, the name evokes different feelings among different groups of people. Today, largely thanks to the media, most Americans and Europeans think of Iran's nuclear program when they hear the word. Traditionally, however, before the age of 'news bytes' and round-the-clock coverage, the images evoked were quite different. In the 19th century, for example, when Westerners heard the word, 'Persia,' (the name, by which Iran was then known,) they thought of bejeweled silken rugs, intricately illuminated books of poetry and the poignant song of the nightingale. Like mirages rising from the desert's shimmering horizon, images arose of verdant Persian gardens, perfumed with drifts of jasmine and cooled by the diamond spray of fountains.