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Iran: Ancient Civilizations and Contemporary Culture
Saturday, September 22nd 2012  
Tehran, INTL

During this time of heightened US tensions with Iran and a backdrop of zero diplomacy for over 30 years, it has become even more important for Americans to educate themselves, and provide a counter balance to the United States' demonization of the country and people.

Learn the complex facets of Iranian history, culture and the context of US-Iran relations. Engage with Iranians as they go about their daily lives, and hear their hopes and fears for the future. Observe that despite censorship and social repression, Iranians continue to advance and struggle towards change. Join Global Exchange Reality Tours as a citizen diplomat to do what our governments cannot do, create people-to-people ties.

The Citizens Diplomacy Reality Tour to Iran will give participants a chance to see inside this much-maligned nation and gain first-hand experience of the effects of the political policies of both the United States and Iran. Participants will have a chance to put a human face on this ongoing political dispute and help facilitate understanding and respect between people of different nations.

Program Highlights may include:

* Visit the ancient ruins of Persepolis and the tomb of the world-renowned poet, Hafez, in Shiraz.
* Visit the Towers of Silence in Yazd and learn about the ancient Zoroastrian religion and its contributions from Iran's ancient calligraphy to Iran's current culture.
* Explore bustling bazaars and learn about the important role they play in Iranian commerce and culture.
* Visit beautiful gardens and museums, including the famous Stroll through Tehran's famous Sadabad Palace (summer residence of the Ghajar Dynasty Shah) and Golestan Palace.
* Learn about Islam as practiced in Iran--visit beautiful mosques decorated with intricate and colorful mosaic designs.
* Visit an Armenian church and learn how this Christian minority lives among the Shiite Muslim majority.
* Visit teahouses tucked underneath Isfahan's Si-O-Se Bridge or at the Khan Hamum bathhouse in Yazd.
* Through visiting cultural and historical sites, create the urgent people-to-people ties with Iranians necessary for building true international diplomacy and understanding.

* Read a sample itinerary -- This is a tentative itinerary and is subject to change
* Note: Due to the heightened tension between the US and Iran, as well as a tense political climate within Iran, Global Exchange's Citizen Diplomacy delegations must adhere to a strict tourist itinerary and additional restrictions for US Citizens. Because of the current circumstances, meetings with government officials, NGOs and some religious minorities are restricted - whether organized through Global Exchange or through personal contacts. Nonetheless, we feel that citizen diplomacy in countries with which the US maintains a stance of isolation, is the first step to breaking the walls and barriers tha

Cost: $3,300

Price Includes:

* Accommodations in 3-4 star hotels
* All program activities and entrance fees
* Three meals per day
* In-country transportation
* Qualified trip leader
* English-speaking guides
* Assistance with acquiring visas
* Reader on Iran
* Tips, international airfare, visa fee, and personal expenses are not included.
* Price is based on double room accommodations; add $700 for single room.
* A limited number of partial scholarships are available for low-income applicants.

How to Register:
IMPORTANT: For purposes of processing your Iranian Visa in a timely manner, please register by June 23rd!

To register, please send in your application form and a deposit of $400. Payments by Mastercard, Visa and Discover are welcome. Deposits are non-refundable unless the trip is canceled by Global Exchange as explained below.

This trip requires a minimum number of participants so please apply early! To ensure that all participants can plan accordingly, the minimum number of participants must be reached 3 months before departure, or the trip will be canceled. If canceled,registered participants can choose to receive a full refund or transfer to a future group.

This trip will be as diverse as possible in terms of race, age and life experiences. We strongly urge people of color to apply. In some cases, a limited number of partial scholarships are available for low-income applicants.


Drea Hightower