Below is a letter we received from a client who recently returned from a month-long private tour of Iran. The person it is addressed to is our local coordinator in Iran who handles all of our ground logistics there. Our Iran tours, both private and group, continue to receive high praise, and all clients are always amazed at how well received they are while in Iran. Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Waugh!
Dear Ms. Sattari,
At the end of our recently completed month-long tour in Iran, I promised our excellent guide Siavash Amirsharafi that we would write you a note regarding his work for us.
We (my wife Charlotte and I) had an absolutely wonderful trip, thanks in large part to his efforts (and, of course, the planning and support provided by you and by Caravan-Serai). Not only is he extremely well informed (and, it seems, well connected), but he worked harder than any tour guide we have ever met to make sure that we not only followed the program but took advantage of additional opportunities along the way. He was very good at getting us through closed doors when we would otherwise not have been sure of admission.
Among his concerns was our well-being–making sure we ate well (if anything, we ate far too much!) and did not take ill, and “running interference” for us when we crossed streets in the (for us) somewhat daunting traffic in cities. I am an avid photographer, as he will attest, but he was always careful to alert me to instances where it would have been inappropriate for me to take photos.
Siavash is a real treasure. While I am sure he would perform as well for “ordinary groups”, it is important that you assign him to individuals like us who have a deeper interest in Iran and its culture. As I understand it, he has guided and translated for various western scholars; some of them stay in touch with him, which is a tribute to his knowledge and abilities.
We have no complaints of any substance about the trip, which exceeded our expectations. And we hope eventually to be back to see places we did not visit this time (Khorasan is at the top of the list). Your country has so much to offer, we can hope that many Americans will visit; perhaps that will help to thaw relations on the official level, which I think we would agree are most unfortunate. Everyone we met was courteous and most interested to interact with American visitors; we in turn enjoyed every encounter. As a historian interested in the historic Silk Road, I learned a huge amount, but as with any such experience, importantly I learned how much more I want to know about Iran, its history, and its people.
With warm regards,